Yes, as I disclosed in my workday schedule tell-all—I take a TV break most afternoons.
And you know something? I’m pretty sure it makes me more productive by giving my brain a break.
How do other creatives stay productive? Here are the tips they shared:
- “Outlook reminders for even the smallest tasks. Keeps me from feeling like I’m forgetting something so I can stay focused on what’s in front of me!” –Mary Guinane McNamara
- “I make a daily to-do list and stick to it. If things don’t make it on that list, they don’t get done. When I accomplish it all (or re-organize tasks as I go), I know I’m meeting deadlines and can then treat myself for another day of solid work.” –Kristen Fischer
- “Start with one task early. When I hit my first task even before having coffee or checking email it sets a tone for the rest of the day. I’ve been trying not to look at email until 1:00pm.” –Luke Mysse
- “Reminding myself of my “why” every day…. I want to have time freedom to be of service at the drop of a hat to family and friends…. Need to put in massive action plans daily to make it happen. Basically? Aim toward my ultimate carrot!” –Wendy Langlois Williams
- “To quote the brilliant Jim Krause, ‘Work when you’re working. Don’t when you’re not.’” –Cami Travis-Groves
- “A big productivity key for me is turning off my notifications on my phone. I would have my phone next to me as I’m working and with every e-mail, I would pick it up and react to the message. I would lose freight trains worth of thought. So I shut them off and “reward” myself with checking the phone once I’m done with the task at hand.” – Scott Sterling
And Laurel Black (http://www.laurelblack.com) details her 6-square approach:
“At the beginning of every week, I take a piece of copy paper and fold it into thirds and again into half. I then have 6 squares. Five are labeled Monday through Friday with their respective calendar dates, and the sixth is where I put a list of job tasks that have to be worked on that week. I then prioritize those in order of how soon they’re due by numbering them. Then I look in my day planner for meetings, deadlines, etc. and write them down with their hour times in the appropriate day box. I include things like when I’m going to go to the Y and anything else that is important (like a doctor’s appointment).
I now have the whole week spread out in front of me and I can see at a glance how much work time I have. As things come up, I erase and revise. Easy peasy. Takes about five minutes, nothing to install and it never crashes. It may be a bit Luddite, but I have never found a system I liked better.
And I like to cross things out, not check them off, A checked item doesn’t look as destroyed as a crossed-off item.”