12 Thoughts + Tips On Productivity And Getting Shit Done
I find this topic of productivity and getting shit done so damn interesting.
Everyone has their own way of working, and I always love reading what other peeps have to say about it, so I thought I’d round up a few things I’ve learned about ‘doing the work’ over the last few years.
1 :: When it comes to to-do lists… Do what works for you.
Some people love writing stuff down and physically crossing shit off a list.
Some people love apps.
Some people hate lists all together.
Me? Writing stuff down is annoying. Apps were annoying too.
For at least the last year I’ve just been using Stickies app on my Mac for everything. I literally type out each day of the week, and 3 main tasks I have to do each day. When the task is done, I delete it. Simple.
2 :: Write down the time it will take to complete each task. [Click to tweet]
I picked this tip up from a money coach I used to work with a few years ago. It’s pretty simple, but it's so insanely helpful for breaking down your day + de-stressing. Literally all you do is write down the approximate time each task will take you.
3 :: When it comes to writing — keep it simple.
I’ve been consistently sending at least 1 email per week for the last few months, and it’s been awesome. I don’t think I’ve ever written so much before. I use Text Edit (on my Mac) to write all of my posts + post ideas. It’s simple and easy. No distractions.
4 :: All hail Google Cal.
It’s simple. You can colour code shit. It links up with all of my devices. You can invite people. And heaaaaps more. I love it.
5 :: Try setting specific days for specific tasks.
After I made the decision to move my business towards being product based, I had a really hard time managing my client work (with on-going clients), and working on building my business and new products + ideas.
I read somewhere that splitting the tasks into groups/days was quite helpful for some people, so I decided to give it a shot. It’s been fucking awesome.
For example, this is what my week looks like at the moment...
Monday :: fresh by sian // Content Planning. This is where I check over any mailing list emails + social media posts for the week, write articles, etc.
Tuesday :: Client work
Wednesday :: fresh by sian // Product Planning. I’ll work on any products + new ideas.
Thursday :: Client work
Friday :: Whatever needs to be done. // I try to keep Friday pretty open, but I usually end up working on anything related to my own biz — whether it be content planning, or building new products.
So as you can see, you basically split your days up between tasks.
The hardest part? Not crossing over days or tasks. For example — don't do client work on your admin or personal biz days, no matter what. When you start crossing the tasks over, that's when shit starts to go south.
6 :: Take creative getaways when you need to.
A couple of weeks ago, it was just another Friday and I was chilling out + jamming some tunes in the sun. I’d been thinking about creating a small playbook-type product that people could buy if they’re not into one of my bigger courses or products, and something that helped people figure their own mission out.
I was really feeling the vibe, so I decided to head to the beach for the weekend and jam out the whole thing in 48 hours. I ended up creating about 80% of the playbook in those two days and it was bloody awesome.
Not all projects will flow like this — but when you're feeling the vibe, run with it.
I wrote some more about how to have your own get-shit-done getaway over here too.
7 :: Know what gets you in the zone.
Sometimes when I really don’t want to do the work but I have no choice — I know what it takes to get me in the zone.
For me, it's literally just sitting down, throwing on the headphones + some sweet house tunes, setting up AntiSocial so I don't get distracted, and committing to doing the work. The hardest part is just getting started, but after 10mins I'm usually 100% in the zone.
What does it take for you? Coffee? Music? Being in a certain cafe?
8 :: Use Anti-Social.
Anti-Social is probably my fave tool for helping me just do the damn work.
It's an app you install on your computer that will block any websites you input, for a selected amount of time.
The best thing about it? You have to restart your computer if you want to turn off the app before the time is up.
So unlike a Google Chrome extension, it takes a lot more work to disable it, meaning you're more likely to just get on with whatever you're doing.
9 :: Ask yourself if you really need notifications + social media apps on your phone.
I don’t have Twitter or Facebook installed on my phone, and it’s awesome. I also don’t have Instagram notifications turned on. If I want to know what's happening in the world of social media, I’ll go look. This way it limits the time I spend on social media to mostly only when I'm on my computer.
So... Do you really need your project management apps or social media on your phone? Do you really need to be reachable 24/7?
10 :: It’s never about 'not having the time'. It’s about priorities. [Click to tweet]
I saw this a few weeks ago and I can’t remember who said it, but it’s so damn true.
If there’s something you really want to do in your life, no matter how big or small, but you keep telling yourself you don’t have the time… Well, is it really about the time, or just about priorities?
How bad do you want that thing? What can you move around to bring it into your life?
11 :: Take notice of what you procrastinate on.
Sometimes procrastination can be an indicator you’re not doing the work you’re meant to be doing. Why do you avoid this certain kind of work? Do you really hate it, or is it not so bad once you sit down and just do it?
12 :: Inbox zero can fuck off.
I used to feel defeated if I couldn’t get my Inboxes to zero by the end of every day. Then I realised that was a stupid idea.
Generally, stuff doesn’t ‘get done’ while I’m in my Inbox. It’s more just about responding to other peoples needs. Sure, those emails can be really important, but you have to ask yourself what your priorities are.
Does the ‘real work’ lie in your Inbox, or outside of your Inbox?
As Alex Franzen likes to say ::
“I’m not ‘behind’ on my emails.
I’m ‘ahead’ on my life.”
What have you learned about doing the work? You got any awesome tips or tricks you want to share?
Hit me in the comments below!