How do you feel when you accomplish everything on your to-do list? Amazing, right? 🤩
Now how about when you have a laundry list of items and you only check off a few? Not so great, am I right? 😬
There are a few productivity rules that our modern society tends to either ignore or work against. Here are just three of them.
3 Productivity Rules We’ve All Been Ignoring
1. More isn’t more when it comes to your to-do list.
Taking everything out of your brain and putting it on a list feels so good. It immediately stops your brain from needing to work so hard to remember everything you want to do.
But a huge to-do list isn’t everything…and you already know that. Let’s say you have 20 items on your to-do list, but only get to three. Doesn’t feel so good, right?
Now let’s flip it: today you decide to prioritize the top three things on your to-do list. Those are the only things on your list and anything more would simply be a bonus (or maybe you use any extra time for incredibly valuable self care instead). Now when you accomplish the three items on your to-do list, you feel fulfilled and productive.
So here’s the takeaway: instead of listing everything under the sun you want to (or need to do), start listing out the priorities only. Stick to 2-3 main priorities each day that are going to move the needle for work, a project, or your life.
2. More hours worked doesn’t mean more productivity.
Do a quick Google search and you’ll find plenty of studies that prove the same thing: most of us don’t have more than 3 or 4 hours of productive work in us per day.
It has a lot to do with the fact that our brains can be incredibly focused in small chunks, but need breaks to work at their optimal levels. One of the most highly recommended practices is to work 45-50 minutes, then take a 10-15 minute break. Your eyes, brain, and body need a break.
The other issue at hand is our modern 8-hour work day: it leaves a lot of room for unproductive time when you think about all the distractions, unnecessary meetings, and tasks that really aren’t taking the bigger picture into account.
That means (in a very general sense) that the Stay at Home Mom who works on her business four hours a day is exactly as productive as the workaholic CEO who is working 12 hour days! 😳
The goal for all of us should be this: work should be focused on productive tasks, rather than those that simply fill the time.
3. There are some days/times when we have more productive energy (especially for women).
Did you know that universal energy actually gives us opportunities to more productive at certain times of the month?
It may sound a little woo-woo, but if things like the moon can affect the tides, it can most certainly affect our bodies: including our mood and our energy.
If you want to learn more about harnessing the energy available to you, check out this post: 3 Strategies for Working with Moon Energy.
How to be more productive
One of the best ways I’ve found to be more productive is getting super clear about:
- How many hours in a day I have to work
- How long tasks or projects actually take
- How to break up large projects into one-hour chunks
- What are the highest priority items for the day
Not only does this method allow me to visually see what tasks I need to do each day, it’s also allowed me to get more honest (with myself and with clients) about how long projects take and when I can have tasks complete.
The answer? Calendar blocking. By using a super simplistic calendar, I can break up and schedule projects and tasks out weeks and even months at a time.
Snag the calendar for free below. (You can customize it for your own schedule and needs!)