In the digital age, productivity is a top priority, along with an impeccable organization. To maximize these two aspects, working habits must change a bit and although it may seem hard in the beginning, realizing that you became a pro at using your time efficiently will make it worth it, we promise!
We’re super aware that nowadays, everyone wants to get more things done in less time, especially when it comes to digital or remote work. Sometimes it feels like you are running against time or that a day doesn’t have enough hours to accomplish all the desired personal or professional objectives.
We don’t have a magic spell that can make time slow down (yet), but we do know a few productivity techniques you should try. Take a look at our top 10!
1. The Rule of Three
An easy way to start your working days: write down three things you want to accomplish during your schedule. Make this list about results rather than tasks. Consider it a reminder on focusing on what’s really important to you, so at the end of each day, you’ll feel happy with the outcomes.
2. The „Eat that frog” technique
Don’t worry, you don’t need to eat a living frog for real, it’s just the name of a productivity technique detailed by author Brian Tracy in one of his books.
The ”frog”, in this case, is the biggest task on your list, the hardest one, the most time-consuming one. Brian Tracy recommends to discipline yourself to start all working days with this dreadful task and keep working on it until it’s finished. This will give you a strong sense of achievement, while boosting your energy to focus on more enjoyable tasks later in the day.
3. The 80/20 rule or the Pareto principle
You might have heard of this rule before, but have you tried it so far? If not, here’s how to apply it: 2 out of 10 tasks produce 80% of the results. This technique teaches you how to prioritize your tasks, so that you’ll work more on those providing the biggest return.
We’re sure you’ve had days when you jumped from task to task, and at the end of the working hours, you’ve felt like you didn’t accomplish anything important. The good news is that you can change this habit and become friend with productivity: simply focus your energy on tasks that add meaning and value to your working days.
4. The Pomodoro technique
Invented in 1990 by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro technique promotes working in short sprints, to ensure your productivity, while also taking regular breaks, to boost your motivation and reinforce your energy levels. In short, you have to:
a) Choose a task you want to resolve.
b) Set a timer to 25 minutes and constantly work on the task in this window, without interruptions.
c) When the timer rings, take a 5 minutes break.
d) At every 4 Pomodoros, prolong your breaks.
This principle helps you efficiently manage your time, while remaining focused and productive. It encourages you to work with the time you have rather than against it.
5. Task batching
This approach improves your workflow and helps you limit constant switching between different tasks, multi-tasking or procrastination. Juggling with various duties simultaneously often makes you fail on trully focusing on any of them. The sad result? Wasted time.
Break this cycle with task basking! The method is simple: just group similar tasks together and take care of them all at once, rather than jump back and forth between them, throughout the day. For instance, group email replies in one session and content creation in another one (articles, Social Media posts, storyboards, etc.).
6. The ”Two Minute” rule
How often do you find yourself procrastinating throughout the day? More than you’d wish? Then apply the ”two minute” rule: if you have tasks on your to-do list that will take two minutes or less to complete, just do them now. Taking immediate action on small tasks will make you feel like you’ve accomplished something, and this will boost your motivation to cross more tasks off your list.
7. The time blocking technique
The cousin of task batching, the time blocking technique helps you control your schedule so that it doesn’t control you. Simply put, divide your day into time blocks. Each block is allocated to completing specific tasks or groups of tasks. For instance, reserve your mornings for creative work (making a presentation, writing articles, creating Social Media posts and visuals, launching an online campaign, shaping creative concepts for clients), and the afternoon for team calls, client meetings, email replies.
8. The ”Getting Things Done” approach
This method advocates for using tools you can trust and a consistent routine that enables you to keep track of things you need to do and remember. It’s a 5-step procedure:
a) Capture. Clearly write down anything you have to do that ruminates in your mind.
b) Clarify. This is called Action List. Review each task and assess if it’s actionable.
c) Organize. Categorize the tasks in the Action List into groups of similar actions.
d) Reflect. Productivity is about constant review and adjustments, so update and clean your task list each day, so that work can go smoothly.
e) Engage. Just start executing the tasks from your list and... well, get things done!
9. The „Zen to Done” approach
This technique aims to make productivity a habit by following a 10-step plan created by Leo Babauta. Decide to adopt these new habits, one at a time, and your work will improve: Collect, Process, Plan, Do, Simple System, Organize, Review, Simplify, Routines, Find your passion.
10. Productivity journaling
If you love writing, this method will suit you perfectly. It’s a manner of productive reflection, in fact. Every day, write your goals and activities. Keep documenting your achievements in a descriptive manner. On a weekly basis, read your productivity journal and reflect on your list of successes and failures. Use this information to improve both yourself and your work.
Besides all these amazing productivity techniques, it will be even more helpful if you’d have a customized workspace where you can fit in all your apps, files and documents, without ever getting lost in them.
Good thing there is OneDock, your digital friend that brings order to work chaos. With a fully customizable Dashboard, an unified Search feature and a cool Password Manager, OneDock declutters your desktop by gathering all necessary SaaS apps into one place.
Get more out of the space available on your display. Start using OneDock today!
Catalina Rascanu - Copywriter / UX writer at Telekom Romania