Sometimes setting yourself up for success means taking the time to organize and put systems or processes in place – even when it feels like that’s going to take SO much longer than just doing whatever it is you’re up against one more time.
I’m guilty of it, too.
That’s why I used one of my 4-hour time blocks last week to catch up on some things I’ve been meaning to put in place that I knew were going to help me increase productivity, educate myself and reduce stress. (When I put it that way, how on earth did I think this stuff could just wait?!)
Setting yourself up for success
So what were the 5 things? Well, here’s a quick visual look, but keep scrolling and I’ll dive into what I did with each one and how it helped me in one of these 3 areas (increased productivity, education, or reducing stress).
1. Organizing Workflowy
Workflowy is a cool online tool to help you get organized. I use it for pretty much EVERYTHING, including:
- Organizing tasks
- Keeping track of resources
I could go on for days about what I use Workflowy for, but the reason why organizing this helped me increase productivity AND reduce stress is that now instead of opening it and feeling overwhelmed by the multiple notes and non-sensical order of everything, I can open it and seamlessly search for exactly what I need.
Click here for a user case from Workflowy – it will show you just how powerful it truly is.
2. Adding Video Speed Controller to Chrome
If you haven’t checked out the Chrome add-on Video Speed Controller, then you’re missing out on saving precious time whenever you watch videos online.
The add-on allows you to increase productivity by speeding up videos so you can watch them at 1.5x or even 2x the regular speed. Essentially, you’re getting the same great education through the videos you watch in a fraction of the time!
3. Updating RescueTime Settings
RescueTime is a time tracking software that tells you exactly where you’re spending your time. Anyone who works on their computer for a majority of their day should be using this tool to help you increase productivity.
Once you see how much time you’re spending in certain programs or on certain sites, you can tell RescueTime how to track that: as “not productive”, “somewhat productive”, and “very productive”. You can even have RescueTime block certain sites to curb your temptations and keep you on track.
Every time I go in and update my settings, I get an even clearer picture of where I’m spending my time, allowing me to shift things around in order to increase productivity.
4. Watching Todd Herman’s Free Video Series on The 90 Day Year
Todd’s free video series introducing his program The 90 Day Year was filled with incredible valuable. In it he shared his ideas around maximizing performance as a business owner.
He talked about concepts like context switching (the time you waste when switching from one task to a completely different one) and the alter ego effect (how to step into your zone).
I highly recommend checking out Todd’s free video series (if it’s still available), and if it’s not available, check out this interview he did with Amy Porterfield where he discusses some of the same topics. Just listening to Todd’s ideas was high-value edu for me.
5. Setting up Browser Bookmarks
Anything you do more than 1 time per day is a highly repetitive task and should be organized as such, and/or have some type of system or process around it.
With this in mind, are there websites you tend to visit more than 1 time per day? My guess is: YES. That’s why I spent some time last week to clean up my Bookmarks Bar – I had way too many Bookmarks that weren’t helping me be any more productive, and in fact, they were making me less productive because it was taking me longer to find the ones I actually wanted.
Cleaning up your Bookmarks Bar might sound like a stupid task, but since updating it, I’ve increased productivity and reduced stress.
The “5 Things” challenge
Setting yourself up for success means taking the time to organize and put systems or processes in place – even when it feels like that’s not the most productive use of your time.
Because I know our days (and our goals) might look a bit different, I don’t want to assume that the 5 Things I listed above will also help you increase productivity, educate yourself and reduce stress; however, I DO know there ARE 5 Things out there you can accomplish in a 4-hour time block that will.
So my “5 Things” challenge to you is to round up those 5 things you’ve been meaning to do that you KNOW will help you increase productivity, educate yourself, and reduce stress, and get them done!