Here are some things that you can do to improve your productivity, each step will take 10 minutes or less.
(1) Find out where you waste time
RescueTime is an application that tracks which sites and apps you go to. You can set it up on all your devices and really track your distractions. Initial set up takes five minutes, but you’re probably going to need to fine tune the settings later.
Quick and Dirty solution; check the sites you visit the most from your browsers default page. If these aren’t your most productive sites you need to change your behaviour.
(2) Avoid distractions
StayFocused is a Chrome extension that will block your distraction websites for a set period of time. Wordpress offers a distraction free writing mode, and there are lots of other tools out there to create a distraction free work screen.
Quick and Dirty Solution; I use two browsers, I have all my work stuff set up in Chrome (across multiple devices) and all my “fun stuff” set up in Firefox. In work time I stay in Chrome.
(3) Plan and monitor tasks
There are loads of diaries on the market, and this range of free tools. There are as many theories as there are tools. I’ve tried lots of different online options, but I come back to a paper-based checklist. I break the checklist up by project, and then add tasks to my (online) calendar as timed appointments. It’s the planning the tasks into my calendar that is key.
Quick and Dirty Solution; I use a chrome add on that can time activities and add it back into the calendar – you can see it in more detail in an earlier post.
(4) Use the small moments
When you’re really busy there always feels like so much to do and any time spent waiting feels wasteful. Here are seven ways to use those gaps of a few minutes to improve your productivity. The article offers long term and short term fixes – spoiler alert I’m working on the long term solution for #7 in the coming weeks.
(5) Evaluate the value of what you do.
As Peter Drucker said.
But that might take you more than 10 minutes to solve.