I have written a post about email productivity tips. Productivity isn’t just about time management. I just wanted to start out by saying that productivity is about so much more, and to me, productivity is mostly about having fun, while focusing on the most important things in life (or at work, as I’m explaining in this post). At the moment, I am using IQTELL as my main productivity tool.
I am always juggling tasks, and a few years ago, I wasn’t sure what I was doing. It just felt like I was adding new tasks to an enormous to-do list, and the list was only growing. It felt like I didn’t get anything done. Productivity wasn’t even in my vocabulary.
I’m no expert when it comes to productivity, but none the less, this is my experience and I keep improving all the time, and I’m having so much fun while doing it.
Productivity in six simple steps
To me, productivity is related to what I want to accomplish in life and my work, and the niche I’m focusing on. So my take on this, will be from my perspective, and I’m a writer, who are focusing on marketing to make a living.
Let me explain productivity in six steps. And, I’m not saying that six steps is enough, because it might not be. But it’s an example from how I’m currently focusing on productivity.
Remember, I’m not focusing on the software or the servies, but on areas in my life which needs improvement.
Productivity in getting things done
I have really been struggling to get things done. I don’t remember how many books I have been reading on this topic alone, but I have been reading a lot. And, I have been testing so many types of software, and things to get me to focus. But, the one thing that really made me realize what I was doing wrong was The Pomodoro Technique.
I’m not going to use many words to explain it, because Steve Scott did a fantastic job explaining productivity using the pomodoro technique.
The short version is that I’m now working in batches of 25 minutes at a time, focusing on a single task, and I have 5 minute breaks between each session. It works great for productivity, and I get a lot of things done, because I am now on a whole different level when it comes to focusing on the important things on step at a time.
Productivity in writing
I really want to become a better writer, and I’m writing my first novel. I want to keep writing every single day. I don’t need to write for hours. I can settle for a few minutes, but my goal is to write for one pomodoro session, and here’s an example of what I wrote in 20 minutes.
The thing about writing is that I need to use the right software. I have been testing so many different things, and what I’ve discovered is that for productivity, I need to use a plain text writer, like WriteRoom, iA Writer, and Scrivener. And I need to be writing in full-screen mode in order to not get distracted.
Take a closer look at the software I’m currently using:
Productivity in tasks
I did have a problem keeping track of what to do, and to keep track of all the new tasks I was adding to my already enormous to-do list. So, instead of using a traditional to-do list, I started creating projects, and adding every single detail I needed to do in order to finish the projects. Now, when I wake up in the morning, I don’t have a list of what to do, but I have many projects, and I keep working on the projects I feel like doing throughout the day. This is a lot more fun, and when it’s fun, the quality of the work is a lot better.
I use a software called Things, in order to keep track of all my tasks and projects.
Productivity in taking notes
I walk a lot, at least for one hour every single day. And, one of the reasons that I’m able to write every day, and to stay focused, is because I take a lot of notes. I add notes as soon as I come up with an idea, because if I don’t add the notes, I’ll probably forget what to do about the ideas. I use Evernote for all my notes, and when I walk, I use Evernote on my iPhone, and it syncs to my Macs and to my iPad. This way I have my notes with me everywhere.
Productivity in creativity
I decided to write a novel, even though I didn’t have a plot or any idea what genre I wanted to write in. I love all sorts of books, but I had no clue what my first one was going to be about. I started to think, take notes, and ended up testing mind maps. I’m still terrible at using mind maps, but I believe that to stay creative and to focus on productivity, using mind maps is a great resource. I’m still trying to get better at it, because mind maps makes everything visible and it’s easy to see how things are connected.
I don’t have a favorite software for mind maps. I have tested several, but I’m still looking around. I use regular paper for many of the mind maps I create, but I have tested some free and paid software as well.
Productivity in life
I used to only sleep three or four hours a day. I kept working as often as I could, and often both day and night. My level of productivity was high, and I was satisfied. Usually, I got to bed between 1 am and 2 am, and got up between 5 am or 6 am. I didn’t think that I would have any problem with that little sleep, because I felt full of energy and I felt that I was on top of things.
But now, it’s different. I try to get as much sleep as possible. And hopefully as much as 8 hours a day. I never get more than 8 hours, but 8 hours is perfect. And, even though I felt fine with a lot less sleep, I feel a lot better with more sleep. And, my productivity level is a lot higher than it used to be, even though I work less hours.
I’m a vegetarian. I’ll tell you why in a different post. Being a vegetarian doesn’t mean that I’m healthy, and that I’m just eating all the right type of food. I love Coca-Cola Zero, Pizza, potato chips and more. I could probably eat it every single day for years, because I don’t get tired of it. But, productivity is also about having the energy and being healthy. So, I’m doing my best to stay healthy, and I drink a lot of fresh vegetable juice and I have started to drink water instead of Coca-Cola Zero.
I used to play basketball all the time, but that’s more than 10 years ago. After I stopped playing, I didn’t know what I was going to do in order to get my exercise. Excercise is important for productivity, and I’m so happy that I discovered running. I walk a lot, but I need to run at least three times a week in order to get the energy for the productivity to be on top.
What’s important isn’t what I am doing to increase my productivity. What’s important is that you focus on the areas in life where you want to make changes and feel an urge to increase your productivity. Keep the end in mind, and then find the methods.