This time last year I was knee-deep in my Master’s thesis, juggling academic research with a full-time job and planning a wedding. So you could say I was a bit busy.
However even with deadlines looming on all fronts, there were times when I became a procrastinator extraordinaire. Which in turn meant there were periods where I simply had to get shit done.
During my periods of procrastination, I came across more than my fair share of productivity tips, but by mixing a few together I managed to find a strategy that actually works. And not only does it work, it’s flexible too. So you don’t have to worry about setting your alarm an hour earlier or starting a gym membership a lá many of Linkedin’s Bro-motivators.
Now that I’ve started my own business, I’m putting the strategy to use once again so I thought it was high time I share it with you guys.
…And you know, actually post a blog.
My 3 Step Productivity Strategy
Step 1. Firstly, you need to learn about the Pomodoro technique.
In a nutshell, this includes working in bursts of 25minutes. After 25 minutes you can have a 3-5 minute break. Once you have completed four lots of 25 minutes you can have a longer break of 30 minutes.
You then basically repeat this process ad infinitum.
Step 2. Download the Forest: Stay Focused app.
There are many things I love about this app, the main one being you can sync it across both mobile and desktop devices so you can’t get distracted no matter how sneaky you try to be.
Set your timer for 25 minutes, in line with the Pomodoro technique and start working!
You may be wondering why you need to bother with this app, but I find it so, so useful. If you attempt to go on your phone/different websites it encourages you to stay strong and reminds you of your finish time.
Without this app and its gentle reminders, I find 25 minutes to be a lonnng time when it’s a task I don’t particularly like. I’ve also noticed that having an alarm set also stops me from clock watching, as I know to keep working until the bell goes.
The child-like part of me also finds it really rewarding/satisfying to see my forest flourishing – a visual representation of all the hard work I have done!
Step 3. Schedule some screen-free time.
I know this may seem counterproductive – and don’t worry I’m not going to push you into taking up some new fitness hobbies (though these can help!.)
All I’m saying is after you’ve completed your task, step away from the screen. Go for a walk. Read a book. Maybe even just make a brew.
Once you’ve started working it can be so tempting to stay glued to the screen, ticking off more and more tasks. However, I’ve found that even a five-minute screen break means I’m a lot less likely to lose concentration or momentum in the following hours.
Now, I can’t promise this will make your To-Do list a thing of the past, but hopefully, it will make getting through it a whole lot easier.