Posts tagged: Productivity

Video: Perfect your to-do list


We recently learned about the virtues of “not to-do” lists. But many of us love our to-do lists. They keep life happy and orderly and logical, even if we don’t always find ourselves crossing everything off.

Studies have shown that even just the act of physically writing down our tasks makes it much easier to commit to doing them.

But just because we’re keeping track of what we need to do doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re freeing up our minds to focus on other things, worry less, or be more creative.

As productivity guru David Allen shows in this video, there is a specific art and science to getting things done. In the video below, he offers 5 tactics to make sure that what you scribble down successfully transitions from a goal to a done deed.

Put it on your list and enjoy!

 

When your motivation is missing
Find out what’s
read more

How “not to-do” lists saved my life


I used to be a chronic maker of to-do lists. My lists lived on little scraps of paper, the back on envelopes, and Post-It notes. I would buy planners and fill them up with timely tasks and then never follow through.

Needless to say, when I didn’t always get around to taking care of business, I’d be disappointed in myself. Leftover tasks would pile up like dishes in the sink… which was especially problematic if “do the dishes” was on a to-do list.

Worse yet, I would swear off to-do lists entirely, only to return to them again and
read more

The difference between being busy and being productive


It’s easy to be busy. You’re probably busy right now! And depending how your busyness manifests itself, you might be reading this while eating a piece of a toast or walking down a sidewalk or having a conversation with someone. (If you’re doing all of these things at once, please feel free to stop reading, you are a wizard and we can do nothing for you.)

Busyness can be many things — checking email, looking up next week’s weather, obsessively keeping up with the news, seeing if airfare to Minneapolis has gotten any cheaper yet. Busyness can look like productivity, it can feel like productivity, it might even enable productivity, but busyness can never be productivity. If productivity is a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, then busyness is a generic imitation brand with a name like Allspice Bread Crisps.

The difference between productivity and busyness

The key difference is that busyness is easy
read more

It’s time to schedule self-care into your life


The more we sit at desks, compulsively scroll social media, and (perhaps) obsessively check the news, the farther away we get from our own needs as human beings — physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally.

But since we all can’t just move to a tropical island and scoop ice cream all day for a living, we should at least try to make time and space for small tactics that will help keep us balanced and happy, even when things in our lives and in the world around us can seem hectic.

Why self-care is crucial

Before we dispense some strategies, let’s just briefly take stock of how modern life, whether it’s in the office, at home, or on-the-go, has become a minefield for our mental and physical well-being.

The Mayo Clinic and many, many others have declared sitting to be “the new smoking.” And while that might sound a little
read more

Why the first thing you should do every day is make your bed


If you’re anything like us, the hardest part of starting your day is the task of…well….starting it.

The allure of hitting snooze, checking email or social media, or just idly daydreaming can be magnetic or downright irresistible. And then, the next thing you know, you’re either running late or you’re probably a little less enthusiastic about the day ahead.

This doesn’t seem like a struggle you’d face if you were a Navy SEAL, but as it turns out, a Navy SEAL might just have the perfect antidote to this problem. In 2014, when Admiral William McRaven took the podium to deliver the commencement address at the University of Texas, he offered some sage advice about life that started with this recommendation: Make your bed every day. Watch below to see
read more

How to make the perfect soundtrack for your life


Planning weddings can be stressful, and one of the most fraught parts of planning my own recent wedding was choosing which song would play during our first dance. (We eventually went with “Razor Love” by Neil Young). 

That’s because music is important. Even in much lower stakes scenarios than weddings, music simultaneously sets the mood and communicates the significance of whatever’s happening. The wrong music can make a task impossible — imagine trying to fall asleep to heavy metal — while the right song at the right time can make a moment magical and a party come alive.

So that all said, how should you go about DJing your day? How should your soundtrack change to suit all of your diverse activities?

Waking up

In my own life, I’m what’s not always affectionately referred to as a “morning person.” I generally greet the day with a smile on my face (so long as I
read more

Why you should always nap with a spoon


The slow part of my day — when there isn’t any wind in my sails — is usually between 2:30 and 4:30. With lunch eaten and afternoon work piling up, time seems to slow down. Minutes take what feels like hours to pass. Thoughts seem to slow down with the time and energy takes a massive dip. For me, the choice it always comes down to seems to be between coffee and a nap.

For a long time, coffee usually won. That’s because of an abiding love of coffee, of course, but it’s also because I used to be a terrible napper. In fact, it wouldn’t be much of an overstatement to say that I actually hated naps. Instead of refreshing breaks, they felt more like terrible miniature comas that I would awake from even more drained and grumpy than before. And they almost always lasted much longer than I expected, so
read more

How procrastination can make you more productive


As anyone with a Twitter handle or eBay bookmark can attest, we live in a golden age of procrastination. Technology gives us unfettered access to information and communication, which in turn makes the siren song of putting things off only more impossible to drown out.

Now, researchers suggest that wasting a little bit of time here and there can actually be good. When employed correctly, procrastination helps us think creatively and make informed decisions.

And hey, it worked for ancient Romans and Greeks. Back then, power players who did nothing but think all day were revered for their wisdom, according to Frank Portnoy, author of the book Wait: The Art and Science of Delay. It wasn’t until the Puritans came along, hatching such catchy ditties as “a stitch in time saves nine,” that procrastination was vilified.

Curious about how to transform your tendency to procrastinate into productivity? Consider these four strategies.

Be an active procrastinator.
read more

Why can’t I finish what I started?


Idle Achiever

There’s great satisfaction in getting things done.

We get involved. We learn things. We find order in chaos. And the ultimate reward: We make progress that is appreciated (even if it’s just by us).

This kind of soul-nourishing effort rates as high as money, if not higher, when it comes to motivation. It helps define purpose and give us the ambition to stick with it.

But every so often, almost unwittingly, our ambition withers and things languish half finished. At Unstuck, we call this acting like an Idle Achiever. We’re unable to commit to the project or the person or the mission at hand. Instead, we start and stop like we’re driving a stick shift for the first time.

To smooth out this herky-jerky moment, it helps to understand how we got there in the first place. Take our mini-quiz to find out what type of Idle Achiever you tend to be. Then,
read more