When To-Do Lists Look Like Mountains
There are days when motivation is a foreign concept.
When looking at your “To-Do” list feels more like you’re standing at the bottom of Mount Everest looking up. It happens at every level of employment, but, whether you like it or not, things need to get done. Deadlines aren’t changing and time needs to be used wisely.
So, for all of those times when you or your employees “literally can’t even,” here are 5 productivity hacks so you (or they) literally can even.
1. Save the best for last
Every now and then you are going to have tasks on your to-do list that make you roll your eyes.
Unless you’re the luckiest person on earth, there’s a part of your job that makes you less-than-enthused.
Still, they have to get done, so get them out of the way first. If you put them off, they will continue to be on your mind, dragging down your overall productivity. Once they’re over with, you’ll get a burst of energy and relief propelling you through the rest of your day. When it comes to tasks, always save the best for last. Why do you think we don’t start our meals with dessert?
2. Set specific times to check email
It’s easy to get sidetracked reading and responding to the flood of emails you receive throughout your day.
Instead of completing the tasks at hand, you’re running around putting out fires, disrupting your workflow, and distracting yourself from what you should be doing. Instead, choose a few times a day to check your email, and set a reminder on your computer so you aren’t checking the time to see if its Check-Your-Email-O’Clock.
3. Listen to music
Music is a great way to maintain focus and stay productive, it’s scientifically proven.
Teresa Lesiuk, an assistant professor in the music therapy program at the University of Miami, did research on the effects of music on workplace performance. The results were obvious: those who listened to music completed their tasks more quickly and came up with better ideas than those who didn’t, because the music improved their mood.
Spotify has excellent “Focus” playlists to choose from.
4. Consider a gadget-free desk
The typical cell phone user touches his or her phone 2,617 time every day, according to a study by research firm Dscout.
Removing mobile devices and gadgets allows you to focus on your work without the constant interruption from notifications, calls, and text messages.
There is nothing more distracting than facing the temptation of unlocking your phone. Hide it!
5. Make verbal commitments
It’s easy to break a promise to yourself, but it’s much harder to break a commitment you’ve made to another person.
Instead of holding yourself accountable (because you might not) have someone else do it.
Find a work buddy and just let them know what you are going to get done today. Words have weight and power. Now, at the end of the day when Barbara asks you how that report came out, you’ll be more likely to say “Great!” instead of “I didn’t do it.”