Two Tools You Can Use To Be More Productive
Productivity is activity that positively influences the trajectory of your life whether at home, work, or with personal projects like marketing art. I decided it was time to give you two tools you can use to be more productive, especially considering the many conversations surrounding the age old, “Why don’t I ever get anything done?” or “How the hell did I even get here (without achieving what I set out to achieve)?”
5 Second Rule
The first tool was developed by Mel Robbins: The ‘5 Second Rule.’ This rule helps you launch into whatever task you need to get done and prevent procrastination. The idea is to count backwards from 5 and move yourself physically towards achieving the task. For example, if you’re struggling to get out of bed, count down from 5 to 1 and physically get yourself out of bed. Or, if you remember something that needs to be done, count down from 5 to 1 and write that task down on your to-do list. The ‘5 Second Rule’ is about helping you make that first move towards being more productive. It creates that forward momentum for yourself.
The Tomato Timer
‘The Tomato Timer’ is another great tool to help you be your most productive self. Traditionally, this tool is about setting a 20 minute timer where zero distractions are allowed. Yep, this means no phone, no Facebook, no cat videos. This means no distractions until you’ve completed the task at hand or the timer has hit 20 minutes. At the end of the 20 minutes, you get a 5 minute break to do whatever you want or need to do and then you go back to 20 minutes of focused work.
I suggest that you get a little more creative with your tomato timer. For example, I had a really long spreadsheet to update – something like 300 rows! So I made an internal agreement with myself. Do 20 lines at a time and take a short break to look at my phone, 20 lines, short break, 20 lines, SHORT break … you get the idea.
For those of you who have lunch breaks, the tomato timer is perfect for you. One day I dedicated 40 minutes of my lunch break to my own personal tasks. The agreement that I created with myself was that if I completed these 40 minutes, I get to take a 20 minute walk.
The tomato timer helps you manage your time because you know you need to complete something within the time allocated. The breaks give you space to fill your time with a sense of reward for your focus. There are even Tomato Timer Apps out there that you can use to assist you! This tool is really helpful during afternoon sluggishness where you end up mindlessly scrolling through Facebook (or mindlessly clicking through windows).
Carlee Myers is the Founder of the Stress Less Company. She is an expert at helping people use art and creativity in order to find their passion again. As a firm believer in creativity, Carlee helps people find their purpose in life through a combination of coaching, creative expression, and experiential activities.