Recently, I started a productivity experiment. I was at a point in my life where I wasn’t as focused as I wanted to be, and was less effective. This experiment was my way to refocus, recreate the right habits to guide me, and ensure my work is effective.
Each day of this experiment should only take ten minutes. At the end of ten days, you will be fully organized, focussed, and ready to get some work done!
Here is a recap with video and audio embedded, so you can read, listen, or watch!
List everything important to you that you want to spend time doing. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Time with my family
- Networking meeting that has the potential to grow my company
- Meditation / Prayer
Use the 5/5/5 method for setting goals. In this method, you will:
- Create five goals for this year
- Create five goals for this month
- Create five goals for this week
These goals will become your guide to effective work.
List out the:
- Things that give you energy. Consider taking a walk, talking with a friend, going to a movie, or playing a game.
- Things that drain your energy. Consider a networking meeting if you are an introvert, writing a blog post, leading a meeting, etc.
Your morning routine sets the tone for the day. Routines are the cornerstones of productivity because they help us to do the important things we might otherwise skip. Map out the routines that will help you get things done.
Your evening routine will directly impact your morning routine. It will also help you proactively determine how much sleep you will get. Map out an evening routine that will work for you.
Take out a calendar and map out your perfect week. When will you go to bed and get up? What routines will you follow? When will you get work done, meetings done, etc.? How much time will you spend with your family? Map it all out.
Just like you planned your perfect week, plan out what your perfect month and year look like. If you don’t plan, you can’t meet your goals.
How will you think about getting things done? Three of my core mindsets are:
- Never use the word busy
- Do less stuff.
- Think first.
What mindsets will work for you?
Habits are the automated processes that help you to get things done without having to think about it. When is the last time you thought about buckling your seat belt?
Here are a few of my favorite habits:
- Rise early. I can get a lot of things done before other people are wanting my attention.
- Do 2-minute tasks right now. Don’t wait, if you can do it in less than 2-minutes, do it.
- Every day, write down the three things I will do that day no matter what, then do them.
- Get to inbox zero once a day.
- Use the Pomorodo Method to help me focus on large tasks.
What tools and approaches will you take to remain productive? A few of my favorite tactics include:
- Calendar. Use a calendar to block out meetings and times that you are going to do specific work. Blocking out time for focused work is critical for productivity. For this, I use Google Calendar.
- Task Management. Everyone has a list of things they need to get done. And, no one should keep that list in their head. Picking the right task management system is critical for getting things done. For this, I use Todoist.
- Systems / Processes. Create a system or process around anything you do regularly. Meetings, work, learning, etc. fall into this category.
- Tracking. How will you know if you are making progress if you aren’t tracking it? I love to use Habit List for tracking my habits, and the 5/5/5 method for tracking my goals.
Being productive is really about intentionality. This productivity experiment is a tool to help you be intentional. Your goals, habits, tactics, and mindsets may be wildly different from mine, and that’s ok. The important thing is to be thoughtful about these things so that we can be more effective in all we do.