It feels so good to get things done. Crossing things off of your to-do list gives you a very satisfying feeling of accomplishment.
But every now and then you have to ask yourself, “Am I crossing out the important things or am I just crossing out the little things that don’t matter much?
I bet you $5 (okay, not really) that if you looked at the to-do list that you made this morning, a lot of the things on there are things that you have to do, but don’t need to do.
Things that you could remember easily like, go grocery shopping or go to work or brush my teeth. We tend to focus on things that really don’t need any focusing on.
Like the homework that you have. (Kidding . . . or am I?)
Or we’ll Write down things that we have to do, but don’t need our immediate attention, if ever. This can include checking your emails for 30 minutes straight and it making you feel productive, but when you look back you’re thinking, “What did I accomplish with that?” The answer? Nothing.
That’s why I wanted to share with you 6 different tips that could help you get more shit done. Important shit, the productive kind, not just the “I’m busy” kind.
So, let’s dive into this shit.
TIP #1 FOCUS ON ONE THING
Multitasking doesn’t work for shit. You can’t work 10 minutes on one thing, then 10 minutes on another, and keep switching back and forth. This isn’t a channel on tv that you’re trying to pick, you know? You have to make one choice.
Besides the fact that it doesn’t work to get things done quicker, you don’t work well in general. You can’t fully immerse yourself in a piece of work that fast, and you won’t be giving it your all if you’re multitasking.
For example, let’s say that you’re working on 1 thing for 30 minutes before switching tasks. You could be really into writing an article 27 minutes in, and then, your alarm rings 3 minutes later to switch the task. Suddenly, you lose that flow you had. And when you have to jump back into it later, it’s not as good.
The best thing to do is to focus on ONE task only. Take out your to do list and choose the thing that needs to be done more urgently (I’ll talk more about this later).
Ignore everything else, and keep your mind on that one task.
TIP #2 SHUT OFF EVERYTHING ELSE
You know this tip. Turn off your phone.
It’s almost like people say it because it works.
Turn it off and leave it somewhere else. Seriously, don’t turn it off and leave it next to you. Leave it downstairs where you’ll be too lazy to go get it. Keep it in a safe where you’re forced to put in a combination. Kidding. Again.
If you’re like me and you work on your device, then turn off your notifications. It’s all about discipline. Don’t leave the app you’re on!
Do you really have to look at the Twitter moments right now and find out what Kylie Jenner is doing with her baby?
You have a no notifications option in all apps, use it.
It’s easy to be distracted. You really do just have to make the choice to focus on the task at hand, and stick to it.
TIP #3 DO CREATIVE WORK
*This tip was learned from Marie T.V. I thought the information was great, so I’m sharing it with you!*
When we wake up, sometimes we like to get all of the annoying, small things out of the way like checking emails or other adult-like stuff.
Or we wake up and open up Instagram to check our favorite actress’s story or what’s trending on Tumblr.
None of this is recommended.
Some (not boring) science:
We’ve got this thing called cognitive fuel, and our “tank” AKA our brain is filled when we wake up in the morning. Just like in a car, the more you use up the fuel, the lower the tank fill is.
Our “tank” is filled with that cognitive fuel, but the difference between our brain and a car, is that our brain loses all of that fuel in the morning.
That’s why you shouldn’t waste it on doing small things that don’t even require thinking once you’re up. You should use it to your advantage to do something productive.
So, do all creative work first, anything big, then you can do all of the small things later.
TIP #4 STOP WAITING FOR THE PERFECT TIME
There is no perfect time.
Well, I guess now is the perfect time, and since now is every time, then that means that every time is the perfect time. Whatever.
What I’m trying to say is that the best time is now and the time where you’ll finally be ready doesn’t exist.
A Tuesday night when the rain is pouring is just as good as Sunday morning when the sun is shining.
Stop saying, “You know what? I’ll do it this weekend when I have more time.”
Ha! Psyche. You’re probably going to end up making plans.
11:07 is just a good of a time as 11:30. God knows how much we like to do things on the hour or 30 minutes into the hour. Stop doing that!
If you want to get shit done, then you just have to do it. Don’t look at the clock and get your eyes off of the calendar.
TIP #5 TAKE A BREAK
“I’m trying to be more productive, Itxy—I’m not here to take breaks!” —you
Too bad, my awesome reader. Breaks are good for you, I promise.
Our brains weren’t built to work for so long.
According to Fast Company, taking “breaks keep us from getting bored.” Thus, unfocused!
If you work for too long, you’ll actually start zoning out!
Even though being focused obviously helps you retain information, taking breaks can help you do that too by releasing the stress and giving yourself some time to think.
“90% of the bosses [of Staples] surveyed say. . . that they encouraged breaks and 86 percent of employees agree. . . that taking breaks makes them more productive.” —Face Company
TIP #6 ORGANIZE YOUR DAY BY ONE THING
I have a lot of different tasks, and I once heard of this productivity schedule—sadly, I can’t rememeber who suggested this tip—but they said to give every day of the week to one task.
It sounds crazy, but it’s actually pretty great.
When I think about the fact that I have to write a bunch of articles and also watch a couple videos for something, I get stressed because it’s a lot, but then I’m like, “Nope. Itxy write articles today, and watch videos tomorrow.”
Let me give you an example of my personal schedule:
- Monday: Write blog posts (I don’t have a certain amount, I just write as many as I want)
- Tuesday: Video scripts
- Wednesday: Work (I have an online copywriting job) & write 2 blog posts
- And so on. . .
This schedule lets me focus on one (or on Wednesday where work will only take a couple hours, 2 things) so that I don’t have to stress over all the things that I have to do.
I just remember that I can get that thing done on a later day and the stress vanishes like a boat in a fog.
During the weekend, because plans are never concrete, I let myself work on whatever needs to get done, and if nothing’s urgent, I work on whatever I want to work on.
Throughout the week, you don’t have to be super strict on yourself. If an article for my job needs to be done on a certain day, obviously, I’ll focus on that, but most of the time, I am pretty strict.
Meanwhile, keep your head down, work hard, and be patient as fuck.
Also, let me know in the comments below which of these tips you’ll be applying to get more shit done!