Sunday, July 24, 2016

30-Day Writing Challenge: Day 5

Whew, close one!  But the unbroken chain continues.  The picture for today will be another Jordan Matter selection.

Come back tomorrow to see what kind of ink (pixel tracks) I threw on the page (screen).

For today's writing, I'm going to be less creative, and write one of those little articles about productivity, where I give you a handful of tips to optimize your working time (writing and otherwise).

Four Quick Tips to Maximize your Work Time

Tip #1: Organize 

Setting your work space in order does several things for you.  First, you feel like you've accomplished something, and it will relieve some of the stress you are likely to bring to your work; cleaning is actually therapeutic and healthful (check out this article from Huffington Post to read about the correlation).  From helping clear your mind, to making your different necessary work items easy to find, cleaning and tidying is an excellent way to start your optimized work time.

Tip #2: List and Prioritize

I know, this is easier said than done.  Sometimes, the importance of a project will make it more than clear where it should stand on your list (because yes, a list is very helpful)- and many times, the distinction won't be so obvious.  But, even when its not, writing out the tasks you want to accomplish will help you sort out the order in which you should tackle them.  Then, choose 3-5 to mark as more important than the others.  These 3-5 things you will resolve to accomplish before certain other time-suckers, such as checking email- limiting that to a cursory check for urgent messages (if you'll have those) will help keep your early working hours more focused and productive.  

Tip #3  Set a timer

Assign certain tasks specific amounts of time.  Don't make them unreasonably short periods, but go for shorter than you think.  Limiting the amount of time you're going to work on a particular task will help you focus better, and move through work more efficiently.

Tip #4 Take care of your most important tool: your body

When you're getting into your work time, you may no longer have much option to ensure you're properly rested, or eating healthy, or whatever.  But there are a few simple things you can do to help that frazzling brain and tired body of yours.  Drinking water (especially if you're running off of dehydrating coffee and soda) is one.  Deep breathing and increasing blood flow will also help keep you fresh.  Moving your neck from side to side will especially help "undeaden" your limbs and increase circulation, for those moments when you don't have the option to actually get up, though real movement is optimal.

Bonus Tips: Music, podcasts, and breaks

If you know you concentrate better with some sort of sound, making that a background noise (preferably with mindful-of-the-people-around-you-headphones) optimizes your time wonderfully.  Whether it be non-distracting music (the key is focus), falling water, or human voices, there are a multiplicity of options for you to make sure you get into "your zone".

Spacing harder projects with smaller more achievable ones is a helpful way to "break" things up, if you find yourself slowing down under too many "big" projects.  Stop, accomplish something smaller, and return with more confidence.

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