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The Most Organized Version Of Yourself
The reason I am able to get a lot of things done on time and well is that I learned to manage myself, my time and my energy levels wisely. I know when it’s time to push myself harder to accomplish a goal and when it’s time to rest to recharge and reset. I stopped feeling guilty about taking time off and indulging in the sweetness of doing nothing to fully recover from hard work.
I don’t force myself (anymore) to be the most organized and productive version of myself when I’m not feeling it. Because now I know that it produces the opposite effect. Instead, I plan and organize my work and life in such a way, that I can get my non-negotiable (professional and personal) tasks done even on those days when I feel a lack of energy and motivation.
How I do it?
Well, I developed a system based on 8 simple productivity and organizational habits (tactics) to trick my brain into productivity mode without forcing myself to be productive. Sounds complicated, In practice, however, refreshingly simple.
So if you’re interested in learning how to plan your work and life using your time, energy and focus levels to your advantage, then continue to read this post and you will find the answer!
Be Intentional With Your Time
All resources that we have as human beings are limited except our potential – this one’s limitless. This means that if we do manage to unlock our full potential we become unstoppable. But other resources such as time, energy, money, mental capacity, physical space, attention, willpower, natural resources or even talent are all limited. That is the plain truth that we need to accept.
When you think about it, time is the only non-renewable resource that we have, which makes it so valuable. Because while you can always earn more money, recharge your mental energy, boost your willpower or increase your mental space you cannot make more time. You cannot turn back time, nor you can skip the present moment and start living in the future. All you really have is NOW and you should do your best to make the most of this NOW.
The present moment is the only one you can make a decision, take action on your goals and take advantage of your current circumstances instead of waiting for things to happen to you. But to make a conscious decision and take intentional action – the one that will help you to get closer to your dreams first you need to create a plan of action and organize yourself to achieve better results.
Every accomplishment is the result of taking massive action. And that action can be taken ONLY in the present moment. So if you want to make your dream come true and live your best life you need to be more intentional with your time.
The things, people, ideas, content or even emotions you dedicate your time to determine whether you will make progress in both personal and professional life or not. So be mindful of how you spend your time. Choose wisely what you do, how you do it, why you do it and which whom you do it. Be intentional with your time, make every moment count and build your future NOW.
Perform A Mini Life Audit
The next thing you can do to make the most of your time is to perform a mini life audit. The purpose of this reflective practise is to ensure all your plans and actions are in alignment with what you want to achieve.
Living in a society that idolizes hustle culture makes it really difficult to pursue your own path and focus on the things that truly matter to you, instead of doing the same things that others do but better and faster.
From early childhood we are trained encouraged to developed an Obsessive Comparison Disorder, participate rat race and pretend that we LOVE to study even the school subjects that we hate. But then, as we become adults nothing really changes. We are encouraged to participate in hustle culture, pretend that we LOVE working 24/7 and become unhealthily obsessed with (toxic) productivity. Because that’s what being successful really means, right?
Well, not really. Success is when you don’t have to sacrifice your sleep and personal life to get more work done. No amount of money is worth risking both health and wellbeing.
But don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with truly enjoying your work as long as you maintain a healthy work-life balance. In fact, having a passion for your work and loving what you do for a living is crucial for achieving the desired levels of success and fulfilment.
But still, you need to know the difference between being a high performer and being an overachiever. The former approach does help you to achieve your goals faster, but the latter guarantees you burnout. So don’t fall into the overachiever trap, because you will end up doing endless unimportant tasks that will not get you any closer to achieving your goals. Instead develop a habit of performing a mini weekly life audit to make sure that your goals and actions are in alignment with your vision in both life and work. Connect with your vision, review your actions and make sure you’re still on the right route.
Plan Everything Carefully Beforehand
If you want to feel inspired, motivated and energized in the morning plan your day the night before. Don’t rely on your morning sleepy mood to guide you because the chances of you feeling insanely motivated and ready to smash your day without a plan are relatively low. Unless you are extremely good at improvisation and embracing the morning chaos. Although, technically, a good improvisation requires some preparation, fluency, and knowledge.
So whether you prefer to have everything planned out or you just go with the (morning) flow you will have to have some sort of plan to guide your day otherwise you will be wasting your time and energy on unimportant tasks and unnecessary decisions.
Whereas, an effective plan will help you to determine both the direction and time of the day. So as you can see, with a little planning, you will be able to design your own perfect day for productivity, creativity, and motivation. So every single evening take some time to create your schedule and make a powerful to-do list that will help you get through the next day in a productive and exciting way! Remember to:
- Plan Your Days According to 3 x 8h rule (8h of work, 8h of productive “me time”, 8h of quality rest. Split your day into 3 parts and you will create a sacred equilibrium, a perfect balance of your mind, body, and spirit.
- Create a Prioritized To-Do List
- Set 3 MITS – the most important tasks (get them knocked out in the early morning, as soon as you can when your mind is fresh)
- Set SMART Goals & Deadlines
- Design an Action Plan for Your Goals
Work From Home Like PRO Workbook
Simplify Your Tasks
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” Even though this famous quote from Albert Einstein was closely referred to the science, it works well in pretty much every sphere of life. Because by simplifying your tasks you avoid unnecessary actions, decision fatigue and complexity trap – the famous three behaviors that effectively block success and prevent you from living your best life.
By keeping things simple you avoid adding unnecessary work to your already jam-packed schedule and wasting your time on “mediocre” activities that do not move you closer to your long-term goals. As a result, you can focus on what’s truly important and what pays you the most.
