One of the biggest questions I get asked is HOW I plan my days and get stuff done:
"What's your system for getting things done?"
"Do you prefer paper or digital planning tools?"
"How do you take action quickly on the things that matter?"
As a born planner and lover of lists, I've poured time and energy into figuring out the best systems for myself over the years! I genuinely love discovering new ways to organize my day and make progress where it counts. Two things I learned from years of experimentation, however:
1. The system I landed on is what works best for ME; everyone operates differently when it comes to motivation, productivity, and getting work done.
2. This is what works for me right NOW. As our lives evolve and circumstances change, so do our preferences and capabilities for getting things done.
Your best work routine will likely be completely different than how I get things done; that said, there are a few excellent guiding principles to consider as you create your own productivity system! Read on and start building your best routine today.
Start with where you are
Before creating any kind of routine, first recognize the circumstances and environment; where are you starting? Keep in mind, reaching too far for a solution that isn't feasible for your situation will make it harder to implement and maintain. Start with where you are, and build your productivity routine on top of that.
Do you have limited time slots throughout the week when you can work in peace?
Are there other obligations you need to realistically work into your schedule, either ongoing or temporary commitments taking up time and mental space?
What kind of workspace can you create for yourself as a designated "let's do this" space?
Identify your planning + organizational needs
Depending on your specific job or business, the type of work you do can vary; finding your best work routine should be centered around supporting the kind of work you actually do on a daily and weekly basis. Make a list of common tasks and projects you tackle each week so you can prioritize the kind of tools you need to work with.
Which tasks have the biggest impact on your day-to-day work?
What are the non-negotiable tasks that must get done — but maybe don't have as big of an impact?
What are some of the less frequent, but still important tasks that pop up throughout the week?
Explore tools before committing to one system
One of the biggest reasons people fall away from a routine they loved a week ago is because they didn't take time to discover HOW they like to work before going all in. For instance, an exciting new app may not keep you motivated for long if you're more productive and focused when planning on paper. If you're starting from square one, take the time to explore different tools for working to see what you naturally love to use.
What do I genuinely look forward to when first sitting down to work?
Which features of the tools you're using do you love most?
Where do you work, and how can the tools you use fit into your environment, versus the other way around?