My name is Beth Garner and I am a creative aficionado. For my contribution to the Visual Line blog, I decided I wanted to share something that could (hopefully) benefit everybody.
So I chose to talk about…being productive!
Whether you are two guys starting up a video production company, or simply trying to get through an enormous pile of washing, I’m hoping that you can take a little something away from my post that will help you through those days where you feel like there are a million things to do.
At some point during the day, that giant pile of washing is going to look like Mount Kilimanjaro.
This is not your magic hour.
Your magic hour is the period of time during the day (it is usually more than just one hour) that you feel like you can kick butt. For me, this is usually about ten minutes after I wake up. For others, this could be 1am after a four-hour nap. For maximum productivity, you need to take advantage of your enthusiasm for doing stuff. I know for a fact if I spend my morning watching Jeremy Kyle and my afternoon watching Disney, when 8pm rolls around and I still have a butt-load of stuff to do, chances are I’m probably just going to call it a day and go to bed. Try to identify your magic hour, and capitalise on it.
There’s a lot of debate on the internet about the benefits of making plans or lists. Personally, I love them, but I know that one half of Visual Line isn’t a fan. Typically, if I have a day off and a lot of stuff to do, I make a list. This isn’t a regimented, time-constricted itinerary of every single thing I have to do during the day, but a short list of things that I would really rather like to get done on my day off. I write this in my bullet journal at the beginning of the day, and I refer back to it to remind myself to do particular things. There is a difference between being busy and being productive, and I feel the list usually plays a large part in this. Without one, I tend to finish the day with an alphabetised book collection and a clear email inbox, but a lot of important tasks remain untouched.
The downside of the list is that whilst writing a list helps you to focus your energy, it also can become quite disheartening when you have set yourself 27 things to complete for the day. You just need to remember… the list is just a list, not a checklist.
The Sistine Chapel was not created in a day. My 8000 word dissertation was not written in a week (hard as I tried). Anybody can see that to expect this is unrealistic. Use this in your life. Your list of 27 tasks may not all get done in one day. If you don’t manage to wallpaper the entire living room, but you have sorted out your tax return, then that’s probably okay. When you set yourself unrealistic goals, you set yourself up for failure. That feels pretty bad, and it can seriously hinder your productivity.
This is not to say that you don’t aim for those big ol’ goals. If you want to become a world champion boxer, then go for it! But just bear in mind that some goals cannot be done in a day; some goals take time, effort, and a LOT of sacrifice.
RING THE ALARM
So, at some point during the day, you’re going to come up against that one thing that you really don’t want to do. That one thing for me is cleaning the bathroom. It sucks. I hate it. Before I stumbled across this protip, I would typically spend two hours cleaning the bathroom like this…
…I think everybody can relate.
Now for the protip – set an alarm. It’s the easiest thing in the world, and I think it’s awesome. Before I start my job, I put the timer on, usually about half an hour, and go mental. I know you might be thinking ‘what if I can’t finish my task in X amount of time?’ Yeah, you probably can. When you know that you only have a certain amount of time to do something, and when that time is up you’re free to go about your business, it leaves you feeling pretty pumped.
There are only a small handful of things in the world that make me forget to eat. Painting is one of them (and writing this too), but there’s not much else. I’m sure everybody else has had the same thing where you’re doing something, but sort of not really putting your full attention into it and kind of watching cat videos at the same time? This is fine for some tasks, but distractions can really get in the way of your productivity. My advice? Get rid of it. If it’s the TV, turn it off. If it’s Facebook, delete it (probably the most helpful thing I’ve ever done). If it’s YouTube videos of cats, go ahead… LOLJK stop watching them.
If you really want to get the most out of your brain, you have to focus it on what you’re doing. If you need a break, then set an alarm to make sure you don’t get completely sidetracked. Watch the cat videos for 15 minutes, and then get back to work!
And there you have it; a few tricks to kick start your productivity. I hope that whilst your blood may not be racing through your veins in anticipation of sorting through dirty socks, you are at least feeling a little bit more prepared to deal with your day.
Visual Line's Note:-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Well I for one feel inspired! Some really good tips in there to avoid something we all know and do! I would like to take this opportunity to thank Beth Garner for writing this post and wish her the greatest success in the future.
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