Stop whatever you’re doing right now and try to think about your most productive days. What usually comes to mind? What productivity tools did you use? What were your accomplishments?
Do they look something like this?
- Checked most, if not all, of the items off your to-do list
- Spent quality time with your loved ones
- Did something nice for yourself
- Got enough rest and sleep
If so, you’re not alone. Most entrepreneurs and professionals aim for every day to be just like that. Yet, based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics American Time Use Survey, women are getting busier than ever. Moreover, the best productivity tools can’t help if you don’t find one that works for you. This makes it extra difficult to achieve that goal.
So, to reach productivity zen, there’s one thing that you must do: simply find a technique or productivity tool that suits you. And here are three trusted methods that can ensure your productivity.
Productivity Tools: Pomodoro Method
The Pomodoro Method is pretty straightforward. You just have to work on a task for 25 minutes before taking a five-minute break. Then you continue again and repeat the process the entire day. These 25-minute tasks are called the “Pomodoros.”
This method actually got its name from cute kitchen timers that are shaped like a little tomato. While using these timers is how it’s traditionally done, you can also just set it off your phone or have a reminder app to do it.
Productivity Tools: Personal Kanban Method
The Personal Kanban Method involves creating a visual diagram of your goals. This can help you focus more on individual projects and keep your “work in progress” tasks minimal.
You can start by marking off your erase board or planner into three columns. Each section should be titled: To Do, Doing, and Done respectively. Then, use your favorite post-it notes to write each task. That way, you can segregate them and see your progress as each project move from one column to the next while you complete them.
You can do this manually or just use free tools like Trello for your convenience.
Here is a video about the Kanban Method.
Productivity Tools: Moscow Method
Also called the Must Should Want, the Moscow method productivity tool focuses on these three primary tasks.
Similar to Kanban, you get to section your erase board or planner. But this time, you must draw a simple box and separate it into two columns and three rows.
In the first column, write the words MUST, SHOULD, WANT in each row respectively. And in the right column, list the tasks you’d like to complete for the day under which fits best.
- MUST: this is a top-priority task that can immediately affect and influence your goals
- SHOULD: this is an important task that may not need instant attention but will contribute greatly to your long-term goals
- WANT: this is something you want to do or accomplish but is not necessarily a high-priority task as of the moment
If you want this method to function well, it is crucial that you follow the rules. When you’re a mother and a businesswoman, we sometimes consider everything as high-priority tasks. While this is understandable, filling all the top-priority slots in our planners isn’t going to be very helpful and efficient.
We need to know which is which and find balance in our lives. While “musts” and “shoulds” are usually the first in line, we still all deserve some “wants” from time to time.
Here is a video about the Moscow Method.
Work Smart and Work Hard
All these productivity techniques are extremely versatile. They work great with whatever tools you want to use whether you’re into planners, bullet journals, or online tools and apps.
Remember that hard work is important but working smart can ease your way to the top and give you extra time for yourself.
Find a productivity technique or some good productivity tools that work well for you and move toward the right path of peak productivity.
Watch this video about the science of productivity.