You can start being productive by keeping yourself away from Facebook for a half an hour. That’s the real test!
Then, by really wanting to achieve great things. If you want to achieve great things, you’ll do what it takes.
Productivity is hard in a world with so many distractions. But if you really have a dream, you should start setting some rules that lead to self-discipline.
And try not to break them.
the most popular productivity formulas
The Pomodoro Technique
This technique had its fundament in cooking and implies the Pomodoro timer. Don’t worry, you don’t have to cook anything.
Francesco Cirillo, the man who invented this method, thought a good way of staying productive is to break time into intervals. You work 25 minutes continuously, take 5 minutes break, and start again. Then repeat.
The Pomodoro Technique’s steps:
- Set the timer. By the way, you can set the timer to either 25 minutes or more. It depends on how much you can stay focused at once. But whatever time you’re setting, try to choose a number you can handle.
- Work on your current task/project until the clock rings.
- Take a 5-minute break, time during which you can do anything but working.
- Set the timer again and repeat.
After 4 rounds of Pomodoro, you can take a longer break, but not more than 30 minutes. After these 30 minutes, start the Pomodoro again and keep it this way the whole day. 🙂
5×50 Productivity Technique
This formula consists of doing 50 minutes of various things each day. It will keep you productive and content with your life by freeing you from stress and anger.
The 5 recommended activities that Brendon Burchard (the guy who came with the idea of the Productivity Technique) wants us to do 50 minutes each day are:
- more sleep. Sleep is vital. If we don’t get enough sleep, we won’t be able to do our tasks either. Seems legit.
- morning power blocks. Allow 50 minutes to the hardest tasks or focus on the thinking process (ideas, creativity, planning) in the morning because this is the moment of the day when we are likely to function better.
- block times. If you have a daily schedule but something unforeseeable gets in the way, you could allow the “intruder” 50 minutes if it’s worth it.
- renewals. Spend some time a day for meditation, reading, jogging, or anything that disconnects you from the routine.
- breaks. Of course, no quality work was ever done without the well-deserved breaks. Taking breaks is healthy unless you’re taking them from 5 to 5 minutes.
the not to-do list
Everybody uses lists. Be it for shopping, tasks, appointments etc. But not many use lists for what they DON’T want to do.
Jack Dorsey thinks that putting on a list what you don’t want/need to do today will leave space for the things that really matter and keep you away from distractions.
What keeps you from having better results?
Let’s see what are the things that I wish I didn’t do too often:
- check Facebook, Twitter, Slack, and email - do 3-4 things at the same time - do things in a hurry
3 free tools that help you be organized
This is just great. It is completely free and keeps you connected with everything you have to do in a simple yet effective way. It is very easy to use and lets you create task lists, sticky notes, calendars, projects, discussion lists – everything in an intuitive drag-and-drop interface.
Since I discovered Freedcamp, I really feel like I’m winning precious time. Or, if I don’t win, at least I don’t waste any.
Just hit a few clicks and everything’s under your control. You can keep the evidence of all your tasks.
This tool is free and awesome. It counts every single minute of your work so you can know how much time you’ve spent on a specific task.
You can stop it when you take a break and restart it when you come back at your desk. Toggl is great because is time-saving. You don’t need to look at the clock all the time and calculate how many hours have passed since you started your project. Especially if you’re a freelancer and you need to be aware of every minute of your time because it costs money.
Also, in the pro version, Toggl automatically calculates the amount of money you’d get depending on the time you spend working on an individual project.
This is an interesting Google Chrome extension that blocks stuff for you. We all know the temptation is high and we always end up checking various sites, such as social channels, hobbies, the latest scores in our favorite sports, new movies, funny videos. Well, the list is unlimited.
Okay, if you can’t keep yourself away from these, StayFocused will. You list all the websites you waste most of your time on and the tool will block them and restrict your navigation. The extension is very flexible and customizable and you can choose the sites you want to block and for how long.
So, next time when you’ll catch yourself clicking on the Facebook icon during the work time, bummer! Your access will be denied!
Most of the time, it’s your determination that keeps you working hard, but sometimes we all need to be a bit pushed from behind and follow some rules in order to achieve our goals.
What’s your secret of being productive?