Learning To Be Productive

Image by Ryantron

When you meet someone productive, you know all about it. They’re on the ball and manage to complete everything that needs to be done.
So what is their secret? What is it that the majority of us are missing in order to manage like they do?
Well I’ve done some research and here are my top ways to becoming productive.
There is a notion that if you get everything done, then you’re being productive, but in fact this isn’t the case. Answering every email and rising to every chore, be it at work or at home, isn’t making good use of your time.
A good rule to use is Pareto’s law of 80/20. Lifestyle coaches like Seth Godin recommend that 80% of your time is spent on only 20% of the tasks you need to do. Be ruthless with what counts and what doesn’t, and don’t let yourself get distracted by menial tasks that randomly appear throughout the day.
Eat Your Frogs
I recently attended a class run by the Productivity Ninjas, and one of their key phrases is ‘eat your frogs’. This refers to doing the important stuff that you’d generally avoid; the kind of tasks that hang over you until they’re completed. Another day passes and you think ‘damn I still need to do that’!
Start of your day by eating a frog and the rest of your day we seem far less daunting!
Keep a Diary
Funnily enough, you aren’t meant to remember everything. Choose a task reminder to be your new task keeper; Outlook Tasks and Remember the Milk are both fantastic tools. Every small item, date or idea you have, note it down and ensure that it goes into your task reminder at the end of each day.
Another neat tip is to categorise your tasks by location and size. For example if you have a thirty minute commute on the train, wouldn’t it be marvellous to see what you could realistically achieve in that time? Writing a short blog, emailing your far-away friend or calling your Gran; being resourceful with time is key.
Find a Window and a Door
Often when we have lots to do, we can feel overwhelmed. So take a step back; remember that you’re only human and thus have a finite amount of energy and time. Take ten minutes out to organise your commitments and tasks, and you will feel like you’ve regained control.
With each task you set, ensure you set an access point. If you have a seemingly impenetrable large essay looming, begin with brainstorming ten ideas. You may have a full email inbox, but spend just an hour sifting through. Little and often is a good method to follow.
If you manage to follow through with all of these steps, then treat yourself to something special; luxury wine, a trip away or designer underwear.
So those are my tips for getting on the productive-wagon, but what are your key methods for being productive?
Susannah Perez is a passionate fashion and beauty writer in her mid twenties, living a fast paced London life and blogging all the way. She is a self confessed designer lingerie addict with a passion for all things feminine.