This is the time when we just stepped into a brand-new year & I’m pretty sure that you all took certain resolutions to achieve your goals. You’ve probably made your wish list also, for this year to be fulfilled. Right??
If It is, Then I really wish all the very best to each & every one of you. May you acquire that positive strength within yourself to work towards your goals, achieve whatever you want, and may all your dreams come true this year.
I genuinely like this beginning phase of the year, when everyone moves on with the challenges that we faced last year and sets new goals & resolutions for the upcoming year. We list them with all our best intentions & feel pretty excited to work towards them. Make our wish list, Plan the entire year as well as months. We also make strategies & TO-DO lists on a Weekly & Daily Basis.
I think it happens with every one of us. We all plan our life, our day very well. We also started to work upon it with full of energy & enthusiasm. But then what happens? Slowly Life takes over emails, responsibilities & distractions.
Months pass by like this, without us taking a single step towards our goals. It becomes hard to follow or maintain our own built plans for our own life. We do feel guilty also at times but then, as usual, moves on with the feeling of a loser.
This is the story of every human being on this planet. The only difference is that some people flow with it & compromise, but some (whom the world called ‘successful’) beat this ritual and make a way out of it.
After some study & personal experiences, I observed few major factors due to which we tend to procrastinate or delay our work. I hope you can relate to some of it.
1. Most of the time the distractions are not because of others but due to our own self.
2. It all starts with one single day. We delay the work one day & take it lightly. Hence the workload increases on the other day. The days pass by like this until it becomes a huge bunch of load & then due to tremendous pressure, we put our swords down in the end.
3. The third & most important point is that most people think that it is because we took more tasks to complete in a day but the fact is that It’s not how many tasks or how big tasks we plan for one day but it’s about how we manage to work on those tasks every day.
As I mentioned above, it all starts with One Day. If a single-day delay can break your link to work then daily progress each day adds up to the big results also. It is the basic requirement that we plan a day to eventually lead us towards our ultimate goal.
Hence, I figured some of the best techniques here on how to plan your day productively and most importantly how to stick to the routine throughout the day. This will really help you to make you waste less & utilize the most out of your time.
Plan Your Day Ahead
Every evening, when you’re wrapping up your work or every night, before going to bed, always plan your next-day tasks. It will help you in two ways-
First, Align tasks for the next day will reduce your time consumption to think about them on an actual day so that you can start your work as early as possible.
Secondly, it will already provide you an idea of how your tomorrow will look like. Hence, you’ll wake up with some goals the next morning. It will eventually make you excited and enthusiastic for the next day.
Treat Morning as Managers
Mornings are the best time to think through a fresh mindset. Do not start your day by checking emails or phone. Instead, Stretch your body a bit, Grab a healthy breakfast, Meditate & Mentally plan your day. You can visualize your day very well in the mornings.
After that Schedule your whole day in the morning itself. Make To-do List considering your Calls, Meetings, Events, or even your personal commitments.
Minimizing Distractions is the most obvious & the common point to do more tasks in a day, but it is also one of the biggest reasons for our procrastination.
Now let’s just imagine that it’s a good productive morning, you made your to-do list, planned your day, then grabbed a coffee, and started working full of energy & enthusiasm.
After 5 mins of working, suddenly, a message or a call popped up on your phone, it might be from your family, friends, or colleagues. And you have no other option to respond to that call or message.
You may think that 2 mins of call or chat will impact my work ahead, but it actually can break your link & reduce the energy with which you started your day.
Hence the most common & easy technique that you can follow is just keep your phone on silent or in DND mode (If you’re doing something really important) for some time. So at least you can start working and break that inertia, to complete a major task without any distraction
Eat a ‘Live Frog’ right in the Morning
No, No Don’t be confused, you don’t need to eat a real frog in the morning. But It is a fine quote by Mark Twain. His words are-
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” ― Mark Twain
Here, ‘Eating a Live Frog’ refers to complete that task first, which seems really difficult & challenging to you and It sucks for you to pick that task up & complete it.
The logic behind it is that we feel more fresh & productive during the start of the day and we have the energy to work more efficiently. Trust me, when you finish that work It will make you relax the whole day and you’ll be able to breeze through the rest of your tasks.
Prioritize your tasks
There are many tasks to complete in a day. Moreover, the non-stop emails, the boss’s urgent work, and many more duties will keep coming throughout the day. In this situation, it becomes really difficult to manage & know which task we should complete first, or which piece of work needs our immediate attention.
There is definitely some kind of work which is not so important & we can do it later or even never or There can be some tasks which we can be automated, delegate or it can be done by taking someone’s help.
But to know all these & beat the confusion, we should know our priorities first. If you set your priorities in To-do Lists, you can easily keep the focus on the correct work. It will improve your productivity and time management
There are many great methods on how to prioritize the tasks. But the simplest method you can follow is the ‘NNN’ method.
The ‘NNN’ Method –
In this method, you need to make your simple TO-DO List & write all the things that you are going to do in a day and after that categorize these tasks in 3 columns- which is NOW, NEXT & NOT JUST YET.
In the NOW column, write those tasks which seem mandatory to you & make you really worried if not done. Like – responses to immediate emails & work.
IN NEXT column, write the important tasks, but it’s ok if you can do it later. You‘ll take these tasks only after the ‘NOW’ category will complete. Like – Paying phone Bill.
INNOT JUST YETcolumn, you can put those tasks which are absolutely not important to complete today, but it would be great if you could do it. Like – Planning your next vacation
Do Not Multitask
Yes, you saw it correct, DO NOT MULTITASK. Research says that doing multiple tasks at a time will reduce the quality of every task that you do together. Every time you switch your tasks, it will take extra 5-10 mins to get back on track and it costs up to 40% of your productive time.
Through Multitasking, you might complete many tasks but then their chances of being inaccurate or not your bests are high.
Instead, Pick one task and complete it with full attention. You’ll end up doing it more smoothly and efficiently.
Write on Pen & Paper
This might be sound old-school for some of you & you might not agree with this and it’s ok and totally based on your personal choices & preferences.
But I personally feel that writing your tasks on paper will add extra value & importance to your work. The relaxation of erasing the stuff you finished is not deleting or removing them from sticky notes.
Also, Research proved that you remember things more when you write down using paper than on laptops and phones.
One more Benefit in the art of writing with pen & paper is the lack of online distraction when you are not using your digital devices.
Take More Breaks
Let’s assume if someone told you to Work or Study continuously for 3-4 hrs. without any break. Do you really feel like working there?
Instead, if you work for 30 mins continuously without any interruption and then take 10 mins of break is a healthier way of working. Right ??
Some studies have found that taking frequent work breaks helps the brain understand more smoothly and hence increase productivity.
Keep Your Workspace Organized
We spend a lot of time in our workplace. Thus, having a clean office is as important as keeping your home clean. A clean, airy workplace creates positive vibes around you which keeps your mind clear. You can concentrate more on work which definitely increases your productivity.
Be Ready for Unexpected
Even If you are following all the above tips and making a continuous effort towards your productivity, there are definitely some situations that will come & go which may not be in your control.
Just be ready for them. Do not Lose your mental peace at that time. because that’s what we called ‘Life’.
No days are the same. The only thing that you can keep constant is to have a backup plan and keep working.