👀 It won’t. stop. staring at you. 👀 Your to-do list is full and it’s not that you don’t want to cross every single item off, it’s just that you don’t even know where to start. So you just kind of… do other things while it continues to sit quietly on your desk waiting to be a “did list”. We know that feeling, which is why we’re offering up a few of our best practices when it comes to hunkering down and getting. stuff. done. Check out our tips on how to stay productive and ramp up workflow.
“...at the end of the day, what you did is more important than what you planned to do.”
Ditch the bad habits
To start making a dent in that list of things to do, you have to first identify and eliminate the habits that are holding you back. It’s probably best to do this on a break or off the clock because it takes a bit of self inspection to figure out. Do you hang around on social media too much or make a few too many trips to the water cooler? Or do you spend time thinking about why your office doesn’t have a water cooler? With so many time killing habits, it’s important to first recognize what they are. Check out this list by Social Media Week for a list of productivity prohibiting habits. Some of them are disguised as helpful habits, but they end up hurting more in the long run. Like multi tasking for example: spreading yourself across various things for 5 minutes at a time leaves you with only 5 minutes of work in any project. This article starts to touch on a massive time hoarder in number 6 (using your inbox as a todo list), but doesn’t quite flesh out the idea behind that, which is productive procrastination. It’s when you do something that needs to be done, but that is not a priority, which is the heart of our next point.
Wait… what? Aren’t those synonym-ish? Not quite. Being effective is getting something done, but in the wrong order, and being efficient is getting things done, but things that don’t really pertain to the overall goal. Confusing right? Being efficient in writing this blog post would mean that we wrote this paragraph first, then the intro and then did research. Sure at the end, all of the right components are there and it’s completed, but it would have taken us twice as long to write this rather than starting with research first, then the intro, etc. We mentioned productive procrastination before and this is an excellent example of being efficient. We’re clearing out our email inbox and straightening our desk, and organizing the files on your desktop, but none of those things were even on your to-do list to begin with. Putting the two together and being both effective and efficient is ideal. Doing the most important things on your list and doing them the right way is of utmost importance when trying to lockdown workflow. In short, effectiveness is doing the right things, and efficiency is doing things right. Aim for both.
French pressed, fresh brewed, cappuccinos and lattes too. That was just for you. And so is coffee. Do it.
Space for Flow
Lastly, to cross off the majority of the things on your to-do list, you have to create a space that works for you, both mentally and physically. It’s kind of a no brainer, but your physical workspace is just as important as the mindset that you approach it with; a cluttered workspace leads to a cluttered mind and vice versa. After that move on to your mindset and habits. You have to start by identifying and ditching the habits that are holding you back. You have to be both effective and efficient. You have to coffee. But ultimately, at the end of the day, what you did is more important than what you planned to do.