Even with many businesses closed and our social calendars clear, time still seems to be the one that got away.
Enter: five methods to help you be more productive.
For when your to-do list looks like a sad handwritten book...Meet the 1-3-5 list. It’s a way to make your to-do list less scary by checking off one big thing, three medium-sized things, and five small tasks on any given day. Because doing something easy first gives you the confidence to keep going.
For when your roommate seems to live on Zoom...Create timed blocks of work to avoid distractions. The Pomodoro technique—named because the guy who invented it had a timer in the shape of a tomato—might be your secret sauce. Here’s how it works: Work without distractions for a timed 25-minute block. Take a five-minute break. Repeat. After four 25-minute working sessions, take a half-hour break to stay creative and move around. Or to watch a YouTube video featuring puppies.
For when you need to get in the zone...You might need more than 25 minutes to focus in. 90-minute blocks have also been proven to help with focus and concentration. Think of this like responsible binge watching—one and a half episodes at a time.
For when you spend half your day responding to emails...Play hard to get. Unless the email requires an immediate response, designate a few 30-minute blocks a day for catching up on email. That way, you can get actual work done without a “You’ve got mail” distraction.
For when your phone notifications are giving you heart palpitations...Turn. Them. Off. Turning off notifications or putting your phone on Do Not Disturb is surprisingly satisfying. Warning: Do not panic when you finally look at your phone. It won’t bite. Hard.
Increasing your productivity starts with setting boundaries. That can be hard when you’re working, eating, sleeping, and socializing all at home. But getting better at managing your time will help you make space for all of that — and whatever show you’re binging. Because what time management isn't: scheduling every minute of your day and not leaving a moment for yourself.
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