I realize that not a lot of people were writing this last week. Many people were enjoying their Thanksgiving holiday- myself included!
But I went back and dug up a few articles I liked. One was actually from a week and a half ago, but I like it because it reminds me of a critical time management technique I need to use more often.
So I’ll start with that one.
Productivity Article #1 – The Urgent/Important Matrix
If you’ve read time management books before, you may have seen this. The concept is you break up your activities into a matrix with four quadrants:
- Quadrant 1 is Urgent/Important Tasks
- Quadrant 2 is Non-Urgent/Important Tasks
- Quadrant 3 is Urgent/Non-Important Tasks
- Quadrant 4 is Non-Urgent/Non-Important Tasks
The most important quadrant is Q2. This includes things like writing that best-seller book you’re working on or exercising. The most productive people in the world spend as much time as possible in this quadrant.
The problem is when we spend too much time in Quadrants 3 and 4. Q4 is just a waste of time, and we should try to eliminate those activities. But Q3 seems tempting since it involves tasks we could do and seem urgent… but at the end of the day, shouldn’t be our priorities.
Here’s the link to the original article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christine-hassler/one-of-my-favorite-time-m_b_13046916.html
Article #2: Productivity Tips for Creative People like Musicians, Artists and Writers
A lot of productivity tips out there are oriented towards people in a 9-5 office. But as this article points out, creatives need to spend time mastering time management as well.
This article points out 4 great tips that we can all use reminders about:
- Do your #1 task first thing in the morning
- Schedule every task you have to do
- Control your email
- Theme your days (i.e. Monday writing, Tuesday recording, Wednesday marketing, etc.)
I think the 4th one is especially useful, and one that not many people know or think about. But it makes a lot of sense to batch activities like this because it helps you get in the groove and enter a “flow” state better.
Original article is here: https://goodmenproject.com/guy-talk/time-management-tips-indie-artist-rachael-yamagata-fiff/
Article #3: Procrastination is an Emotional Issue – Not About Willpower
This is interesting. It’s from one of the most renowned procrastination experts in the world, Tim Pychyl. He says that even though most of us think we procrastinate due to a lack of willpower, its actually more of an emotional concern.
For example, maybe you schedule something in your calendar. When it comes time to do task, you may say “I don’t want to!” and just put it off. For example, maybe you aren’t creating a budget because you’re afraid to see how much money you’ve been spending lately.
He says people have to realize that feeling good in the short term by procrastinating will make us worse off in the long term. Once we recognize that and can train ourselves to catch ourselves when we skip a workout or are tempted to grab Taco Bell instead of cooking a healthy meal, we’ll be much less likely to procrastinate.
Article #4: How to Avoid the Procrastination Loop
This article actually ties into #3. It acknowledges that procrastination is due to negative emotions associated with the task.
The loop it creates goes like this:
- You put it off because you aren’t in the mood.
- You tell yourself that too much time has passed- you need to get working on it.
- You can’t focus because you feel bad for wasting time.
- You put the task off because you aren’t in the mood…
On and on it goes.
The article then outlines a few simple strategies to help you get started.