What to do when you’re on a very tight schedule with loads to do? Here are 4 steps that helped me to achieve extraordinary productivity in just 2 days!
Just before I had to leave for my Digital Nomad journey and freelancing became my only income of money, I got stuck in a creative rut.
I had one week to do PLENTY. I needed to make sure that everything will be up and running while I’ll be going from place A to place B, traveling for long hours and living without the internet.
Up till then, my business was under control, even when I go offline for more than one day. But suddenly everything crashed and I had to make up a plan and do it fast!
That’s how I created my own productivity tip that this whole post is all about…
The week passed in chaos and I woke up on Saturday.
I’m used to writing down my tasks in Evernote where I just schedule them all week and later on move to the next day if I had no time to finish it.
This become THE week when 90% of my daily tasks from each working day stood in front of me on Saturday. What a lovely thing to see! Therefore I had only two days to make things work.
My “must-do” included… well… everything. Starting from blog maintenance (blog posts, photos, interview preparation, interview questions, etc.), continuing by sending over final designs to my clients, PR tasks for companies I work for and more!
Here’s a productivity tip that can help you to do as big amount of work as possible in just a few days, step by step.
4 steps that helped me to achieve extraordinary productivity
STEP #1: I got rid of my to-do lists
That was my first step to success. I just deleted everything I needed to do and started doing things that were really, REALLY important. (Okay, I made a backup for my list, but left it untouched till later).
Deleting your to-do list is liberating. It’s not about giving up on what you have to do or ignoring your tasks, no.
Throwing out your to-do list is here to help you to create a more efficient and well-working system instead.
A system based on your priorities, not a never-ending to-do list.
STEP #2: Leave clock out of this
I just forgot about time and did things. This is a magical thing to try out!
For me, usually, it goes like this: I have my to-do list and I have time. I start doing things and I’m checking the time once in a while. After around an hour, I ALWAYS rescheduled things – looked through my to-do list, realized what are the things I can’t manage to do, changed my plan and got back to work.
One more hour passed by and I looked through my schedule and my time. If something wasn’t working I changed it once again.
This time, I just did whatever I worked on until I finished or I had inspiration for some other task.
Leaving the clock (and ideally – phone) out of this plan is the best way how to FOCUS.
Yes, there are many time-based productivity hacks like Pomodoro technique. However, I find the constant following the time distracting.
Even if you’re a true believer in making things happen, based on some time restrictions, just give working without seeing the clock a try.
STEP #3: Take a rest
Whether it was a finished blog post, designed e-mail campaign or literally anything else – I gave myself that sweet moment of nothing doing after each of them.
It took me from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on what was I doing meanwhile. These pleasurable moments gave me energy and inspiration boost, therefore – I was ready to work further on full speed!
It’s a well-known fact that often working less turns out to be more efficient.
With more time for resting, we get back to work more inspired, with fresh ideas and a big willingness to make them happen.
It’s also important to actually REST, at least once in a while. Not bother your mind and eyes with additional emails to answer, other tasks that can be done quickly.
Instead, go for a walk, take a quick nap, read a book or drink some tea while counting the passing-by birds…
STEP #4: Do all you can to FOCUS
My daily life is spent in a big chaos. I have many, many ideas floating in my head all the time. Not that I can’t work with that, I can, and I actually kind of enjoy all of that – it’s just something I’m used to.
But these two were the days when I really, REALLY focused on the tasks I was doing.
There was no more time to think about anything else, to schedule & reschedule, I just had to go with whatever was in my way.
As we all must know by now, focusing can be one of the most important things of any successful business. Yes, the research can show a variety of results. However, most online entrepreneurs admit that focus is what brings them forward.
Here are some ideas on how to focus better:
- Leave your phone in another room
- Create a dedicated working space
- Leave only must-use tabs open
- Clean up your working space
- Use a standing desk
The exact methods that’ll help you to focus may vary a lot. After all, we all have our specific preferences and brain patterns to please. Anyhow, make sure to experiment and give it a go!
Don’t waste as much time on scheduling and preparation, just do whatever you have to do!
Goal setting is great, but trust your guts and go with the flow. If you’re willing to take on that one more hour for this particular project – do that!
Don’t think about the next 2 that are waiting in line. Don’t stop yourself just because your clock says so.