As bloggers, writers, and entrepreneurs, we are continuously on a never ending journey to ensure that we get the most out of our days. Whether working from an office, the comfort of our home, or just a couch, there never seems to be enough hours to manage everything on our proverbial plates. It’s a common thread among us all, a never-ending battle to complete our chores of the day, no matter what those may entail.
For everyone who has ever written those “To-Do” lists day after day, here are five ideas on how to increase your productivity, including some methods you might not have heard of yet.
Steve Jobs famously said, “Do not try to do everything, do one thing well”, and that should perhaps translate to our daily responsibilities just as much as our larger goals.
1. Schedule your posts and tweets for the week.
Automation may seem more mechanical than personal, but it can also shave time off your day, leaving more time for other work, or perhaps even a chance to step away from the desk all together, and into the arms of a loved one. There are many platforms out there that can set up scheduled promotions, and it can be overwhelming but Post Planner is a great tool for utilizing your Facebook marketing, and scheduling posts in advance. It’s free to use, and even boasts an ideas and content engine that scours the web for great usable content and posts.
2. Stop Surfing the Web.
How many times have your found yourself sitting at your computer, coffee in hand, fresh morning outlook, and ready to start the day? Only to, mere hours later realize that you’ve checked Facebook, trolled Twitter, read some blogs, refilled your coffee, and maybe sneaked a peek at some shopping. What you haven’t done is any of the actual work you were supposed to get done. It’s incredibly easy to get sidetracked online, we are all guilty of it, and if you say you aren’t, then you are an anomaly and should be written about in books. In this day and age, and with millions of resources of all kinds, right at our fingertips, it can be challenging to stay on track. Which is why you should get StayFocusd. An extension of Google Chrome, this tool allows you to personally block websites that might steal away your attention, and keeps them blocked for an allotted period of time. Just imagine how much you could actually get done if Facebook or Instagram suddenly stopped working for a few hours?
3. Listen to Music, the right kind of Music.
Many studies have been conducted and proven to show that listening to classical, and instrumental music can improve our brain flow, most notably, the Mozart Effect. Although its hard to fully prove any of these 100% effective or precise, it does stand to reason that those melodic sounds can help us to boost our reasoning, processes, and productivity. Although jamming out to your favorite radio station, or Spotify all day long can work positively for some, others are faced with the challenge of noise intruding on the ability to focus on the task at hand. However, a softer, melodic instrumental sound in the background could possibly serve as the perfect backdrop to a heightened awareness and result in a more productive outcome. Research which instrumentals might work for you, or check out Wikipedia which has hundreds of downloadable files for free.
4. Write Down Everything.
We have become a visual society, relying on machines instead of libraries, and apps instead of books. But no matter what your method, the most effective way to get anything done, whether its 100 items, or only one, is to keep track of it yourself. Whether you are someone who still uses a good old notebook, or the numerous available apps, like Evernote, or one note, the best way to get things done is to see them in front of us, and plan ahead. Many rely on the editorial calendar to plan the week and schedule stories, while simply writing notes done in a book or phone can also prove a terrific way to keep track of all your thoughts, scheduled and off the cuff. Other ideas for planning out your posts ahead of time can be found in an earlier ifabbo article here.
5. Give yourself a Break.. Literally.
A recent New York Post article stated that in a study conducted, only 50% of workers took a lunch break of 30 minutes or less, while 29% worked straight through lunch. We’ve all been guilty of working while we eat, especially in this day and age where to many, even ten minutes offline can warrant a breakdown. But this multitasking, while sometimes effective, can also be harmful and in many cases, backfire entirely. Just like 8 hours of sleep is needed for increased health and day to day awareness, so is a restful and well spaced work day. Stepping away for a bite to eat, a quick run, or even just a walk around the block can not only wind up increasing productivity for the rest of the day, but also allows us that short break our minds and bodies need, that we so often neglect. So when you’re done reading this, get off your butt and do something before you settle back into work mode. You won’t regret it.