I am fascinated by productivity. For one reason I believe to succeed you will need enormous amounts of it; to make the most efficient use of the time that has been given to us, you have to actually be using that time.
For another completely different reason, I have a ridiculously short attention span. If I could have cosmetic surgery on my attention span, I would. But in between my bouts of productivity and being distracted by fluffy animals on the Interwebz, I find some decent original productivity helpers.
- I use My Blackberry as my walk-writer. I’ve filled it with all these different notes: When I have a stroke of inspiration, I get out my phone and rapidly-fire the thoughts into text. I have lists with ideas for projects and blogs, possible presents for my boyfriend I update whenever I get a good idea, (half finished) drafts for articles and tweets I like enough to write down whenever I’m in a wi-fi less zone. I mostly do this when I’m walking: I may look like a 24/7 texting douchebag, but at least I can’t forget.
- I have a few hours between the two groups of students I supervise on Monday. I used to spend these 2,5 hours mindlessly browsing the Internet and talking to my colleagues but I’ve opted out of that now: Instead I take my regular 30-minute lunch break and then go to my classroom (where there is no Wi-Fi) to write.
- Speaking of no Wi-Fi, if I really need/want to get a lot done I go to Wi-Fi less coffee places. It’s super effective against an Internet addict such as myself.
- I have a page in my iPad notes with a big list of potential articles to write for the website. I update it whenever I have a good idea but zero time to write the entire article. This way, I can always come back to it later.
- I audiorecord entire blogs on my iPod or iPad whenever I’m cycling to work, to yoga or to the grocery store. I can’t really be bothered by people listening in to my one-sided conversation. Most people assume I’m on the phone anyway and those who think I’m crazy are a lot less likely to be in my way whenever we encounter each other again.
- Because I used to go with the subway a lot I trained myself to use my time effectively with reading articles for my university classes. This has stuck: I write or read. The only time I’m not doing something useful in public transit is when I’m craving a level of Plant versus Zombies, which I believe I’m entitled to every once in a while.
These are my main extra productivity ‘hacks’; I’m pretty sure they are occasionally the difference between pulling something off and crashing down completely, mental breakdown concluded. You know what they say: It’s the little things.