Simplicity is the key to a successful life both professional and personal. You want to focus on taking action, not on planning on endless possibilities and overthinking unimportant details that are not really making any difference. Only by taking action, you can create results.
From my personal experience, one of the best methods to simplify your work and life, in general, is The Pareto Principle that states that 20% of your actions or activities produce 80% of the outcomes.
That means that if you manage to identify that 20% correctly you will spend more time doing the right things and as a consequence, you will see better results sooner compared to your current working approach. If you want to know how does the Pareto Principle apply to time management, John Rapton explains this perfectly in his post that you can read here.
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Master Time Blocking Method
Time-blocking or calendar-blocking is an extremely effective technique where you define specific time blocks for particular tasks, activities or events. Each block is dedicated to accomplishing a specific task so that you know what to focus on and how much time do you have to get this thing done.
This simple time-management method will help you to develop laser-like focus, build momentum and put yourself in motion for success. Not to mention that if you dedicate each time block to a certain task you will reduce the likelihood of mindless social media scrolling, binge-watching Netflix or overeating of boredom.
We live in a world full of distractions where one lapse in concentration can create a “snowball effect” of laziness, procrastination, and inactivity. Just think about these moments 5 minutes of checking social media quickly turned into 30 minutes, or when one episode of your favourite Netflix series turned into 3+ episodes of a 25-minute show.
My point is, if you don’t block time for your key tasks, I can guarantee you that you will find millions of things to do instead. Potential alternatives to your MITs will pop up out of nowhere like crazy making you believe that everything is much more important than your original tasks. To avoid that risk you should be cautious and make time blocking your habit.
- Get out tasks of your head into your notebook
- Add all your tasks to your prioritized to-do list
- Decide on specific time slots in your calendar and reserve them for the tasks (you can also schedule your breaks to boost your productivity levels)
- Work on your tasks within the prescribed time period
- Be disciplined and act on your schedule
Embrace The Power Of Single-Tasking
It’s high time to rid ourselves of this misconception about multitasking. Although we can focus on two or more activities at the same time, it is impossible to concentrate on two completely different tasks simultaneously. Just think about it. You probably snack while binge eating Netflix or listen to music while washing the dishes because it makes it less boring and more entertaining, right?
But as much as doing all of these things don’t require your full and undivided attention you’ve probably noticed that if you pay more attention to eating than watching you easily miss important details and quickly lose track of what is actually happening in the movie. And we are talking here about the simplest activities.
Although divided attention can be improved with practice it is still not possible for the human brain to process more than one task at a time. Multitasking is incredibly overrated and has nothing to do with productivity. Furthermore, doing more than one thing at a time actually decreases your productivity and kill your focus. So instead of managing it all, focus on only one task at a time and you will be surprised how quickly and easily you will accomplish that.
Batch Similar Tasks Together
According to a University of California Irvine study, “it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task.” That’s an awfully long time to switch your brain into productivity mode again. Not to mention that waiting instead of doing is one of the main triggers for procrastinating. And once you fall into the trap of procrastination, a momentary lapse of self-control can snowball into hours and hours of wasted time. So just don’t take any chances.
To avoid procrastination and stay focused on your professional tasks when you work from home you need a strategy to create momentum. From my personal experience, one of the best methods to achieve that state is to group similar tasks together and doing them all at once. Trust me, it works wonders for both pleasant and extremely boring tasks.
Batching similar tasks together such as responding to emails, making important phone calls, doing meetings, doing errands or getting administrative work done is exactly what you need to develop laser-like focus and increase your efficiency at work.
Plan And Schedule Rest Days
We live on the run and we’re always late. We wish there were more than 24 hours a day because that would mean that we could put even more on our plate like we haven’t already had way too many things to get done.
We are severely overworked, incredibly overstressed, seriously overwhelmed, dangerously overstimulated and extremely anxious. Our schedules are jam-packed with appointments or tasks for every single hour. We listen instead of reading because it’s more convenient. We write instead of talking because it’s faster. We try to convince ourselves that multitasking is possible.
We literally don’t have time for anything besides work and other work-related responsibilities. We live a sedentary lifestyle far away from the purest nature even if we not that it slowly makes us sick. We struggle to manage our never-ending to-do list. We spend less and less quality time with our loved ones. Our brains are completely overloaded by too much information and external stimuli that they cannot even process. And then when we try to reboot our brains it turns out that it’s completely fried.
So what we should do to feel fresh, energized, motivated, inspired and in control of our lives again? Well, in my personal opinion there is only ONE correct answer to that question: WE SHOULD REST. But I mean truly rest. Actually, we should ALL plan and schedule rest days to make sure we won’t be working during our off days!
Grab Your Free Worksheets
Best Posts On Living Your Best Life
- How To Upgrade Your Life For Maximum Results & Happiness
- How To Figure Out What You Want In Life: 12 Simple Exercises
- Discover 10 simple ways to train your self-discipline muscle
- Use best time management apps to keep you on schedule at work
- Organize your day around your goals
- Use the Eisenhower Box to identify your top priorities and avoid the urgency trap
- Create and maintain a powerful morning routine
- Develop morning rituals to make your motivation flow effortlessly
- Create motivation through action
- Start before you are ready
- Improve your decision-making process
- Overcome your self-limiting beliefs that block your progress
- Balance productivity and happiness
- Cultivate self-care routine
- The 3 x 8 rule for Perfectly Balanced Day & Life
- Create rituals to induce a flow state
and get seriously organized