The lockdown has left me in severe need of a productivity hack!
What used to be an insane monday morning has just got in-saner (if there is such a word). The pre-lockdown race to get up, get dressed, get to office and get productive was complicated enough. Added to that now is the fact that your home and office are now one and the same.
The complexity level just went up by a factor of 10.
The sheer amount of work that needs to happen is mind-boggling.
What’s even more mind-bending is how to keep track of all the threads without getting them all snarled up into a gordian knot! And that’s where this productivity hack comes in.
I hope it works for you too!
The simplest solution is often the best!
Call me old-fashioned. Or just call me old!
But since the earliest days of my career, actually since even my school days, I’ve been in the habit of carrying a notebook and pen around.
And what do I do with them?
I make lists.
There. I’ve said it. I’m a Maker of Lists.
They are in my notebook(s) – I have three – and on my mobile AND on my laptop!
In my life, lists abound.
I have lists for work (by department, team and project…mind you).
I have lists for my workouts (by day and body-part).
I have, of course, lists for my shopping (for me, for home, for my daughter…I don’t dare shop for my husband).
And I (obviously) have a list for the blogs I want to write!
And there is a reason I have so many lists. Because they work, duh! They are the ultimate productivity hack. And I will tell you why!
Because as I complete the items on my list, I STRIKE them off.
Oh yes, you heard me right.
That sheer delight of drawing a line (even virtually) through an item you’ve completed gives more joy than the completion of the work itself.
And yes, there is science behind it – the hit of good chemicals that this act provides – keeps you coming back for more!
The magical power of Lists
I actually find it incredibly calming to make a list.
So calming in fact, that it is the first thing I do when I sit down with my morning coffee.
And then I revisit it when I sit down to start my work day.
And then just before I wrap up for the day…for the next day!
The act of making a list is like organising the cluttered cupboard of your mind.
It takes everything that’s lying around everywhere and puts it in front of you to look at, ruminate, rearrange, prioritise.
It’s like building blocks for kids.
After a while of playing around with it, everything starts making a little more sense. Patterns emerge.
You can figure out what’s really important. And what innocuous looking item will escalate into a fire if you don’t get involved now. And what sounds important but by it’s virtue of having been postponed repeatedly – has proved that it’s anything but!
So for everyone who says that a making a list is a waste of time, pish tosh!
Make a list.
Check it twice.
And then tell me you don’t feel a little better already!