The Secret of Being Productive

ID-100208085Do you often ask yourself what would do the trick for you to start that project you’ve been putting on hold for so long?

What makes you procrastinate?

Is it something that seems too daunting to accomplish?

In my experience, knowing that I have to accomplish a big task ahead (like writing an ebook or 30 guest posts in three months – ugh!) makes me anything but productive.

The more I try to force myself into finishing it, the less I succeed. I noticed, for example, that when I’m not applying the Pomodoro technique, and I’m just relying on my willpower, chances to finish a task that requires my focus are slim.  I’ll open one tab in my browser, and then another one, and so on. By the time I opened a dozen tabs, I already forgot where I started.

Using TeamViz, formerly known as PomodoroApp, makes me more efficient. Splitting my work in 30-minute segments, with 25 minutes of work followed by a 5-minute break, creates a certain sense of urgency and a time limit. I set my timer and for 25 minutes I do nothing else but write. No editing and by no means social media or email. And only one browser tab open or as few tabs as possible in case I have to refer to other websites while I write my piece.

This may be hard especially if you’re like me, with a super short attention span. I also turn off any notifications that might distract me.

Studies show the biggest productivity barrier is starting a project. If you keep pushing the start date, the end date seems even farther. And even more overwhelming. The key is to work smarter, breaking down your work into chunks plus planned breaks.

Pomodoro technique is one tool that can help you be disciplined so you can increase your productivity. Even the free version can be easily customized and you can experiment with the time intervals.

On top of that, this short video made by AsapScience in collaboration with Sparring Mind’s Greg Ciotti, explains the science of productivity and how our brain works.

Also, make sure you check out Greg Ciotti’s detailed post “The Psychology of Getting More Done (in Less Time)” where he discusses, among others, how to work like an expert, how to stay disciplined and the challenge of mutitasking in our efforts of being productive.

How do you structure your work to be productive? Share in the comments below what technique works best for you.

Image courtesy of 1shots / Freedigitalphotos.net

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