Because it comes up a lot for all of us trying to manage schedules that slam more than 24 hours of work into a day, I thought I would make one giant productivity post for everyone to help us all out (including myself).
10 steps to GET MORE SHIT DONE in a day
JUST START—I think most of us find that sometimes the hardest part to starting a task is overcoming the “ugh—fuck this shit, I don’t want to do this” feeling. So, trick yourself into it. Instead of saying you’re going to work for 8 hours, tell yourself you’ll do an hour… and watch that hour turn into 2 or 3 or 4 magically.
Action fights anxiety—If you’re terrified of a project hanging over your head, just start it!! Instead of waiting till tomorrow or next week when things might be right, just start right now! Do something to help yourself feel better about it. You’ll feel better getting through the rest of your day if you don’t have the fear. If you wake up at 2 am panicked you haven’t replied to an email, get up and do it now so you can go back to sleep in peace!
Make a list—Never underestimate the power of writing it down and crossing it off.
Take care of yourself—It’s hard to work when you’re tired or hungry or haven’t worked out, etc. So, prioritize—make yourself #1! You’re fucking worth it. So work out, eat breakfast, sleep 6 or 8 or 9 hours (whatever you need). Do whatever it takes to make yourself feel ready to take on the day.
Stay organized—I have a slightly OCD-type personality. If the desk is a mess, it’s hard for me to do my work. So put things back where they belong, take the time to keep things tidy so you can do your best work.
Don’t multitask—We all think we’re good at this—but the truth is we’re shit. We’re complete and utter shit at multitasking. Do one thing very well instead of four things poorly.
Shut off—Turning away from the work for just a minute can really decrease your productivity. Unless you are actively waiting on a text to hear the test results from your mother’s biopsy or an emergency call from your best friend that your house is burning down almost anything else can wait another hour until you finish your task. Even an email from your boss can probably wait another 10 minutes for you to finish what you’re working on.
Be competitive—Be a better you than you were yesterday. Do more. Show yesterday-you that they’re a lazy bitch and you can do better!
Give a fuck!!—If you actually care about what you’re doing, you’ll be more motivated to do it!
10 very specific ways to get more shit done
Work when you work best—This rule that people work better in the morning is bullshit. Some people work best from 5 am to 7 am, but some of us do our best work from 1 pm to 3 pm or 10 pm to midnight. Work when you do your best work and get things done—whenever that is!!
Localize—Put it all in one place. Stop moving between eight study resources or you’ll fail to focus on one thing well—instead condense all your study materials into one place and then focus on that ONE thing.
Multi-task on the stuff that doesn’t matter—It takes no brain power to clean a counter, so when you have to clean your apartment you can also return the phone calls you’ve put off. When you have to stand in line for coffee you can also answer emails, while your lunch is heating in the microwave you can put away the dishes in the dish washer. Get more done in the spaces between.
Be contrary—Who says you have to buy groceries on the busiest shopping day? Go at a weird time when other people won’t be there and you can get in and out faster. Don’t waste your time waiting in line just because that’s when everyone else does something. Do things when you can do it fastest!! Hit the post office at 3 pm when everyone else is at work, go to the gym late in the evening after the post-work rush is over. Do it when you can get it done fast!
Buy the right shit—Go ahead and buy the best tool for the task. If you don’t set yourself up right, you’ll just spend more time fighting for things to work than actually working!!
In arm’s reach or screw it—When you sit down to work, get all the things you need ready to go so you don’t have to keep getting up for more paper or some water. If it’s not within arm’s reach, move it or screw it!
Bribe yourself—Never underestimate the power of a piece of chocolate, or a night out at the end of the week, or an online shopping spree for that shirt you’ve wanted.
Turn it up (or turn it down)—If you hate the quiet play music, but if the sound is too distracting shut it the fuck off. Work in a space that works for you.
Deep end—welcome to it--Do the hard stuff first. You’ll lose energy as the day goes on, so leave the easy things for when you’re tired and don’t need as much will power.
