How to Make Sure You're Never Unproductive
April 15 2017, 2:03pm
One thing that comes as a shock to many is my Google Calendar.
I use it as my to do list, so that I can keep track of when and where to do what. Even when I'm not tackling items on this list, I'm typically doing something productive—even if it's intentionally being bored.
In this post, I explore the little ways I've found to boost productivity.
Reorganize Your Schedule
This tip is so simple. Even if we fill our day with back-to-back appointments, there are inevitable lapses or hiccups that may occur. Maybe someone is late to a meeting or the line to get a table at a restaurant is a little longer than expected. This is the perfect opportunity to reorganize things. In my case, I open up Calendar 5 on my phone and start going through things I still need to do.
Will I be able to finish it today? Maybe I need to break this task up into two smaller tasks to complete by the end of the day tomorrow?
I typically continue with this process until I have a nice manageable picture of what the next day will look like. Especially when done before bed, you can always rest well knowing that you won't wake up to an insurmountable wall of tasks to do.
Check the Small Task List
A small task list contains tasks that can easily be taken care of, but typically take longer than the 2-Minute Rule. Whenever you find yourself with downtime or a possible task to add, you can use this time to expand on this list. Oppositely, you can go back to this list to figure out something small to tackle.
Good examples of items to add to a small task list include things like buy bath tissue, learn 5 new Chinese characters, or delete an unused application.
This list will wax and wane in size but will always be there for you to fall back to in case of spare time.
I practiced this before I heard the term recently being used. Basically, instead of listening to the radio or your music during commutes, use the time to learn something new. Videocasts, audio books, and podcasts are great ways to learn in a short period of time. There are tens of thousands of podcasts on iTunes as of 2015 with that number increasing every day.There's bound to be something of interest that you can listen to and learn from.
Just because we're in transit doesn't mean that productivity has to stop.
Spend Some Time Daydreaming
Before learning about the benefits of daydreaming, I was a staunch believer that boredom was the enemy of productivity. Nowadays, I see it as a great way to generate new and exciting ideas.
When we make ourselves more accessible to the present, and what is going on around us, especially in new environments , we can begin to think about things in novel and unexpected ways. It's for this reason that I intentionally try to find timers to not only explore new places but let my mind wander. Sometimes its hard to literally be bored, but it's the unique gems that come out in the end that can make it all worth it.
What are ways that you make sure you're productive?