I recently discovered 2 productivity life hacks which help me to keep on track recently. They aren’t amazingly clever or flashy hacks. In fact they’re simply two good old fashioned habits that I’ve been more intentional about. Especially at a time where I felt I was losing control in terms of personal productivity with both my writing and day to day tasks.
Planning Improves Task Performance
In 2011 a pair of psychologists named Baumister and Masicampo discovered that performance improves when people make prior plans to achieve something. Additionally, they found that when people separate a task into smaller ones in the form of a list, it makes it more achievable. From my own experience I can absolutely attest to this with my 2 productivity life hacks.
The first thing I did was to purchase a notepad so that I could make lists which respond to my 2 productivity life hacks. The purpose of these lists though self explanatory, work psychologically to help me become more productive. They allow me to gather and visually see what needs doing and then respond to them through action. This really allows me to crack down on my tendency to procrastinate. It’s much easier to remember to call the bank when it’s written down on a bulleted list!
Here are the types of lists I create:
- Everyday Errand lists
- Meal ideas
- Ingredient lists
- Goal lists
- Writing ideas
My 2 productivity Life Hacks- how these lists help me
Hands down the everyday errand list is the one that lets me tackle my daily tasks quickly. When they are collated together it motivates me to check them off my list. Particularly when they require no more than a phone call or online form to complete.
Ever find yourself rotating the same five meals or less (and repeating them) throughout the week? I’m guilty of this! In fact, I am somebody who easily finds themselves eating the same things for supper over and over. When this happens, I take a step back and think about what I’ve been neglecting in my diet or perhaps what I’ve been having too much of and make shopping lists centred around new meals and snacks that I will incorporate into my diet to redress the balance. Here planning new meals through simple ingredient or meal lists are an invaluable hack which launches me into a state of productivity and action as well as helps me make healthier meal choices- 2 productivity life hacks in one!
So I’ve covered my planning hack through list making, now I bring you to my 2nd productivity life hack and that is preparation.
Be your own fairy godmother
The skill of organisation is not a natural instinct of mine. In fact, when it comes to being super organised I have to be very intentional because the default I operate on is something I call organised chaos! That means, for example, that the form I am looking for is likely to be amongst a pile of similar items or loosely filed away amongst numerous other papers but not placed meticulously and seamlessly. The end result being- I often vaguely know where things are but it will take ten minutes to find them instead of me knowing where I keep them. Admittedly, this area of my planning needs more work.
However one area of prepping I have focused on is cleaning and food preparation. Last year I was BEYOND overworked and busy and would find myself unable to function properly in the evenings. It meant that I could barely put a serving of frozen chips in the oven much less cook from scratch. Now I’m not going to say that I’m a super meal prepper or anything like that but I have taken to precooking meals and dishing them up into four or five servings to be consumed for the rest of the week or frozen for future weeks. Doing so is incredibly valuable in saving me time and exertion when I am feeling low on energy.
Gadgets can help
My rice cooker makes this possible. This handy gadget means that unless you love standing over a pot cooking rice, it’s unlikely that you will do so again! It works wonders for my meal prep. I take the same approach to cleaning the dishes. The end result is that, by acting like a fairy godmother the day/days before, I’m helping myself out days ahead in the future. Is this new? No. Is this revolutionary? Nope! But have these 2 productivity life hacks of planning through lists and casual meal prepping helped me work through my tendencies towards procrastination and an occasional lack of productivity? Most definitely!
What are your life hacks to help you be more productive in areas of your life? Let me know in the comments below.