Don’t get too excited now! I know the title suggests that I will be writing the ultimate guide right here, all by my lonesome, but alas, that is far from the truth. This is a meme, which was started by the Instigator Blog, and it is essentially a group writing project. I myself was tagged by Paul Enderson (whose tips you should also check out) and am very excited to share a few tips of my own. Actually, the best part about all of this, is that people are wanting to release a compendium of all of the tips as a free e-book. How cool would that be? Anyhow, lets check out some of my tips!
Disclaimer: My tips are going to be heavily geared towards web designers; It’s kinda what I know… kinda… I mean, I could talk about how to be productive at school, but really, I am the biggest procrastinator when it comes to academics. But for some reason, I can get stuff done when it comes to the internet.
Before you itemize, just make a list of the things you need to get done, in a very general sense. Write down (or better yet, type out) the projects you have into one list. Next, break up each of those projects into a list of specific tasks. Don’t worry if your list is long; just write it all out. Congrats, you have just itemized. Now the next thing you need to do is…
Early on in my self-proclaimed “career,” I would waste tons of time just doing tasks that were really not that important. Let’s say you have a couple of projects going on; one for a client and another personal one. Make sure you get that client’s stuff in order first; even if you are way ahead of your deadline, who knows what unfortunate circumstances will arise? Be sure to always take on important tasks on your itemized list first! In fact, that is how you should be ordering your task list.
This is perhaps the most crucial thing when it comes to productivity, but probably the hardest to self-enforce. Sure, if someone is paying you, there will certainly be more pressure to complete a task by a certain time. However, you should be treating your personal tasks the same way. Starting a ton of projects and not finishing one is just a glorified waste of time. Once you start getting into this habit, you will be incredibly more productive.
It seems like some people feel that a desk is necessary for productivity. Now this may be true for some people, but I think it is more of a mental block than any sort of real impediment. God (or whatever creative being you idolize) has given us laptops and wi-fi networks. Those tools can really suffice. As a matter of fact, I don’t even have a proper desk; as I write this, I am at Starbucks, enjoying an overpriced ice coffee. Just to illustrate my point, I will make a list of digital ways to have your “desk” be with you, no matter where you are:
- Gmail: This is a no brainer. I also have some tips on how to make Gmail do more for you.
- Remember the Milk: This great online task list tool will help you itemize and prioritize.
- Google Notebook: This little tool, along with its Firefox plugin, can really be invaluable. Check out how useful it can be!
- For more, check out my comprehensive list of great online apps!
More Productivity Tips
If my little rundown wasn’t enough for you, that’s alright. I am not too insulted… But I’ll tell you what; go read the lists by Andy, Dawud and the Practical Chick. And if that isn’t enough, then check out the full list of participants. And if your thirst for knowledge still isn’t quenched… well… tough cookies; I have nothing left.
Who Wants a Piece?