Rethink productivity: How doing less can help you achieve more
A simple way to do this is to start each day by picking one important thing to focus on first. Try choosing the most difficult item on your to-do list. It’s easier to begin with the hardest tasks and then progress toward simpler work than going in the opposite direction.
By tackling that one important task at the beginning of the day, you’ve given your energy a boost and created momentum that can carry you through the rest of your day.
Productivity tip 3: Separate to-dos from might-dos
Not all tasks are created equal. There are your difficult, important tasks (which you’re getting done at the start of your day), but there are also the not-so-urgent tasks. Let’s call those the might-dos.
It’s tempting to put your might-dos on your to-do list. After all, it feels great to check off multiple items on a list, no matter how small they are. On the other hand, it can turn your to-do list into a stress-inducing, energy-sapping, neverending series of tasks that are difficult to prioritize.
Instead, put your might-dos on a separate list. That way, you can spend a majority of your energy on finishing your major projects. When they’re completely done, you can reference your might-do list and start chipping away at it.
Productivity tip 4: Make your calendar work harder
Use your calendar for more than just remembering appointments and meetings. Block out chunks of time on it each day when you can focus on to-dos. And don’t forget to schedule those intentional breaks that allow you to renew and replenish your energy.
This practice is especially important if you have a shared calendar with coworkers. Having work and break times reserved in your calendar can deter people from booking meetings or distracting you when you’re trying to be productive or when you’re engaging in practices that give you more energy.
Scheduling official times to focus and reenergize can also help you be more patient, self-aware, and consistent, which in turn can make you a better coworker, friend, and family member.
In summary, productivity doesn’t mean racing through as many tasks as possible in one day. Instead, rethink productivity. Concentrate on your important work and focus on renewing your energy throughout your day via intentional breaks. You can then manage your time by starting each day focused on one major task, distinguishing between to-dos and might dos, and scheduling times for work and for breaks in your calendar.