How To Have Your Most Productive Week Ever

Hey, hi, good morning, how are you.

Yes, that IS Kanye in my picture, thank you for noticing. It will make sense later.

Do you wanna be a productivity machine this week and have your most productive week ever? Read on.

So, just like everyone else in on the planet, I have to do things. Which means I have to be productive.

And being productive comes down to ‘hacking your own productivity’: finding the best methods for you, applying the tricks that work for you, so that you can do as much as possible, as efficiently as possible.

I had a killer productive week this week, and here’s how I did that. It’s the total sum of shit I often do, and now did altogether, and it worked like a charm.

1 MAKE A TO DO LIST FOR THE WEEK. 

I find weeks the perfect amount of time to get shit done in a sensible tempo with great overview.

A month is too long which makes me procrastinate (because sooooo much time, you guys, I might as well watch another season of the Bake Off) and a day is too short which makes me stressed (because soooooo little time, you guys, I might as well watch another season of the Bake Off).

In a week you can do the most urgent tasks, the most important tasks and the most relevant tasks that you need either short term and long term. A week is good.

Kanye pic is in my pictures because I don’t mind you knowing I try to write blogs but all my other work-related things and world domination plans should be top secret. I don’t like to be thwarted.

 2 PRIORITISE THE TO DOS I use the A to E method from Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog (article on my to do lists here)

A – The ABSOLUTE most important, even if you do NOTHING ELSE for fuck’s sake at least do this ok, LIVES DEPEND ON IT okay maybe not lives but MUY IMPORTANTE DO THE THING.

B -If you have time left over after doing Category A tasks, do these things. Less urgent or big, but still relevant and important to do!

C – It would be nice to do this, and maybe you should if you have a lot of spare time, a moment you can’t spend on A or B, but if you don’t do these nobody dies and very likely nobody cares either.

D – Delegate if you can

E – Eliminate if necessary

More info on the ABC method here.

I use 1-X to create an order under the categories. So A1 is the most important, then A2, then A3, and then B1, B2, B3, etc.

3 ESTIMATE AMOUNT OF TIME PER TASK After prioritising, I try to assess how much time (in Pomodoros) it will take me to complete a task.

Why? For no other reason than that it works as an anchor point. The total amount of time set aside for a task is the total amount you try to do it in. If you go over, that’s fine. If you can do it in less, you feel awesome and that surge of motivation is useful to get started on other tasks.

4 USE ALL THE TIME If I know I have a lot to do and that I’ll be most likely pressed for time, I use the bits of time I normally take for granted.

I write on the subway. I read scientific lit in the train. I answer emails on my walk to work.

5 AFTER WORK WORK OUTS My head is stuffy after working all day. I’m tired. I’m not focused anymore. After staring at my screen or at pages all day, it’s time to wrap it up. I might have a headache, or feel like falling straight into bed.

But, if I go for a run, do a yoga sequence or take a yoga class after work, I get an hour or so extra of productivity time in the evenings.

This is not my daytime productivity: Important tasks that require ALL of my attention are best done during the day. But low-brainer tasks, or things like writing, cleaning or boring administration? Those are easy enough to do for a while after dinner.

6 HAVE A RELAXED MINDSET ABOUT THE WHOLE THING I want to be productive, I work as hard as I can, but if something takes longer than expected, if emergency items are added to my to do list that keep me from finishing my entire list: That is okay. My list is way too long and probably unrealistic anyway.

(Pro tip for daily to do lists: Write down everything you want to do that day…and then immediately cross out half of it. If you’re anything like me you have insane expectations of yourself in 24 hours. Seriously, just get half done and you’ll be fine.)

It’s all okay. I do what I can. I’m interested in seeing just how much I can do, but I fully accept the fact that I am human and that I need food, sleep, social activities and time to recharge. Speaking of…

7 HAVE A (FUN!) FINISH LINE I use my weekends to recharge and I make sure to have fun, exciting or relaxing things planned during my free time. Those are my rewards for the week(s) of hard work. So I have a dinner or drinks Friday, chill out all Saturday or see my family on the Sunday.

This motivates me. I go “okay, just a couple of more things/tasks/hours, before I get to do all this fun stuff.” Has to do with adopting the long term approach: I rather work now and later relax knowing I did all the things than slack off and feel stressed out while relaxing. That doesn’t work.

I can’t say I never check my email during the weekend, but I try not to. I don’t mind doing some work-related tasks during my weekend, but I decide when and how. I will not be controlled by my work or my email during the weekend.

Oh, and I have Kanye looking at me begrudgingly until I get all of my shit done. Work surprisingly well.

Have your most productive week ever guys. Bye.

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12 comments

  1. After trying to find a way to plan shit long-term all weekend long and freaking out about that, you now officially are my lifesaver. Totally going to try this, THANKS! *grabbing prettiest notebook from shelf to start weekly lists*

    Also: LOL Kanye. Are you bitchslapping his face every time you cross off something of the list? I SO would.

  2. I thought ‘oh my god this makes so much sense’ until i realised that this is practically what i do. Exept for the pomodoro method, actually, i should try that.

  3. When you say Pomodoro, I can’t think of anything other than lunch (or dinner, depends on the moment of reading your blog. Or maybe I should just refer to it as ‘thinking of food’, not so much ‘just’ a meal. But then again… I think of food all the time. Hey there, stream of conciousness!)

    Think I need to master the ABC-method for a weekly to do list, cause I still tend to use a daily to do list and definitely fall for the “Ohhhh havent checked bloglovin in a while”, “Hey, maybe I should watch a few YouTube video’s…” Think I need to catch up on VPRO’s poesjes… Wonder how the kittens are doing…

  4. OMG you have know idea what a livesaver this is! I’ve been procrastinating all week (because sooooo much to do, noooooo idea where to start, I might as well watch another season of Gilmore Girls). Even though my list is miles long, I will finish it this way!

  5. Ah leuk om te lezen! Dat systeem met de letters kende ik nog niet, klinkt handig! Ik maak wel altijd week-to-do-lists en hang die ergens op waar ik hem steeds tegenkom, zodat ik er steeds aan herinnerd word wat ik nog moet doen. Love de Bake Off-reference trouwens, haha!

  6. I love this method. But I think, above all else, having a picture of Kanye would probably make me more productive than anything else. The judgment on his face just makes me want to get everything done! 😀