Today I want to share some hacks on how I keep myself productive and efficient. These are some things, that really made my work life easier and made it possible to follow my personal projects.
Every week I reflect on what went well and what I would have liked to be different. Also I usually would try to find the root cause, if I am not happy with something.
When I am planning my week I set calender entires for the things I will definitely want to do next week. Yes that means calender entries with only myself. I also do this every time I am committing to something, no matter if it is private or for work. This really helps in focussing in the moment and getting out of the habit of always having to have everything in you head all at ones, because you are afraid to forget something.
Another thing I learned in the process: Plan the day according to what is also happening on that day. If it already a stressfull day, you might want to do a more challenging tasks on another day. And if you are more productive in the morning, you want to plan in more difficult times then.
Within the time slots I usually work with pomodoro technique or I set a certain time in which I want to do what. At least if it is a certain time of concentrated work, that I have to do.
I used to thing systems are something that are limiting us to a certain extend. Now I feel different about them. In some cases I even think, that they are the source of freedom. That is especially true for stuff we are struggeling with. So my advide (for myself and for you) is to develop systems for everything that you are struggelling with or are not naturally good at. Systems set us free, because they guide us through the process and we can trust in that. For example: If I set an appointment to do sth, then I do not have to think about not doing it on time and I can put all thoughts I have concerning the topic directly into the meeting. Therefor I know I have written it down and can use the free space of my brain to focus on the task at hand and or enjoy the moment.
Also break down the work that you have to do. So you do not face a giant mountain of work, that seems impossible. That counts especially for big projects or tasks. Doing the next thing is better than not starting at all. But be careful! This should definitely be an action and it should be small.
Use your software to your advantage
- Take time to change your settings. This did the magic for me in Zoom, my Calender, my Mail… And by that I mean create filters for your inboxes, set calender reminders to your preferences and learn the shortcuts that. are important to your work. There is so much opportunity in software, use it! It saves so much time!
- Quit slack while focussing (only after 30 min you can get into real flow state ) and put on binureal waves or brain.fm to focus better.
- Create one central point, where you write down important updates to people, important decisions, questions you have to get the answer to etc. This will make it so much easier to find the right information at the right time.
- Working with yourself:
- Selfcare: I do a little bit of movement everyday. I am sure you know that sport is super important for your health and that you should eat properly to get all the nutritions you need. But here I am not talking about the big things you should change, but the small things that you might easily change, like taking more steps, eating an apple instead of a snickers… You know your little sins, transform them into your little helpers 😉
- Find out how you change behaviors best. This really depends on character and on the topics. For some it might be the solution to do a 180° turnaround. For others it might be best to slowly build up a routine, that will help you play the long game.
- Write things down immediately – And by that I mean everything of importance (ideas, insights, solutions, when you notice something stressing you out, interesting thoughts…)
- If you do not spend 30 min on one task at once (without distraction) you will not go into flow/focus, so try to do at least one pomodoro session. If that did not work, you can still stop.
- Set yourself appointments of when you want to be ready with what and tell people about it. This builds social pressure and makes it more likely for you to push through and make it in time. Or find someone you can compete with.
- Set little rewards and punishments that you can use if you did or did not do something.
These are some of my go to strategies. What are yours?
All the best,