April 12, 2012

Quick productivity boost

Throw out your 10-page to-do list.

It's daunting and overloads your working memory, which is energy intensive with a short bandwidth.

Instead, keep a shorter list for each day that you can tick off as you go. Maximum one page.

Make sure you have a few easy items (low hanging fruit) that you can accomplish easily for a quick win. If you find that you're stuck or stalled, choose a small item to build back your momentum.

If you really have that many things to manage over time, break down your big list and group smaller actions under larger categories. Ensure that you are only faced with one page each day.

Finally, diarise as many of those items as possible so that when you look at your list you know you have a plan in place. Your stress levels will go down along with any sense of overwhelm once you know you're working your plan.

When your stress is reduced, your body will channel resources to the parts of your brain you need most during the day. You'll think more creatively, solve problems more easily and overall be more productive.

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