I used to be like many people, always looking for the next ‘trick’ for getting more done.
I’ve tried everything from timers, plugins, single focus apps, going offline, and while all of them work for a little while and make you think you have found the secret to smashing out a tonne of efficient work, it never lasts and you go back to old habits.
That said, I have a few things that have always worked for me, that don’t really require apps or expensive equipment.
Noise cancelling headphones
My chosen pair are QC35’s which I think are the best available by a mile. They are comfortable for long time wear, wireless, great battery life, and the noise cancelling is amazing. They are not all that cheap at $400 but have been the best investment I have ever made.
Noise cancelling headphones allow me to pump some music and block out all interruptions (This works especially well when you have writing to complete, or some kind of repetitive task)
What do I listen to? It doesn’t really matter as it’s just background noise, but a few Spotify playlists I like are:
- My Daily Mix: How good are these? Always have some great variety
- VLOG Casey Neistat: I only have this playlist as its generally music with no lyrics, so just background noise without anything to distract.
TextEdit (Or any simple text based program)
Lists are actually really important. I try my best to write a Todo list at the end of each day (It doesn’t always happen)
Having a list of the tasks you want to complete makes it easier to see what you have to do, and what you have accomplished. Without a list you don’t have direction, and the day can get away from you VERY easily.
There are lots of apps that can do Todo lists and are very pretty – they will work just as nicely.
Work when you work best
This might sound a bit strange, but do the bulk of your work when you know you work best. I work really well in the mornings so I try and smash out a solid few hours of work in this time. Late in the arvo I start to hit a wall, so I use that time for less labour intensive tasks. Many people are the opposite – do whatever works for you.
I like to try and break up my day with some exercise over lunch. Whether its the gym, a run, or even just a walk up the street, getting out and doing something in the middle of the day is a great way to get some energy back and be more productive in the second half of the day.
Seems pretty simple doesn’t it!
On the flip side, these are the things I have tried and found didn’t work or were pointless to doing anything for productivity:
- Scheduling email time
- Blocking websites you visit often
- Timers and trackers that tell you what websites you go to and what you spend time doing
- Working in silence
Have a productive day!