The Simplest Productivity System
This is a compensated review for BlogHer and Intel.
For the past few months, I’ve been catching myself constantly mumbling “I’m busy”. And it’s true. I’m a mom, I operate this lovely personal happiness blog called Think Simple Now, and I run a weddin photography business. All of that mixed in one bowl can be a messy combination if not stirred correctly.
In this article, I will detail some simple productivity tips I use in my busy life that seem to work well for me. It’s so simple, you’ll likely think, “That’s it?” to which I’ll respond with, “You came to Think Simple Now, not Think Complicated Now.”
I use a very simple system. What can I say, I’m a simpleton – if there are too many steps, I simply won’t follow through.
This isn’t just for online tasks, but for all offline tasks, like organizing your home, or finishing a beloved project.
- Capture to-do’s. Get it out of your head and in a system: paper or text file.
- Pick 3 MITs (Most Important Things) each morning and focus on doing them first. Get them done before anything else.
- Do one thing at a time – put all focus on the doing of the thing while you’re doing it.
- Don’t check email first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
Just the “do one thing at a time” tip is enough to boost your productivity. Most of us get distracted by the little stuff that calls our attention, and we end up doing several things at the same time. A few hours will pass, and we wondered what we’ve accomplished, “Um, I’ve surfed Facebook for an hour. But my real work didn’t get done.” (happens all the time).
The other hindrance to being productive is that we get distracted by the many small tasks that seem urgent but isn’t important. We end up being busy doing things that are not so important, and at the end of the day, the important stuff we actually needed to get done isn’t.
I love the MIT (Most Important Things) concept. At my house, you’ll find random sheets of paper stuffed in various corners with the scribble MIT on top; along with 3 or more lines of tasks crossed out. I keep them, well, (besides being a hoarder) I keep them because I’m proud of them. They make me feel productive. Like that sense of satisfaction you felt when you cross an item off your to-do list.
Be careful not to put more than 3 things on your MIT list, if you have to, put anything more than the 3rd item in an area called “Bonus”, so if you don’t get to them, you won’t be kicking yourself over it. And if you do get to them, you’ll feel like a rock-star.
One thing I want to add that’ll boost your productivity is to spend some time everyday to close your eyes in silences, focusing on your breath, allowing thoughts to pass, and keep refocusing back on your breath when your mind wanders.
Some call it meditation – it’s just a label, nothing fancy, no tools or skills needed. You can call it clearing your mind, just sitting or simply breathing. Even if you can do it for two minutes a day, it’ll be helpful. Start with 2 minutes, then 5 minutes, then 10 minutes.
My most productive period of life, was when I used to sit for 30 minutes twice a day. I had laser like sharpness and focus, things got done without distraction, I was happier, I had utter mental clarity and heightened intuition (hmmm, that sounds nice. Perhaps that’ll be my new goal for the next few months to adopt into my new life – maybe we can do it together?).
Got any simple productivity tips that have worked well for you? Share with us in the comment section!
On a side note, BlogHer just sent me a new computer powered by the Intel® Core™ i5 processor, with Turbo Boost Technology, supposedly allowing you to “Get more done in less time” – We shall see. I’ll report back next week.
Hang on, before you go, take a second to enter in my gift card giveaway …
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