Do you find yourself thinking, “How can I get more things done?”
Ways to Do Less – Productive. Not Busy!
Figure out where your time is actually going.
- Did you surf blogs like this one for an hour? Two hours in spurts throughout the day?
- How much time did you actually end up watching those Game of Thrones episodes?
- Did anything surprise you about your day?
- Was this a typical day?
The more you track, the better you’ll get at seeing the overall patterns.
Small changes can really be big game changers for people!
Assess what you don’t actually have to do.
Delegating and outsourcing tasks can feel overwhelming, so be sure to seek out others who are doing it well.
Sometimes doing less means saying “no” to new opportunities.
The solution – don’t leap into the immediate yes. Tell someone you’ll get back to them before you commit.
Yes, you can do less and be more effective!
Achieving More – Are you a Goal Digger?
How can you get more done on a regular basis?Just like tracking was such a foundational step for doing less, there’s a basic bedrock for achieving more.
Take the time to really think about what you want to accomplish within a specified time range.
I love this activity, so I regularly do it for the year, quarter, month, and week. I recommend starting with the quarter if this practice is new to you.
- Change something in my family life?
- Improve my physical or mental health?
- Fast-track my career trajectory?
Keep an eye out for barriers when you’re trying to achieve more
Ideas to minimize distractions:
- Keep your phone in an entirely different room.
- Go to a new location where no one can distract you, if it’s possible.
- Download apps that can help you do this.designed to help you limit your time on social media.
- Set a timer to keep yourself focused on the task at hand.
Achieving more is also strengthened by an accountability partner
Can you find someone who has the same goal as you do? Is there a colleague or a new friend in a Facebook group that can help you stay accountable? Experiment with a system that works for the both of you. Do you want to check in daily or weekly? Do you want them to encourage you no matter what or be strict about their praise on your progress?
Constantly experiment with finding what works for you
I do this all the time and find it very effective. And that doesn’t stop just because I help others with purposeful productivity. I highly recommend continuing to try new things after you implement some of these tips. Revisit something you tried once and gave up on too. Maybe this new season of your life is ready for that resource. It doesn’t usually hurt to try.
So what’s your next step on your purposeful productivity path?
Caitlin Faas, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of psychology and coach who helps busy professionals integrate graduate school seamlessly into daily life with career direction and productivity hacks.
Download her guide for reclaiming your time and conquering your to-do list here.
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