My productivity essentials – 3 main things.
1) Write things down
If you’re anything like me, you’ll find that if you fail to write something down, you’ll easily forget it.
This sounds very simple but it helps me a lot with getting things done. You don’t really need any fancy tools for this, either – although there are many apps to help you jot stuff down digitally, if you wish, a pen and paper or the default note taking app on your iPhone will do just fine.
The main goal is to make sure you don’t forget important to-do items or ideas by writing them down. Imagine having a brilliant idea for a blog post, but you neglect to write it down. A short while later, a friend calls and asks you to join him at the local pub. So, you go out for a pint, have a brilliant evening… and the blog post idea is lost.
2) To-do list
As I write things down, some of them will make their way to my to-do list. Personally, I think a great to-do list is a basic perquisite for every productive day. I could probably recommend a dozen productivity apps in this post, but as I have already mentioned above, you need nothing more than the good, old fashioned combination of pen and paper or a smartphone’s built-it notes app.
3) Set goals and plan ahead
Personally I do not plan too far ahead, but I always try to set goals and plan for the immediate days and weeks to come. This could be for something as simple as completing a website audit or writing a specific number of blog posts.
Over time, I have found that the simple productivity technique of writing something down (for example, ‘conduct website audit for Client X’) and adding it to my monthly goals (with a set date) then scheduling the work by adding it to my to-do list really helps me with getting things done.
Having my goals written down with dates when they need to be completed prevents me from being lazy. Most importantly, it makes me feel more accountable for the tasks I undertake and enables me to complete more stuff at once.
There’s of course much more to productivity than what we have in this short list; I have barely scratched the surface above, but I find these three simple strategies to be very helpful.
One more important thing to note is that when it comes to productivity everyone is different and what works for one person may not necessarily work for others. This is why it’s good practice to be flexible and try different productivity techniques and apps wherever possible.
Find, try and stick with those that suit you best.