Almost everybody wants to be super-productive these days. To get more things done in less time, to make the most of every minute and second that they have on this planet. This is a great thing. It means we have ambition, drive, motivation.
But what if our search for the next best productivity tools or the latest time-saving app, actually costs us that valuable time we seem to cherish so much?
How long do you spend messing about with your smartphone everyday? The last time you checked, how many tools and resources have you tried out and then ditched? What purpose are they serving, other than to distract you from what you really want to do?
While there are some great resources out there, that no doubt do exactly what they say they’ll do, I’m going to provide you with some alternatives. These beauties are tried and tested, and they definitely won’t waste your time.
1. A todo list
Yes, I’m being serious, bare with me!
Of all the apps I’ve tried that propose to keep everything I need to do organised, nothing compares to the simple to-do list.
Seriously, a piece of paper with bullet points jotted down of all the things in your head that you know need doing, I can guarantee will help you organise your thoughts. Try it yourself, scribble some stuff down then tick/cross them off once you’ve completed them.
That little tick that means a task has been completed, is a mini confidence boost. The more you tick, the more confident you’ll feel about getting on top of your workload!
2. A sexy pen
Nothing beats the fluid, graceful motion of a damn good pen. I’m not talking about any old ball-point. I mean a pen that’s sexy to hold, writes like a dream and begs you to pick it up and dance across the page with.
The idea behind this gem is that if something feels good, you’re likely to want to do more of it! If writing is more enjoyable with a great pen – as opposed to pounding away at the keyboard – then you’ll want to write with it more and more often.
The result? You’ll get more writing done which is a massive boon for us bloggers.
3. A notepad
Some of you might be screaming “Evernote” at me here, which is fine! I love Evernote, I really do but a notepad is just as good, without having to faff about with tags, photos, syncing with multiple devices and getting to grips with.
A notepad won’t run out of charge, you can jot down thoughts in it, doodle in it with your sexy pen, scribble and brainstorm on it and generally get your thoughts moving. A notepad will save you time which is what we’re trying to aim for here, isn’t it?
4. A timer
Any timer at all. It could be an egg timer, a stop-clock, an alarm on your phone or someone running into the room every 20 minutes shouting “Stop working” (my kids are great for this).
Whatever it is, the idea is to get you to take regular breaks between tasks. Sitting at the desk, on the sofa or wherever you work for long stretches of time is not only bad for your concentration, but damaging to your health.
Use a timer to block out periods of time where you focus your whole attention on working. When the timers up, stop what you’re doing. Put everything down, stand up and walk about. You might use the time to get a little exercise, re-energize with a snack or read a book.
When you sit back down to work again, you’ll be refreshed, alert and ready to tackle the next task.
5. Some great music
Lastly, I can’t stress the awesomeness of having some great music playing in the background while you work.
Music has the power to directly affect your mood, therefore use it as a tool to get you in the right frame of mind.
One thing to look out for though is the volume of your music. You don’t want it too quiet, but you also don’t want it so loud you can’t hear yourself think. Keep it to a neutral background ebb so that it can successfully blur out any outside distractions, while focusing your attention on your work.
Sure, grabbing the latest productivity app may be hugely tempting. It might have shining reviews and be used by awesome people. But before you go downloading it, check that it really will save you time and not waste it in the long-run.