Each day we’re given a clean slate to begin anew — at any moment we can take a deep breath and start over. Instead of being consumed and overwhelmed with our daily tasks, we have the power to intentionally create our reality, and in turn, form our lives into a true masterpiece by working on perfecting each detail day by day. Below are some tips to maximize productivity levels and to help us remember to slow down especially when we are in a hurry.
Live in the Moment and Plan Ahead
Weekends are for recharging the mind, body and soul. Be sure to take some time to plan ahead for the coming week. Doing this will ensure that you are prepared to complete all the necessary tasks, specifically by knowing the amount of time you can devote to each project.
Little by Little One Travels Far
If you have a strenuous amount of work ahead, divide your workload over the course of a few days. Easy to say but hard to do? Make sure to jot down non-negotiable daily tasks which must be completed on the set dates.
Old School Methods Never Fail
Memory can become hazy when there’s too much to remember. Writing out a to-do list will help clarify tasks and increase memory retention of the assignments. In fact, a study by Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer of Princeton University and UCLA showed that the physical act of writing increases memory.
Color Code for Recall
If you take the time to write notes, be sure to review them! Color coding your notes or to do list can help draw attention to important points as well as further understand concepts. Colors stimulate the creative side of your brain thereby assisting in visual recall.
Prioritize Large Tasks
Dr. Stephen Covey’s book First Things First uses the analogy of the process of filling a container to explain the importance of time management. Covey explains that one must fill a container first with big rocks and then use gravel, sand and water to fill the cracks or else the big rocks will not fit. This concept applies to work tasks. Beginning with important tasks ensures enough time for completion, allowing you to fill excess time with smaller tasks.
Unplug to Produce
To be productive, limit distractions. To maximize productivity, you should remain highly focused for short periods of time with frequent rewarding breaks. The Pomodoro Technique encourages five minute breaks after every 25 minutes, and a 30 minute break after four pomodoro’s for heightened productivity.
Doodling may signal boredom to some people but the act of mindless coloring has actually been proven to increase monitoring tasks and recall. Adult coloring books have also become increasingly popular and are thought to reduce anxiety. If you find your mind wandering in a meeting or need a break, simply grab a pen and paper and let your creativity flow.
You Snooze, You Win!
Sleep deprivation can cause a decrease in daytime cognitive performance. If you find yourself feeling irritable, foggy, unable to retain information, and distracted, your body may be signaling that it needs to sleep. Reduced sleep can cause a reduction in productivity.
By Jenna Hochman