This article is written by Samantha Olivier.
Okay, so you’ve mastered the art of walking, talking, and texting at the same time, you’ve got a degree in whipping up five-minute meals, and your black belt in getting dressed while you stumble around the house sleepily in the morning is a skill coveted by all. Yet, despite this, you’re still always rushing, always chaotic, always irritable because people are annoying, and you’re stressed. For the sake of keeping you from going on a gleeful murder spree, let’s put that knife away and talk about some super useful hacks that will make you the productive ninja you’ve always dreamed of being.
Use bullet journals
Who on earth uses a pen and paper journal in this day and age? Cool people, that’s who. Writing things down has some pretty great benefits, one of them being that you’re less likely to forget something you put down in your own handwriting. Use bullet journals to make plans, schedules, and priority lists. Have a priority list for every day, and jot down tasks that need to be finished as soon as possible. Stick to that list, and simply cross out the things you accomplish. Pen and paper are so great because they don’t provide any distractions. You can’t check your social media or email while you’re using them, not to mention the fact that they can help you organize everything from work, to chores, to social obligations. They also let you get creative and draw, decorate, and doodle.
Stay focused with music and sounds
When you’ve got some boring work ahead of you, the hardest thing is to actually get started. You want to find a way to enter that zen-like state where you’re focused on finishing the task, and music can be of great help in that regard. Of course, you’ve got to pick the right soundtrack for this, because dance and pop hits will only make you want to get up and do anything other than your actual job. Those majestic Hans Zimmer, Ennio Morricone, and John Williams movie soundtracks are the perfect pick. Music too distracting? Try Ambient Mixer and listen to scribbling quills, low murmurs, fire crackling, or the sound of rain pattering outside. Our recommendation: the Hogwarts Library.
If you constantly send emails or generally write things over and over again, save your time by using templates. Business correspondence really doesn’t need to be creative, it merely needs to be quick, to the point, and easy to read. The same goes for Excel spreadsheets and your regular reports.
Quick and easy ways to work out
Working out is one of the best ways to nurture our health, and if we do it regularly it can actually give us more energy and make us more productive. If you’re short on time, apps like Seven can really help, or maybe getting a treadmill or a stationary bike, because they are really easy to use. You really don’t have to go to the gym to stay fit, all you need is a few quality gym outfits to prevent injury, maybe a set of dumbbells, and a workout plan that suits your fitness levels.
Take breaks at specific times during the day, and make sure they are spaced out so you have a lot of mini breaks rather than just one large one. Don’t skip the time you have assigned for a break, and you’ll learn how to use your time better. You can practice five-minute meditation if you like, where you just go to a quiet corner, close your eyes and breathe deeply to relax and refocus. Talk to your co-workers, go make a mug of hot coffee, grab a small bite, whatever makes you feel good. Avoid constantly checking social media, because you’ll get easily distracted, and you will have done nothing useful.
Being productive mostly boils down to being organized. If you know how to handle your time and stick to a self-made schedule, you’ll be surprised at just how much you can accomplish in a day. That rush of panic and anxiety is a common thing among millennials, but it can totally be avoided with some clever time management. Basically, relax, make a list of things you have to get done, and stay flexible enough to allow for momentary changes and unforeseen circumstances.