Time. It's a pretty universal complaint that we don't have enough of it. Here are five questions that can spark an increase in productivity.
How are you spending your time today? In 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, Laura Vanderkam suggests tracking how you spend your time for a week. The idea is that only by knowing how you use your time now can you make changes to become more productive.
In a related question, how much time do you spend on social media? A few minutes here and a few more there can certainly add up during the day. Some social media experts believe the best way to conquer this is to set a timer and only check Facebook, Twitter, etc. certain times a day. Frances Caballo has more thoughts about this in her article, How To Save Time On Social Media.
In this world of technology and apps, do you have a system that works for reading and saving online content? I recently lost hundreds of links and "favorite places" that I'd been accumulating for years. Starting from scratch made me rethink how I track articles and blog posts I want to keep. I've been experimenting with the free version of Evernote to help save links in folders by topic. If anyone has a good system, please let me know!
Do you have routines and rituals that help train your brain that it's time to do a certain task? For example, if a writer always proofreads in a certain room (or chair), then the space alone becomes a trigger: it's time to proofread! Gregory Ciotti uses different electronic devices--one for reading, one for writing, one for correspondence/social media--to signal what he'll be doing. For more information, check out his article, The Best Way to Change Your Habits? Control Your Environment.
Can you complete a task in less than two minutes? If so, then according to the Two Minute Rule, you should do it NOW instead of procrastinating or adding it to an already long to-do list. To further your long-term goals, break them into pieces that can be done in--you guessed it--less than two minutes. James Clear has more information about this on his blog.
Researching this post has inspired me to track how I spend my time for a week. I know how many hours I work on creative projects, but where does the rest of the time go? I'll share more in a future post.
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