Hello, and welcome to episode 31 of the Creative Me podcast. Today we’re talking productivity - one of my favourite subjects.
How to Be a Productivity Ninja
I'm listening to an audiobook at the moment called “How to Be a Productivity Ninja” by Graham Allcott. I feel confident the “ninja” word is used sarcastically...
One of the key things I've taken from this book is that Graham Allcott says time management is dead. He talks a lot about attention management. This really struck a chord with me.
It got me thinking about how I am very focused at certain points in the day, and other points, I'm not. Allcott talks about scheduling things that are going to take a lot of focus at those key points.
It makes a lot of sense.
Tips For Being Productive
Listening to this book got me thinking about some of the things I do to ensure I'm as productive as possible. Here are my seven tips for you:
- The whiteboard trick: I have a whiteboard in my office. When I try to focus on one specific project, but other ideas pop into my head, I grab a pen, write the thing that popped into my head onto the whiteboard and then carry on with the task. That way I remove the distraction from my head to deal with it later.
- Identify your MIT's every day: MIT is not a new concept. It stands for most important task. I have three MITs a day maximum - these go on the whiteboard.
- Don’t work in complete silence: this is personal preference, but I find complete silence distracting (which I appreciate sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it's true). I make use of a website called Focus@Will which gives a variety of different music options to help me concentrate. A free option, and it's one I've mentioned before, is Coffitivity, which gives you the noise of a coffee shop. There are also lots of mobile apps which create white noise too.
- Work in short, focused bursts: this relates to what I said at the very start of the episode about identifying the points in the day where you've got the most focus. Schedule your your more complex tasks then. Also, use the Pomodoro Technique.
- Don't use your email inbox to manage your tasks: it's not a task manager it's an inbox for your emails!
- Change location: this one works for me if I'm stuck in a rut and feeling distracted. I just grab my laptop going to a café with free Wi-Fi. If you are struggling to focus, consider changing locations (even if it’s just a different place in your home or office).
- Tidy your workspace: psychologically this seems to makes such a difference. There is a practical element too - you don’t waste productive, focussed time searching for things you need.
Over to You
Now it's over to you. I'd love to hear from you. Join my private Facebook group, The Lightbulb Club, and let’s talk productivity.
Thanks for listening.