Do you ever feel like you’re not as productive as you want to be? Or perhaps you’re creative output fluctuates wildly from day to day? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s a struggle I face every day. Luckily, I’ve found 3 guaranteed ways to increase productivity and creative output.
Schedule out your week
Sitting in front of your computer wondering what you should work on next is a big killer of productivity. So, every Sunday night (or whatever day/time works best for you) make sure to sit down and schedule out your week. In the end you should have a prioritized list of all the tasks you want to accomplish for the week.
Here are things to consider when scheduling out your week:
- Check your calendar. Make sure you don’t have any appointments or occasions that would reduce the time you have to work this week.
- Write down all your tasks. This includes small, five minute tasks, all the way to long, multi-day tasks.
- Schedule just slightly more than your comfortable with. This way it pushes you to focus so you can get everything accomplished.
- Prioritize your list. If something delays your progress for the week you want to ensure you at least accomplished the highest priority tasks.
Plan out your day the night before
Planning out your day the night before will most likely be one of the best decision you ever make for your creative output. Every night look over your weekly task list and pick 2-4 tasks you want to accomplish the next day. This forces you to quickly re-prioritize your list and ensures you can hit the ground running in the morning.
Here are things to consider when planning out the next day:
- Quickly re-prioritize your task list before picking tomorrow’s task. Priorities can change from day to day.
- I’ve found it’s good to have a variety of small and big tasks. Get the small tasks finished first thing in the morning to create momentum for yourself.
- Break down large tasks into smaller tasks (especially if the large task will take multiple days).
Re-prioritize when necessary
No plan goes perfectly, which is why it’s important to re-prioritize when necessary. Re-prioritizing ensures you’re working on the most important tasks first. Also, don’t feel ashamed if you have to re-prioritize. Having to adjust your tasks is not a reflection on your ability to plan, it’s only a reflection on the current status of things.
If you’re looking for more ways to stay focused make sure to read Staying Focused in a Noisy World. Also if you have kids, 3 Tips to Help You Concentrate with Toddlers Around may be helpful.