It always feels like there’s never enough time in the day to get everything done. You’re always rushing around and there’s always more to do. Sometimes it’s not so much as there’s a lot to do, as it is not being organized to do what you can. There are many tools out there that will help you get organized. We have a list of some here that will get you started, but once you start looking into how to get yourself organized, you will find it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. you’ll start to enjoy the extra time you have, which will give you more time to find better ways of doing things, which in turn will give you more time. So just get started and here we go.
Pomodoro timer is a technique that helps you increase your productivity. It focuses you more on the time at hand. It makes you understand how much time things are taking and lets you focus more. Basically you set a timer for one task for 25 minutes and take short breaks of generally 5 minutes. After four Pomodoros it would be 1 hour and you then take a longer break for 15 to 20 minutes. Francisco Cirilo, the inventor, believes that by chunking your time you will understand time better and be more focused. When we have a lot to do, we use this technique a lot. It makes you understand that time is passing. So instead of wasting all your time all day long, not getting things done, and then rushing in that last minute to get as much done as you can, you change it. When you know you only have 25 minutes in the first of the morning to get it done you’re in that last minute rush state already. So if you imagine that late at night session to get things done and then expand that to 20 of those or more during the day you will see that your productivity can go through the roof.
Work and Pleasure
You need to separate your work from your pleasure. Most people with a computer have work and pleasure mixed together. You may be working for a few minutes and then decide to go check your Facebook. You may be writing a letter and start doing some research and then maybe get sidetracked on the way to another website or Reddit or any other information that you might find interesting. You will look up how to do something on YouTube, and next thing you’re watching dancing cats. You have to separate out your work and pleasure. Choose the time that you’re going to work and work at it. If you want to watch those dancing cats, record the URL paste it on a notepad and watch it after your work. When you focus on work you’ll be surprised how fast it goes and you have the rest of the day to enjoy yourself, and not feel overwhelmed.
Boomerang is a Gmail plugin that we love. It has many different functions but our favorite is the fact that we can click on something and it will disappear from our inbox and come back later as if it had not been read. So if you have that incoming email that is a pleasure and not work and you don’t want to deal with it right now, just click the boomerang icon and it will go away and come back after your work session so you can deal with it later, so you haven’t lost it, you just delayed it. Boomerang will also send the emails out on scheduled times and do other things, but the delay until later is the one we like the best.
LastPass is another great plugin that you can get that remembers all of your passwords. Instead of having all different passwords that are much too complex to remember or using the same one on everything, or constantly forgetting and clicking the remember password button, you can put all your passwords in LastPass and it will fill in the fields automatically. It can log you in automatically without you having to think about it. You only have to remember one password for LastPass and that saves a lot of time getting around.
Make a to-do list
This has been a tool for centuries, so make a to-do list. The thing about the to-do list though, is not just make the list and then forget about it. The fact that you put it on the list does not mean it’s done. It means you have something to work on. Make an effort to complete at least half of your to-do list every day. Everything that you haven’t completed can get rolled over the next day and put on the top to-do list. Focus on those first before you do the other things. The idea is to finish your to-do list every single day. But if you can’t, at least you can do it the next day. Give yourself a treat every time you finish something on your to-do list and make it a game.
Program blocking and site blocking
If you really can’t handle your pleasure addiction, you can put a program on your computer that will block certain websites and programs for a specified time. You can say until 6 pm I cannot go to Facebook, look at Reddit, or go to YouTube. It’s a bit drastic and we find it more annoying than anything else, but if you really have an addictive personality and can’t let go of them it’s a constant reminder that you can’t do that and you must focus on work instead. When you click on it and it tells you “hey you can’t go here because you’re supposed to be working,” it reminds you that you’re supposed to be working. It’s simple, annoying, but it does work.
The more productive you are the better off things become. The more time you have to enjoy and the less stress you have in your life. Very often the fact of not being productive will double the stress you have and make your life worse. So something as simple as being more productive and getting on with it, can be life-changing and life-altering. Just start with one or two items from the list and add more slowly. You’ll find it if you can take care of a week’s amount of things in a day. You will now have more time than you know what to do with. You’ll have to find other things to make your life better for those times, but that’s what life is all about isn’t it? Making life better.