How I Make New Habits Stick and Increase My Productivity

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Photo by Taduuda

Since the start of the year I’ve been able to achieve clarity about my goals and focus on the direction I want my career to take. This has included developing new skills and enhancing current ones. All whilst trying not to feel overwhelmed by it all.

It should be easy. What you want + Daily practise = Goal achieved! But it’s not. Factors such as motivation, confidence, and distractions all come into play.

The Queen of Multitasking?

I used to believe that I was great at multitasking. I could get the kids ready for the day and prepare for work all at once. Or so I thought. There is no such thing as multitasking, only task switching.

 

In her article, The True Cost Of Multi-Tasking, Susan Weinschenk Ph.D. writes:

“Each task switch might waste only 1/10th of a second, but if you do a lot of switching in a day it can add up to a loss of 40% of your productivity.“

 

Tools for forming habits

Here are the tools and methods that I have been using:

The 1-3-5 rule
The goal is to schedule one big thing, three medium things, and five small things that can be done on any given day. I turned to this method after my daily to-do list became too long.

 

Meistertask
This is such a great app. Like Trello in the sense that there are boards and cards. Yet Meistertask includes time tracking, integrations, and real-time collaboration.

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Gingko App
I’ve waxed lyrical about Gingko App before. It has helped to make my writing more consistent. The fact that you use Markup to format your text makes it quick and easy.

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RescueTime
Visualising how much time I spend on distracting sites throughout the day has been a major eye opener. I never thought I was bad when it came to social media. Although that is true, this tool showed me there was room for improvement.

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irunurun
A simple but helpful idea. Create up to 7 habits that you want to develop and mark them off every day that you do them.

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Fitbit
Not only is this a handy activity tracker, but it also tracks your sleep. The correlation between a bad nights sleep, bad eating habits and productivity are clear.

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Lack of sleep = bad food choices and a 33% drop in my productivity for that day.

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Taking a break
I cannot stress this enough. When you are tired, step away from the computer and take a break. I’ve worked through tiredness plenty of times and have always had to redo the work that I’ve produced. You don’t win any medals and no one will pat you on the back for doing it

 

Fallen off the wagon? Get back on!

 

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss a day. Just start again with no judgement.

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