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7 Personally Tested Strategies to Supercharge Your Productivity



In today's fast-paced and demanding work environment, it's quite common to feel overwhelmed by an endless to-do list. The pressure to churn out high-quality work while maintaining a healthy balance of personal and professional life can be daunting.


Very often, we tend to consider ourselves to have been productive only when we smash through a really long list of tasks. And on the days we don’t, we are consumed with guilt about not doing “enough”. But if you really dig into the subject, you’ll realise that productivity is defined as ‘the effectiveness of effort’ and not necessarily the amount of effort one puts in.


By adopting a few simple and productive work practices, you can regain control of your workload and achieve success without sacrificing your personal life. In this guide, I want to share some personal strategies I have used to optimise my work and time more efficiently and achieve success and move further along in my career.


#1 Prioritise and Set Clear Goals, Every Day

Most mornings begin with an overwhelming list of tasks floating around in our minds that can burden our day even before it begins. So, what I like to do every Sunday night, is sit down and create a brain dump of everything I want to accomplish over the course of the week. Then I shut my notebook and go to bed without thinking about it further. On Monday morning, I wake up, look at the list before beginning my day, and segregate the tasks based on importance and urgency and allocate specific dates and time slots to each. Then, I break down the larger projects into smaller, manageable tasks, and rank them in order of priority. By focusing on high-priority items at the start of the week, I am able to ensure that I'm knocking out the most impactful and urgent tasks first, thus easing myself out as the end of the week approaches.

#2 Try Time-Blocking

Time-blocking is a powerful technique that involves scheduling specific blocks of time for different activities. Allocate time for focused work, meetings, breaks, and personal tasks. By organizing your day in this manner, you'll establish a structured routine and minimise distractions, leading to increased productivity and efficiency. Google Calendar is an excellent, free tool to use for this. Start by blocking fixed slots on your calendar for everyday essentials - for ex: my mornings and evenings are blocked for walking my dog, and I also have chalked out fixed blocks of 30 minutes every day for ideating and writing articles. These are the blocks that repeat daily. Everything else gets filled in, in between.


#3 Try Mono-Tasking

Contrary to popular belief, multitasking is not always an effective way to manage your work. Instead, try mono-tasking - focus on one project for a short burst (no more than 25-30 mins) of time, giving it your full attention. Once completed, take a quick break and move on to the next task. You’ll find that working in such 30 minute slots, will allow you to get more done, more effectively, leading to better output at the end of the day.

#4 Learn to Delegate & Mentor

Delegation is an essential skill for effective time management. Identify tasks that can be entrusted to others, delegate them, and give a clear brief on what needs to be done. This not only frees up your time for more important responsibilities but also empowers your team members and encourages their professional growth. It is very easy to take the work upon yourself because you believe you can do it most effectively. But in the long run, that’s not in the best interest of you or your team, who are looking for you to mentor and teach them, rather than simply pile on grunt work that you’d rather avoid.

#5 Practice the Two-Minute Rule

I would often put off small tasks like making a phone call, replying to an email, or sending a follow-up text thinking that it would take up unnecessary mental bandwidth when I had bigger and more important tasks to complete first. But eventually, these tiny tasks would pile up making my to-do list that much more overwhelming. I happened to be reading James Clear’s book Atomic Habits at the time and he mentioned a concept called the 2-Minute Rule to Avoid Procrastination. Simply put, if a task takes less than two minutes to complete, do it right away. You won’t believe the impact this small shift has made on my productivity levels. By simply getting the small task out of the way, you already feel like you’ve accomplished something and that sets you into the rhythm of doing more, and knocking more tasks off your list. If you’re not doing this yet, I highly recommend you give it a try. Tiny task? Have 2 minutes? No thinking, just doing!

#6 Use Technology to Your Advantage

Leverage technology to streamline your work processes. Explore productivity tools that help with project management, task management, keeping track of clients and work, organization and even time tracking to help you stay organized, set reminders, and collaborate effectively with your team. My favourite (free) tools are:

  1. Notion: for documentation and note-taking

  2. Toggl: for time tracking

  3. Asana: for project management

  4. Forest: for time management using the Pomodoro technique

  5. Google Calendar: for time-blocking and scheduling tasks, deadlines and meeting

#7 Set Boundaries Around Your Work

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for long-term success and well-being. And in order to do that, one needs to set self-enforced boundaries that can be honoured everyday. It’s understandable that some days you may need to work late. But if you know your average day ends at 6 pm, block that off in your calendar and unplug. Find hobbies and other activities that you enjoy (but keep making excuses to avoid) and actively choose to explore those instead.


We need to break out of the mindset that checking off gigantic to-do lists is the only way to feel productive. No, that’s the only way to feel burned out.


Utilise your energy to optimise your day and effectively streamline your work so you can power through and get the most done in an effective and efficient manner. Use these strategies to your advantage and see how they work for you. Some days it might be 2 big tasks, other days it might be 10 small ones. But as long as the result is something that leaves you feeling content, you can consider it a successful and productive day.

 

I help D2C businesses build their brands through content and storytelling. If you're a new brand looking for a consultant to help you with content and brand strategies, get in touch with me here. If you're a young marketer, fresh in the industry and want someone to mentor you and help you navigate the world of brands, I can help. Drop me a message here.



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