Now, I'm a productivity freak. A few weeks ago, I was exposed to the world of Getting Things Done during training for my new job with Team Up. In the past three weeks, I've seen my productivity level skyrocket. And it's all because of this dude, David Allen:
|Photo source: Amazon.co.uk|
Hannah Ferris's "five":
- Invest in an "in" box: Put all of the physical things you need to do in a special place. You'll know where they are, which for some people, myself sometimes included, is a necessary first step. The second goal is to clear it out from time to time - I try to clear mine out weekly. Right now, I've got two articles to read and an empty box of tea bags in my in box, and I have until Thursday (when the reading is due) to clear it out.
- Save social media: This one has easily been the biggest boost to my productivity. For the past two weeks, I have only allowed myself to check social media twice a day; once in the morning, over coffee, and once in the evening, while I'm laying in bed. Of course, it's tempting to look at Instagrams during long lectures, but resisting temptation has done wonders for my ability to focus in class. Plus, I know what a pumpkin spice latte looks like... I already have one on my desk. I highly recommend limiting social media usage. Social media itself can be a source of stress, so simply cutting back can help.
- Recognize an "enhancer": An enhancer is something that currently aids your productivity. Mine is yoga. Don't ask me why or how, but a yoga session for me is like a restart button. When ever I get home from a yoga class, I feel energized and ready to take on the world, even if the world is a long reading on African political economy. So find your enhancer, I just don't recommend Adderall...
- Collect for five minutes: For three Sundays in a row, I've collected my thoughts, literally, on a piece of paper. This is a lot easier than it sounds. Turn off the computer, iPhone, TV, and write down all the thoughts you have and things you need to do on a piece of paper. This is more than a traditional to-do list. My latest collection of thoughts had things like "E-mail Betty", "I hope the kitchen is clean", "I'm lucky to have such a great boyfriend", and "Apply to exchange program." All thoughts deserve a spot
- Classify collections: When you're finished "collecting," you can then classify. Some things will be immediately actionable (I emailed Betty as soon as I'd finished this part of the exercise), some will be "for later" (I can't apply to the exchange program I'm interested in until December, but I marked the date of the application opening in my planner), and some will be "non-actionable"(For example, I just need to be happy about my recognition that I have such a great boyfriend). You can liken this to cleaning up your email inbox (another immensely productive thing to do) - where you put some emails in folders and some in the trash.
I really can't thank these productivity guys enough. I think that my writing tonight is evidence that my productivity has increased. I haven't had "time" to write since September (!!) but now, here I am with a few free hours, on a Monday! If you're really into this, read the book. If not, try at least one of the five things above... I guarantee it will help you if it could help me!