Let me know if this is you. You kick-off the year, a project, or a task with a motivated mindset and a burning desire to conquer and finish them but a few months later, the excitements begin to fade. Before you even accomplish half of your task or goals, you lose track and give up. When discouragement and hardship sink in, you start to think you aren’t capable of finishing it. The next year and tasks will be the same and will just keep repeating over and over.
Did you think this is you? I have good news! There’s a way to fix this. Here are proven productivity secrets to reach your goals, accomplish your tasks, and get things done.
Your brain may be excellent at thinking, but I doubt it’s great to remember things too. When you get bombarded with information, capture them. Grab a sheet of paper and capture your thoughts, ideas, inspirations, learnings, goals, tasks, and big projects. Put them down on a sheet of paper or digital tools. Whichever works for you.
You can get a sense of control back when you process this information because when you try to remember everything, it leads you to the inability to concentrate. Capture everything into an external factor in paper or digital.
I use both. I love jotting down everything in paper, but when a thought or idea suddenly pops up and I don’t want to lose it, I use quick note apps.
Set up the right workplace and tools
Setting up the right workplace is crucial if you want to be productive. If your workplace is messy, it slows you down and inhibits a productive day. It causes distractions and you can waste a tremendous amount of time trying to find things or whatever tools you need.
A great way to start is to set up all the relevant materials available. Set up some essential and physical tools such as a writing surface, post-its, notebooks, and file folders. Stock everything you need in your workspace to function at maximum capacity. Organize and purge your files to avoid a bloated mess. And when your workplace is ready, dive into digital tools.
Let’s be honest here. You can’t do it all on your own. That’s why apps like Trello, Todoist, and Evernote are invented. To help boost your productivity, to help you create effective habits, track your goals, and keep your projects moving forward, you need these tools. There are tons of productivity tools out there that you can use, but these are my top three:
Notion is my biggest secret to stay organized and productive. It is an all-in-one workspace to take notes, add tasks and to-do-lists, manage projects and so on. What I love about notion is I can keep all my blog posts drafts, I can apply a header image and emoji, which personalizes the document. I can keep literally everything like articles that I want to reread, my content calendar, future goals and tasks.
I use Evernote to take easy and quick notes. For example, I was hoping I could quickly quote a good quote from a podcast or a movie. When I have ideas, and I want to capture them soon before I lose them. I also use it to take down new Japanese words I learn every day.
I love making checklists such as grocery lists, to buys, recipes to try, and movies to watch and Google keep is perfect for that. It could be the perfect productivity and organizational tool for you. Here’s why. It is connected to google drive, so you can easily share items between platforms. You can add as a widget to your phone’s home screen; hence, its easy access to your notes. You can set reminders for a specific date or time and even when you reach a particular location. Isn’t that amazing?
Narrow your list to three essential tasks
If you are buried under a mountain of tasks and piles of work, you will have a high tendency to dive in straight to multitasking. You feel overwhelmed and respond abruptly or lose a sense of control of all your work. If your list is overwhelming, it prevents you from focusing. You will tend to bounce from task-to-task and won’t really complete much work.
Can you relate to this? Let’s address it. List fewer things and set three significant tasks for the day, that’s enough. It will give you direction, focus, and won’t need to be juggling a million different things and running on the hamster wheel of your never-ending to-do list. Here’s what my list used to look like:
- write one blog post
- make posters for English corner
- schedule posts on social media
- go grocery shopping
- learn about affiliate marketing
- give a new look to my website
- one hour Japanese class
Here’s what it looks like when I started to set the essentials for the day.
- give a new look to my website
- one hour Japanese class
- go grocery shopping
- the rest…is bonus
Try this approach to boost your productivity and reach your ideal workload. Prevent you from disappointing yourself and overwhelmed.
Related post: Essentialism – A new approach to productivity
Time Block and Schedule results and outcomes
When I first heard of scheduling results and outcomes (not-to-dos), I started changing the way I plan my day. Natalie says that instead of scheduling what you need to work on during a period of time, schedule the result and outcome you need to get during that time. I don’t schedule work on the lesson plan at noon or work on emails at 3 pm. Instead, I schedule to make one lesson plat at 12 pm and zero my email inbox at 3 pm. In this way, you are forcing yourself actually to do and accomplish your tasks.
Now, what is time blocking? It is the big secret in productivity you may have been missing out on. You use time blocking when you focus on one task in a moment. By doing this, you have this singular focus that allows you to get the job done finally. When you have a big undertaking that requires a lot of focus and energy, find widely free time on your calendar and schedule it. For example, I write a new blog post every week and I know that writing is not easy. It requires a big chunk of time and focuses because writing a blog post is not just writing. It includes intensive research, editing, creating and designing pins, editing quality photos, and promoting it on social media. I schedule it on Wednesdays because I have all afternoon free. I write on the weekends too if I don’t have any appointments.
To do time-blocking effectively, here are three tips I learned from Allysa, my productivity coach
- Get rid of the big tasks first
- Tackle those annoying, tiny tasks that keep bugging you
- Ditch perfectionism
Cut out distractions
Distractions are giant killers of productivity. A text from someone can lead to hours of wasted time. A supposedly five-minute social media can lead to 1 or 2 hours. There are a lot of distractions out there that kill our productivity.
The first step to everything is awareness. Figure out what distracts you, be aware of the things that block you from getting things done, and pay attention to them. Commit yourself to cut them out. Set boundaries to keep your actionable tasks moving forward.
Reset your life
I discovered weekly resets from MuchelleB’ channel and I fell involve with it and have been doing it for quite a while. The purpose of a weekly reset is to give you a clean slate to start a new week. The idea is to tie up any loose ends from the previous week. Clearing out your collection will refresh and give you a brand new feeling and be ready and motivated to kick start the following week. It doesn’t have to be weekly; it can be daily, monthly or quarterly. Whatever works for you to reset your life.
Is this approach new to you? You might not know how and where to start. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Here are some ideas for you to reset your life.
- Journal for self-discovery.
- Reread books that had a real impact in your life
- Deep cleaning
- Exfoliate, clean yourself
- Indulge in self-care in feeling super fresh
- Zero your inbox
- Social media detox
- Cull your photos and delete photos you don’t really like
- Unfollow any accounts that make you feel less about yourself
- Make lists of movies you want to watch, places you want to go, people, you want to know more, or quinines you want to try
- Declutter your closet, bag, wallet
There is power in this simple process. Do you want to give it a try?
Before you go
Before you go, I’d like to spoil my productivity secret. I like to feel confident about my process and trust the system I’ve built. I always look forward to the outcomes and envision my success before even engaging in my tasks. By doing this, it gives me motivation. I simply do not allow room for failure in my mind and heart.
I enjoy the self-growth world and productivity is a thing I dig into. I am fascinated by it that’s why I never cease to learn more about it on Skillshare.
- Productivity Masterclass: Create a Custom System that Works
- Productivity with Evernote: Use One Tool for Everything
- Productivity Habits That Stick: Using Time Theming
There you have it, the productivity secrets and how to get things done. I hope this helps you stay productive, work on your meaningful tasks piece by piece and make sure they are going forward.
Let me know which do you already apply in your daily life and which ones do you want to try.