By Joe Brodar
Being a part-time employee at GNGF while finishing up my degree in IT, and somehow maintaining a social life, I know for a fact that there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
So when our CEO, Mark Homer, announced that we would be hosting Mike Vardy of Productivityist, I was ecstatic. This would be a chance for me to learn about balancing all of the different parts of my life without sacrificing any one of them.
In the half-day that we spent together, Mike taught us several different techniques to boost your productivity, and he explained that with his system, each piece you add on will help to make you more productive, but they are not dependent upon each other. Many productivity solutions are all-or-nothing techniques, meaning if you do not, or cannot, do one piece of the puzzle, it all falls apart, so Mike designed a program that does not fall into this trap.
The first piece of the puzzle is to create a shortlist of task that you need to complete, add to it over the day, and then transfer it to a place that you trust, such as a project management tool. As soon as you think of something that needs to be done, add it to the list so there is never a chance to forget what it is, and it won’t be lost on a post-it note stuck on your desk under a pile of papers.
Keeping a daily journal as a part of your end-of-the-day routine is another piece that will help you. It serves a twofold purpose: firstly, to help you remember exactly what happened on a particular day, not just the events of the day, but also how they made you feel and how you reacted to them; secondly, it serves as a capstone to your day. When it becomes the last thing that you do before bed, it will help you to review your day and get some closure before the next day begins.
The third thing that I took away from this training is to set themes for yourself and to work within them. Pick three words to be your focus areas for 2017, and if an activity doesn’t support at least two out of the three words, then it doesn’t get high priority.
Then pick a singular theme for the month of November that you will make the primary focus of everything that you do during that month. At the most granular level, you can theme your days of the week (or even certain times of each day). To give you an idea of what a total theme plan looks like, my 2016 words are Self, Social, and Scholarship, my October theme is Senior Design Project, and my days are themed with words such as “Plan,” “Execute,” “Fix,” and “Family.”
With this system, you truly get out what you put into it, and the more techniques you employ, the better your productivity will be.