You know how, at the beginning of the year, you make a bunch of plans and resolutions? You start out strong, everything is going great and then suddenly it’s February and you’re already behind. Well! Let’s go over a few tips to get you back on track!
Determine what you need to accomplish. This may mean making a list and numbering it according to importance or writing items on sticky notes and rearranging them.
Figure out a system of prioritizing items. Do you want to categorize items using a Priority Matrix? Or maybe you want to group them by due dates. Whichever system you choose, don’t be afraid to change it up if it doesn’t work for you.
Set a Time Frame for Your Goals
Putting yourself on a schedule can help ensure you don’t fall behind on projects or end up doing everything all at one time (known as the dreaded ‘crunch’).
Consider creating personal Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). I design my OKRs quarterly and add projects according to when they’re due or when I think it’s realistic to complete them. You can learn more about OKRs here.
Ask for Help When Needed
Sometimes, there is more work than you know what to do with. In these cases, consider asking for assistance. In a work setting, make sure you are in communication with your supervisor so that they can offer solutions.
In a personal setting, I found this is a great way to utilize a network – real life friends or LinkedIn will do! It has been invaluable having someone to bounce ideas off of, get suggestions on things I have no prior experience with and hold me accountable to meeting my goals.
Improve Your Skill Set
Learning new skills may lead you to find new ways to complete tasks. I can’t tell you how many new formulas I’ve learned in the last year, especially switching from Excel to Google Sheets.
This can encompass signing up for free classes (try Alison, UniversalClass or any of the myriad MOOCs), Youtube videos or local workshops in your area.
Make Technology Your Friend
Try different programs, either on your computer, tablet or mobile device, designed to make your life portable. Test out a simplex application that creates to-do lists or a more complex app that makes a copy of all your notes available to you online.
Sometimes, there’s just too much to do. Your mind starts to wander and mistakes start cropping up. It’s okay to take a short break. Don’t let deadlines overwhelm you, even self-imposed ones. Think about something funny someone said or ponder a quote you’ve recently heard. These small moments can help you regain your momentum.
Have any other go-to’s for increasing productivity? Leave a comment!