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6 Better Productivity Hacks if the "Famous" Ones Never Work for You

The "Done" List

By writing down all the tasks you complete, you see where your time goes. 

By making a "done" list, you can make better decisions when you have hard data on your work, and you’ll be motivated to keep at it when you can actually see your progress.

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6 Better Productivity Hacks if the "Famous" Ones Never Work for You

6 Better Productivity Hacks if the "Famous" Ones Never Work for You

https://www.themuse.com/advice/6-better-productivity-hacks-if-the-famous-ones-never-work-for-you

themuse.com

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Key Ideas

Find Your Golden Hours

Schedule your most important tasks for the time of the day that suits you best.

It doesn't matter if you're not the most productive in the morning. Just find your golden hours and do your most important work then.

Start Easy And Work Up

Start with the small tasks, the ones you can finish in 10 minutes and run through them first.

You’ll feel motivated by the win of knocking out a couple of tasks quickly and ready to handle more serious work.

From Start To Finish

If the Pomodoro Technique doesn't work for you and you prefer to do tasks from start to finish in one sitting, you should adjust your plan to fit with your focus.

So work until you complete those tasks, and then take a break.

The "Done" List

By writing down all the tasks you complete, you see where your time goes. 

By making a "done" list, you can make better decisions when you have hard data on your work, and you’ll be motivated to keep at it when you can actually see your progress.

Adding Tasks Bit by Bit

If seeing your calendar all packed causes you extra stress, fill your calendar once a week.

This regular review gives you more flexibility but still lets you meet deadlines and stay on top of longer-term projects.

Batching Tasks

Instead of reacting to things as soon as they show up, write them down and then later do a bunch at the same time. 

This prevents them from constantly interrupting your workflow, while still making sure everything gets done.

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Align your to-do list with goals
  1. Break down your big goals into daily tasks. You can't add "Get in shape" to your daily to-do list, but you can add "spend 30 minutes on my bike."
  2. Consider your week as a whole. You likely have multiple goals. Some goals benefit from daily activity, while working towards others a few times a week can create momentum.
  3. Add your have-to-do tasks last. We often fill our to-do lists with have-to-do tasks that crowd the whole day. Adding it last forces you to fit your have-to-do tasks around your goal tasks.
Have one daily priority

Many of us start our mornings with dozens of things we need to get done, but later realize that we haven't crossed any of them off our lists. We did get stuff done, but none of the things we planned.

A balm against hectic days that pass without progress is to choose a single activity to prioritize and protect in your calendar. If you struggle to select your top priority, ask yourself, when you look back on your day, what do you want the highlight to be? That's your priority.

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The Pomodoro Technique

Pomodoro is doing focused work in 25-minute sessions throughout the day. After each session, take a five-minute break. After completing four consecutive Pomodoros, take a 20 to 30-minute break.

The Problem with Pomodoro

Pomodoro is excellent for tackling tasks you don't feel like doing or jobs that require little thought.

However, other tasks, like writing or coding, require uninterrupted time. The problem with the Pomodoro method is that the timer is a consistent interruption that prevents you from getting into a state of flow.

The Flowtime Technique

It is a modified Pomodoro. And it solves Pomodoro's big problems.

  • It works by writing down one task you intend to work on during a focus session.
  • Then work until you start feeling tired or distracted, write down the end time, and take a break. A break can be anything from 5 minutes to 15 minutes.

Because you're not tied to a timer, you're more likely to find yourself in a flow state from time to time.

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Master lists

Capture everything on a Master List and then break it down by monthly, weekly, and daily goals.

  1. Start by making a master list—a document, app, or piece of paper where every current and future task will be stored. 
  2. Once you have all your tasks together, break them down into monthly, weekly, and daily goals.
  3. When setting your priorities, try not to get too “task oriented” - you want to make sure you’re prioritizing the more effective work.
Eisenhower Matrix

The matrix is a simple four-quadrant box that answers that helps you separate “urgent” tasks from “important” ones:

  • Urgent and Important: Do these tasks as soon as possible
  • Important, but not urgent: Decide when you’ll do these and schedule it
  • Urgent, but not important: Delegate these tasks to someone else
  • Neither urgent nor important: Drop these from your schedule as soon as possible.

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