One touch—You’ve probably heard this one before, but here’s my irreverent version of it. Pick it up—don’t put it the fuck down until you’re done. If you get an email from your professor saying you all have to complete a required form, do the fucking form now and email it back immediately. Why spend more time later having to look at that damn email again? If you realize you’re out of paper towels, check your level of tin foil and tissues while you’re at it so you can go to the store one time. Do it once, do it right, don’t fuck around.
Oh, and don’t forget to give yourself a break when you need it. Not every day can be a day where everything gets done. :)
“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.”—Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo (via leezymeezy)
Give up trying to be perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.
Give up comparing yourself to others. – The only person you are competing against is yourself.
Give up dwelling on the past or worrying too much about the future. – Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you. Right now is life. Don’t miss it.
Give up complaining. – Do something about it.
Give up holding grudges. – Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness.
Give up waiting. – What we don’t start today won’t be finished by tomorrow. Knowledge and intelligence are both useless without action.
Give up lying. – In the long-run the truth always reveals itself. Either you own up to your actions or your actions will ultimately own you.
Give up trying to avoid mistakes. – The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake.
Give up saying, “I can’t.” – As Henry Ford put it, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.”
Give up trying to be everything to everyone. – Making one person smile can change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. Start small. Start now.
Give up thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
Give up setting small goals for yourself. – Many people set small goals because they’re afraid to fail. Ironically, setting these small goals is what makes them fail.
Give up trying to do everything by yourself. – You are the sum of the people you spend the most time with. If you work together, you will be far more capable and powerful than you ever could have been alone.
Give up buying things you don’t need. – Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you. Do not spend to impress others. Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects.
Give up blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can live your dream life depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
Give up making mountains out of molehills. – One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time? Three years? Five years? If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
Give up trying to live up to the expectations of others. – Work on it for real and exceed your own expectations. Everything else will fall into place.
Give up the ‘easy street’ mentality. – There is too much emphasis on finding a ‘quick fix’ in today’s society. For example taking diet pills to lose weight instead of exercising and eating well. No amount of magic fairy dust replaces diligent, focused, hard work.
Give up making promises you can’t keep. – Don’t over-promise. Over-deliver on everything you do.
Give up letting your thoughts and feelings bottle up inside. – People are not mind readers. They will never know how you feel unless you tell them.
Give up beating around the bush. – Say what you mean and mean what you say. Communicate effectively.
Give up avoiding change. – However good or bad a situation is now, it will change. That’s the one thing you can count on. So embrace change and realize that change happens for a reason. It won’t always be easy or obvious at first, but in the end it will be worth it.
Give up your sense of entitlement. – Nobody is entitled to anything in this world. We are all equal. We breathe the same air. We get what we give. We get what we earn.
Give up waiting until the last minute. – Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
Give up being dramatic. – Stay out of other people’s drama and don’t needlessly create your own.
Give up being anti-athletic. – Get your body moving! Simply take a long, relaxing walk or commit 30 minutes to an at-home exercise program like the P90X workout.
Give up junk food. – You are what you eat.
Give up eating as a means of entertainment. – Don’t eat when you’re bored. Eat when you’re hungry.
Give up foolish habits that you know are foolish. – Don’t text and drive. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t smoke. Etc.
Give up relationships with people who bring you down. – Saying “no” to right people gives you the time and resources required to say “yes” to right opportunities. Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded.
Give up being shy. – Network with people. Meet new people. Ask questions. Introduce yourself.
Give up worrying about what others think of you. – Unless you’re trying to make a great first impression (job interview, first date, etc.), don’t let the opinions of others stand in your way. What they think and say about you isn’t important. What is important is how you feel about yourself.
Give up trying to control everything. – Life is an unpredictable phenomenon. No matter how good or bad things seem right now, we can never be 100% certain what will happen next. So do you best with what’s in front of you and leave the rest to the powers above you.
Give up doing the same thing over and over again. – In order to grow, you must expand your horizons and break free of your comfort zone. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.
Give up following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t find the easy way out. Do something extraordinary.
Give up persistent multi-tasking. – Do one thing at a time and do it right.
Give up thinking others are luckier than you. – The harder you work, the luckier you will become.
Give up filling every waking moment with commitments and activities. – It’s okay to be alone. It’s okay to do nothing sometimes. Think. Relax. Breathe. Be.
