In this post I share with you my #1 best productivity tool. It is a simple tool, but very effective. I will also share some tips for you on how to be more productive and stop procrastinating.
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Put that Timer to Work!
Let me tell you a story. I was trying to get some bookings for different potential speaking engagements, and needed to write a letter for mailing. However, I had been putting it off. It felt so hard for me and all I was thinking was “I don’t know what to write” and “I don’t know what to do.”
This had been my dilemma until I thought of putting my own advice into action and using a timer.
Yes, a timer!
So I took out a timer, set it to 25 minutes, sat down, got out my notes, and started writing. Then, I took a 5-minute break, set my timer to another 25 minutes and before I knew it, the letter was done!
The task that I have been putting off for weeks is finally done. And it’s all because of a timer.
This method is called “Time Boxing”.
By using a timer, you are setting a deadline on your brain, which will allow you to focus on that one thing that you are trying to finish.
This productivity tool is not just effective, it is also very affordable and accessible, and you can find it anywhere.
You can find timers online, on your phone, your computer or in your kitchen.
So go ahead, get that timer set and get the job done.
Attention! Just Focus
Another challenge that we usually face is that there are so much we want to do but we don’t know where to begin. There has been one thing I can really credit my success to for this past year and a half and it is focus. In being focused on a certain task, I have been more productive than ever.
So how do I maintain focus?
I’ve discussed about using a timer and Time Boxing on the first tip. Now, let me discuss with you the method that I am using to keep my focus. It is called the “Pomodoro Technique.”
It is simply telling yourself “Ok, I will do this one thing” then setting a certain time frame for it. You can use whatever time you think will work for you. As for me, I like setting 25 minutes to myself.
And don’t forget to get that break in between tasks to give your brain a chance to breathe and transition your focus.
The Pomodoro technique also helps you remove all distractions. After you set your timer and tell yourself “I’m going to do this”, don’t forget to turn off your Facebook, email, instant messaging, and put your phone into airplane mode for the duration of time that you set for yourself. This way, your focus will remain on that one thing that you are trying to get done. The more focused you are, the higher the quality of work you will deliver.
I’m going to be doing a live video on this topic soon, so if you’re not subscribed to my live videos yet make sure you subscribe at shelleyhitz.com/facebooklive.
Use a Brain Dump
Most of the time we get overwhelmed with the tasks at hand. We recount the number of things we need to do within the day and start to panic as the count gets higher. Then we start to think “I need to do all these 100 things!” Keeping these things spinning around in your head will just cause anxiety and stress and you know it will not do you any good.
The best way to fragmentize and prioritize things is to use a brain dump.
Let me show you how I use my “brain dump” when I feel so overwhelmed.
Right now, I’m in the process of hiring staff, virtual assistants.
Recently, I wrote four pages of notes I need to get out of my head.
It is just suffocating.
So in these situations, I get out my bullet journal and start putting the things I need to do in that piece of paper.
After which, I just have to decide which one to prioritize and start doing it one by one with that timer.
Think “I can,” NOT “I can’t”
There are a lot of reasons why we can’t get a job done.
When you start to do something, then you stop and say “I can’t do this”, “It is so hard” or “I’m not good at this,” you are clearly Stinkin’ Thinkin’.
Sometimes it is fear that keeps us from doing things that we need to do. We think we’re not good enough or we fear that we are going to mess something up. We have to start changing this mindset and thinking “I can do it”.
Many times, action cures fear.
Even a little action, like doing a small little task, will keep you rolling. And once it starts rolling, the momentum just keeps going faster and faster.
As soon as you finish these little tasks, you will start telling yourself “I can actually do this. This is something that I can do and I will keep on refining this skill!”
We can keep learning and growing as we go.
Your Productivity Tips
What are your productivity tips? I have a lot and I share them all in my 30 day writing challenge. Please know that you can get the first seven (7) days for free at writingweek.com.
This is not just for authors. Whatever writing tasks you do, this challenge will help you big time. It also has tons of productivity tips for you. If you haven’t joined us yet, you can sign up for free at writingweek.com and learn my techniques in my seven day writing challenge.
You can also get all my trainings, videos and post comments to interact with me and other people in the page. I will also give you a $27-dollar value software that can definitely help you. It’s a timer called Productivity Coach, so you can try that as well.
Never stop learning and never stop growing.
You can do this! Get that timer out and get the job done.
If you want to learn more ways to be productive in your writing, check out “How to Improve Your Writing”
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