It’s no secret that writing things down is a proven way to get organized and stay focused. Having a visual of the tasks you need to complete is helpful, but getting them done is the real challenge.
Are you frustrated with your constantly growing to-do list?
Would you like to learn proven methods to check every item off your daily docket finally? The secret is in how you manage your time and energy.
Keep reading to learn how successful people do just that.
The Pomodoro Technique
This technique encourages you to be more productive by working in bursts of energy. To use this method, you need a timer or alarm that will go off every 25 minutes.
The idea, created by Francesco Cirillo, is that by working in 25-minute chunks, you allow your brain to focus on one thing for this amount of time. You need to block all distractions in this block of time, for it to work.
Focusing for a while on one task and being fully immersed in it will allow you to get more done. Also, because you take brain breaks after each Pomodoro (or 25-minute chunk), your brain doesn’t get too tired.
Our brains tend to lose creativity and focus after a certain amount of time. During the brain break, you aren’t allowed to work on a different task or some menial thing that needs to get done.
This brain break is exactly what it sounds like — a break. You can take a walk, listen to some music, or have a chat with your friends. This break should last for about 10 minutes.
Once you’ve successfully finished four Pomodoros, you get to take a more extended break of about a half-hour. This technique has helped millions accomplish more in their day without getting burnt out.
The 80/20 Rule
Pareto Principle is the idea that 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions. Using this principle, you should focus on the 20% of your tasks that will get 80% of the results first.
Then when you've completed those tasks, if you still have time, you can complete the 80% that are leftover. Using this method, you ensure that you get more results from your hard work.
Since you will see more results from your work, you’ll be more motivated to get even more checked off your list. It doesn’t hurt to use a little psychology on yourself to be more productive.
Eat the Frog
When you “eat the frog” you do the biggest most important thing first. This is similar to the 80/20 rule but focuses more on that one big task that we all dread.
People tend not to want to "eat the frog" and often procrastinate on this task, which causes unneeded stress the whole day. Learn to face your dread, and get that big intimidating task out of the way.
Then you can work on more pleasant items without it looming over your head, and the rest of the day is consequently more productive.
Batching uses the logic that if you complete similar tasks together, you should be able to get more done in less time. This makes sense, considering that it helps your brain focus on one type of activity.
Also, if the activities are similar, you might be able to do them in the same manner at the same place. This turns your productivity into a sort of assembly line. If it worked for Ford, it should work for you!
Batching also ensures completion of every repeated "batch" in a timely fashion. So if you need to pay bills every month or do inventory, batching is an excellent practice to implement.
Know Your Energy
Every person’s energy levels peak at different times of the day. To get more checked off your to-do list, schedule your workflow according to your peak performance times.
Some people work best at night. Others in the morning. Whatever works best for you, try to make sure you are busy working during these times.
Forcing yourself to work according to what others deem the right hours to work won’t help you if you’re sluggish the whole time.
Also, working on an empty tank won’t help. If you start to feel your energy levels take a dip — you may need a snack.
The best foods to boost your energy include protein and healthy fats. Here is a list of energy-boosting snacks to try.
Set Up Rituals
Some people work better with music, and others work best after a walk. Find a ritual that gets your brain and body prepared for work mode and use it.
Some professionals use visualization exercises, meditation, or mantras to get them ready to face a workday.
You can imagine yourself as a successful entrepreneur or chilling on the beach. You can even try telling yourself you are a "productivity rockstar," or "the smartest, best, most clever person ever." Use what works — no judgment.
Another ritual that you can create is what you do when you are stuck. Many people take a break and get themselves out of work mode for a moment to recharge.
You can laugh it out by watching a quick comedy video, take five minutes to get your blood flowing by stretching or bust out some jumping jacks.
Some people find that their favorite way to recharge is time with family for some conversation and cuddles.
These methods can help you catch up on —or even get ahead of — your to-do list. What works for some people may not work for others, so try them all and see which is a match for you.
By hacking your mind, you can train it to do so much more. These productivity techniques are like random keys to the lock in our brains. Find the one that fits yours.
Janine Palatucci has recently joined Alliance Residential as the Business Manager for 360 Huguenot, a complex of luxury apartments in New Rochelle. She is an experienced manager with a demonstrated history working in multifamily and hotel hospitality. Janine has industry experience in the New York City, Westchester County, and South East Florida markets. She is passionate about her work and consistent in providing a welcoming environment for her team, residents, and community.