The Productivity Planner created by Intelligent Change has helped my days become more efficient and made me less likely to forget important tasks. For 18 months now, I have worked as a creative (you can read about the journey of our blog HERE).
The daily focus and stillness writing requires is sometimes extremely hard for me particularly when I have other obligations pulling at every arm and leg. I also suffer from a lifelong battle with procrastination. Yep. You guessed it. As a young girl in a midwestern high school, I started studying for the big test just a few days before. In undergrad at Spelman College, I pulled more all nighters than I can count. I’m not sure I ever learned the proper way to study for end of semester exams at Georgetown Law School (graduated #ThankYouLawdy).
They say you can teach an old girl new tricks (do they?) so my workflow completely changed when I found the Productivity Planner this past summer strolling through a favorite New York City haunt. Click HERE to purchase the Productivity Planner.
This easy to use weekly planning system helps me clearly identify the most important task of the day and then secondary tasks. Getting the most important task done first everyday (typically the one I procrastinate the most about) clears my mind space and allows me to zip through the rest of the list with somewhat ease.
The other big tip that I have learned using this planner is “the Pomodoro Productivity” technique which has you determine a specific task that will take at least 25 minutes to do (like writing this blog post). Start a timer for 25 minutes and then start working on a task. I use my IPhone timer and then set the phone to “airplane mode” to resist the urge to check social media and to avoid incoming calls. All emergencies can wait at least 25 minutes.
Once I set the timer, I am in the “Pomodoro” meaning I do not work on anything else other than the identified task during that time. The Planner says “if you get distracted, gently bring yourself back to work.” However, “if you get totally distracted and pulled away from the task completely then you must cancel the Pomodoro and reset the timer to zero.” Once you complete a 25 minute work session, you get 5 minutes of break where you can freely check social media, emails or just stretch. When the 5 minutes are up, you jump back into another Pomodoro session. They say, and I agree, that this “technique conditions you to focus exclusively on one task.” This focus has definitely increased my productivity 10 fold.
In addition to the daily task writing and Pomodoro Method, I also appreciate that the Productivity Planner provides daily inspirational quotes, a place to write notes at the end of each day, a sheet for weekly thoughts and a weekly review where you assess your weekly wins, tasks that did not get completed and anything learned. For example, today’s quote is from Aristotle:
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Jackie’s Tip: I would like to point out that I have only written the first draft of this blog post at this point which means just getting my thoughts on paper. I have not edited for grammar, added pictures or come up with a SEO worthy headline. I have about 5 mins left at this point in this Pomodoro. It usually takes between 2 – 4 Pomodoros to write a blog post. Beauty posts take longer becuase of the details and links to products.
I have also found that I work best when I clear my workspace. Clutter distracts me and makes me nervous. To write this post, I settled into a clean desk with a beautiful bouquet of flowers as inspiration and sipped on my favorite herbal caffeine-free Vanilla Nut coffee drink by Teeccino.
As always, thank you for stopping by Jackie Unfiltered. We hope The Productivity Planner helps you grab more time in your day. Man, don’t we all just need a touch more time?
Disclaimer: A woman working this hard for the people has to eat so I will be paid a small percentage if you purchase products listed here. Can I live please?