I’m always looking for ways to do things faster, better, and with less effort. Emphasis on the less effort.
And I bet you are too.
I’ve found three tips to keep you organized and productive.
How to Get Organized Tip #1: Give each day a theme
Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square (yes, both companies, full-time, simultaneously) plans his week by assigning a theme to each day. So his week looks like this, which he also outlines in this video.
Mondays: Company management for Twitter and Square
Tuesday: Product management
Wednesday: Marketing and communications
Thursday: Developers and partnerships
Fridays: Culture and recruiting
Saturday: Off day
Sunday: Reflection and getting ready for the week
If you’re an entrepreneur, it could mean your week is also structured around meetings, sales, and marketing.
If you lift weights, it’s leg day, or back and arms, or a cardio day.
If you’re a runner, it’s track day, or tempo day, or a long run day.
How to Get Organized Tip #2: Batch Tasks
Task batching means bundling all similar tasks and doing them all at once. Tasks like email, groceries, errands, sorting mail, you get the idea…
Batching similar tasks reduces ‘switching costs’ that happen every time you switch to another task.
Psychologists Joshua Rubinstein, Ph.D., Jeffrey Evans, Ph.D., and David Meyer, Ph.D. studied the effect of switching costs on productivity. They found that though switch costs eat up a few nanoseconds, that time adds up when people toggle between tasks. And, according to Meyer, “even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time.”
How to Get Organized Tip #3: Just Touch It Once
If you’ve ever told yourself that you’ll deal with something later, you know that it’s easy to never do it.
For example, if you received an email that needed a quick response but decided to set it aside to reply later, you’ll have to come back (if ever) to this task. It means re-opening the email, re-reading it, and then reconsidering your reply. That’s wasted time and energy on one email.
There’s a better way with ‘just touch it once’. Received an email that needs a quick response? Reply right away so that you never have to think about it again. Talking about setting up an appointment? Do it now to get it out of the way.
What do you do to stay organized and productive? Leave a comment below!
Give Each Workday a Theme for Productive Momentum, Lifehacker.com
Multitasking: Switching Costs, American Psychological Association