How to Be More Productive Without Adding Stress
posted on February 6, 2017 | by Chelsea Becker
I personally love finding ways to be more productive each day, but some of the systems I’ve come across end up leaving me stressed. Instead of helping me get through my to-do list, they feel like extra tasks to add on. While experimenting with ways to make better use of my time, I’ve found 3 stress-free systems that I constantly rely on:
I learned about this in the book Zen Habits and have lived by it ever since. I’ve definitely been guilty of writing extra long to-do lists, then being totally overwhelmed when I look at it. Instead, this practice suggests finding the 3 MIT (most important tasks) of your day and focusing on those—that’s it. They should be the things that if you only got those done today, you’d feel accomplished. When/if you get through those 3 tasks, add a new MIT. If you don’t finish all 3, move the leftover task to the top of your list for tomorrow.
I’ll be honest, this is hard, but it’s maybe the most helpful thing I’ve implemented. Get your most daunting (hardest, least exciting) task done first. You’ll be amazed at how relieved you feel after knocking that off your MIT list, and then the rest of the day is a breeze!
This is my most recent productivity addition and it’s amazing. Basically, you work for X minutes with zero distractions—I’m talking phone turned over, no TV or podcasts, no Internet browsing—and then have X minutes for a break. Then you repeat this process over and over throughout the day. You can work with whatever variables make sense for you, but I suggest 30 (on), 5 (off). Oh, and your breaks should be tech-free to truly give your mind a rest! I take a longer break for lunch and that’s when I do my Instagram scrolling.
I’d love to know if any of these ideas work for you!
How do you manage productivity and stress at the same time?
I’ve been meaning to try the Pomodoro technique! I’m just hesitant as keeping track of the time working & time for breaks would stress me out! haha
Christina | http://www.cuddlepill.com
I love Zen habits but I’ve never tried the Pomodoro Technique before. Will definitely look into it.
These are amazing tips. I already try to incorporate doing the “worst first,” but I’m going to try out the 3 MITs and the pomodoro technique this week. I am the queen of writing a super long, daunting task list on Sunday night for the week and feeling like “Great! I know exactly what I need to do this week!” But then (like you said) I get overwhelmed and don’t even get half done. I think I can do this one, but I’ll really struggle with being distraction-free; that seems like a near impossibility sometimes.
I do not manage productivity and stress well! I find that if I’m stressed (ie. worried) about something, it’s hard for me to concentrate on literally anything else. But what I’ve found from the times when I have combated worry with productivity is that I actually get more done and end up forgetting about my worries in the meantime. It’s one of those things where I just have to START, and then the rest gets easier.
Loved this post!
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