Give up making emotional decisions. – Don’t let your emotions trump your intelligence. Slow down and think things through before you make any life-changing decisions.
Give up doing the wrong things just because you can get away with it. – Just because you can get away with something doesn’t mean you should do it. Think bigger. Keep the end in mind. Do what you know in your heart is right.
Give up focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
Give up taking yourself so seriously. – Few others do anyway. So enjoy yourself and have a little fun while you can.
Give up spending your life working in a career field you’re not passionate about. – Life is too short for such nonsense. The right career choice is based on one key point: Finding hard work you love doing. So if you catch yourself working hard and loving every minute of it, don’t stop. You’re on to something big. Because hard work ain’t hard when you concentrate on your passions.
Give up thinking about the things you don’t have. – Appreciate everything you do have. Many people aren’t so lucky.
Give up doubting others. – People who are determined do remarkable things. Remember, the one who says it can’t be done should never interrupt the one doing it.
Give up fussing with every beauty product on the market. – Good looks attracts the eyes. Personality attracts the heart. Be proud to be you. That’s when you’re beautiful.
Give up trying to fit in. – Don’t mold yourself into someone you’re not. Be yourself. Oftentimes, the only reason they want you to fit in is that once you do they can ignore you and go about their business.
Give up trying to be different for the sake of being different. – Nonconformity for the sake of nonconformity is conformity. When people try too hard to be different, they usually end up being just like everyone else who is trying to be different. Once again, be yourself.
Give up trying to avoid risk. – There’s no such thing as ‘risk free.’ Everything you do or don’t do has an inherent risk.
Give up putting your own needs on the back burner. – Yes, help others, but help yourself too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
And remember, mistakes make us human, failures help us grow, hope keeps us going and love is the reason we’re alive. So keep learning, loving and living. Never give up on yourself.
“When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.”—Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life (via cleamour)
“Do not settle for less than exactly what you want. Your heart’s desires are there for a reason. Chase them. Pursue them relentlessly. Do not lose sight of your goals. They are your very reason for being.”—Franki Durbin (via julieyumi)
“You like him because he’s a lost boy. Believe me, I’ve seen it happen before. But do you know what happens to girls who love lost boys? They become lost themselves. Without fail.”—David Levithan, Every Day (via perfect)
“You just like the idea of me. You like the person I present myself under circumstances that I can control. I choose what I say and how I say things. It’s like being attracted to a fictional character in a book. They are scripted and made up. If you think about it, through writings, we all script and make ourselves up. I don’t share the person I become when I am upset. I don’t show you how I look like when I sleep. I don’t tell you about all the times I’ve made someone cry. All the guilty things I’ve done and the bad thoughts I’ve had.”—Han (via losed)
“Life is “give and take.” Give thanks and take nothing for granted. Being happy doesn’t mean you have it all, it means you appreciate it all. So stop worrying and complaining all the time. Life is too short. Instead of focusing on how stressed you are, remember how blessed you are.”—(via stevenrosas)
There will be days when you want to just throw in the towel and give up. There will be days when nothing makes sense anymore and you feel like happiness won’t show its face to you any time soon. There will be days of stiff necks and no sleep and sore muscles. People will be cruel. Food will go bad. You will feel like the world is out to get you.
But then spring arrives. Something big blooms in your chest. Sparrows sing to you and the air suddenly is clearer. You fall in love. You will grow a garden. Good things will start to come to you, beautiful people will find you. Remember those good things when the days get cold and the nights get long. Remember that you deserve to feel good. That you deserve to have good people and good food and a safe place to come home to. Remember that bad moods pass that all bad days end. And that no matter where you are or how lonely you get, somebody out there is looking for you and is waiting to for you to find them and give them your love.
”—Letter to my Future Daughter by Esperanza Friel (via wunderlast)
“You realize you are not alone, right? No one in their twenties has life figured out. It’s okay to be a mess. You’re living.”—Things my therapist told me today that almost made me burst out into tears. I need to remember this more often. (via frankiesaysdig)
“My mom taught me one thing: You don’t always have to tell people you love them. You just have to give them no reason to doubt it.”—irishjulienne’s, saying i love you is not a habit (via the-healing-nest)