Have you ever been so overwhelmed with things to do that you wished you
could simply stop the clock and make time stand still while you got everything
It would be wonderful if we could all do that, wouldn’t it? Sadly, those of
us not living in some fantastic science-fiction show aren’t blessed with the
ability to halt the hands of time, leaving us looking for more practical ways to
get things done in any given day.
1. Wake up earlier
It may sound obvious, but if we’re really going to start getting more
things done in a day, then where better to start than right at the beginning of
Getting out of bed earlier gives us more time to do more stuff, and
hopefully still have time left over for the things that matter, like family and
2. Stay healthy
Dragging ourselves out of bed a little earlier doesn’t mean we have to
spend the rest of our day fighting off fatigue. By eating healthily, enjoying
exercise and generally taking care of ourselves, we’ll find ourselves with more
energy to tackle the things we need to do.
Instead of dropping off into a post-lunch slump in which productivity is at
an all-time low, or being too exhausted after a day at the office to spend time
on our passion projects, we’ll be alert and awake and ready to get things
3. Organize and prioritize
Getting things done isn’t about doing a bunch of stuff for the sake of
keeping busy, it’s about doing what matters to help us achieve our goals.
In order to have a successful day, it pays to prioritize. Take care of the
biggest, most crucial things first, and then work your way up.
Think of it like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: when we’ve dealt with the
most mission-critical things, we’re better equipped to move on to the next set
of tasks, and upwards we go, building on our own productivity and finding it
even easier to get things done.
4. Stay out of the past (and don’t go too far into the
How many times do we find ourselves dwelling on the past and reliving
memories, both fond and painful? Physically, we’re in one place at one time, yet
mentally and emotionally we’re somewhere else entirely. If we’re not lost in
once-upon-a-times, chances are we’re projecting ourselves into the future,
either worrying about things that haven’t happened yet or daydreaming about what
Though it certainly pays to take the occasional look ahead in order to know
where we’re going, when it comes to getting things done, we benefit much more
from being present in the moment and focusing on the now.
By being alert and focused on the task at hand, we’re more capable of doing
what needs to be done.
One of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to getting things
done is falling for the belief that they have to get it all done by
Yet being able to ask for help often means that you can not only get more
done, but get it done better than if you tried to do it all by yourself.
6. Eliminate distractions
Whether it’s by listening to music to block out background noise, or using
website blockers like Google’s Stayfocussed app to keep you away from Facebook
or other time-sucking sites, one of the best ways to get things done is to keep
everything else out so that we can focus on the task at hand.
For this writer, turning the computer off altogether and heading back to
the pen and paper works best, but for you it might simply be a case of switching
your cell phone off for a few hours or finding a quiet place to work.
7. Take a break
For much the same reasons that keeping yourself healthy is the key to
getting more things done, being able to take time out once in a while can make
all the difference to your productivity.
Whether we step back to take a moment of stillness and quiet, or head
outside to enjoy a walk in the fresh air, it’s important to relax from time to
time if we want to avoid burnout.
By avoiding burnout, we give ourselves more energy and, again, more energy
leads to increased productivity.