Productivity Hacks: One size does not fit all.

Productivity Hacks: One Size Does Not Fit All


There is loads of advice out there on productivity.

Does it work?  YES!

Every time? For everyone?  NO!

Everyone wants to make the best use of their time.  No one wants to spend their time on things that don’t really matter.  That is why we go looking for solutions but even a solution that works for many people may not work for us. And it may even work for us for a time but not forever.  Why is that?

Have you met you?

We have to be true to who we are.  I am a morning person so starting my day off with a bang is a good thing.  I can get more done between 6am-10am then the whole rest of the day.  This would never work for the Mister.  It is an accomplishment just for him to be vertical by 6am and his mental “flow” doesn’t really start moving until around 9am.  He can also get an incredible second wind at 9 or 10 pm.  That would never work for me because at that point I feel brain dead.

So… as my kids like to say, “You do you.”

We need to know our preferences.  Do we like electronic systems or old school systems- or perhaps a hybrid? Do we like checks and balances or something more straightforward and basic? Do we prefer to dive long and deep into something or do we need variety to keep our interests?

We also have to know what derails us.  For some it might be electronic distractions, or noise, or undone chores, or one of 100 other things.  The value in knowing is so we can speak to our strengths and minimize our weaknesses.

The Walmart Method

Productivity tips are just that- tips.  They are not gospel.  We need to shop for the techniques that might work for us. We need to take what we need off the shelves and put back what doesn’t work.  We need to experiment.  Experimenting means trying more than once and evaluating the results.  If it works we go back for more. If it doesn’t work we make another trip down the aisles.

Harness your creativity and rebelliousness to find solutions! Click To Tweet

The Mash Up

Or we tweak it.

Being a creative person, I am really drawn to the whole bullet journal idea.  If you don’t know what a bullet journal is, they are a really beautiful way to keep track of a lot of information in one place. It houses calendars, planners, trackers, goals, information lists, and anything else you want. They are great for list makers (which I am). They are also creative which speaks to me. They are designed to be kept and referred back to.   I would love to do this but I get distracted in the details. Instead I made myself a mash up of a to-do list and bullet journal.

I take a lowly spiral notebook and write my to-do list in it and then the next one and the next one.  I also can make notes and refer back to those notes later. It isn’t meant for posterity and it hits the trash bin after I am certain there are no lingering notes that I need in it.  It will never be cute or have the detail and info in it that a bullet journal has.  But I use it faithfully and get a Shit Ton (the unit of measure I use to gauge my productivity) done.  Therefore it is a keeper!

We can harness our creativity or rebelliousness to make up our own!

Being a Student

If something doesn’t work, we can experiment with the next idea.  Better yet, be a student. Be an on going student. Read those articles about what habits successful people have.  Look for new options and spins. Sometimes others come up with a really simple solution that you just haven’t thought of yet.   

You may have it down to a science in your office but maybe someone else has the answers to your laundry woes.

Keep looking for the answer.

“What the heck am I doing?”

Sometimes we find what works well for a time and we stick with it even when it stops working.  We get frustrated and confused.  It’s usually because something has changed.  Maybe it doesn’t work because of our circumstances- our kids grew older, our job changed, or our environment changed. Maybe it doesn’t work because we’ve changed- it could be something physical or our priorities are different.

Whatever the reason is, when it stops working we need to shop again. We need to find what works for our new circumstances. Rinse and repeat.

Getting Out of the Comfort Zone

Sometimes the problem really is our selves. It’s possible we have evaluated ourselves wrong.  Maybe we really just know that we are procrastinating or avoiding.  This is when we have to force ourselves to step out of our boundary lines and try something radical.  Maybe you don’t feel like a morning person but try doing the Ben Franklin method anyway.  What if it works?  What if you like it?  You won’t know until you try! And it if it doesn’t work?  No harm no foul!

My Best Productivity Tips

Whatever methods you choose to keep yourself organized and productive my biggest tips are:

1)      Don’t glorify busy

2)      Busy does not equal productive

Photo Credit:  Sunshinelibrarian

What is your favorite productivity tip?

2 thoughts on “Productivity Hacks: One Size Does Not Fit All

  1. Kristin

    Great post, Anna! My favorite productivity “hack” is to focus on my biggest time-wasters. I used to spend so much time trying to optimize my schedule and my to-do list. It saved me a little bit of time, but those “small wins” didn’t really compare to how much time I waste worrying about what other people think and browsing social media mindlessly. Those are two big habits that kill my productivity most!

    1. Anna Post author

      Those are great hacks! Social media is a big one for me too because I’m still trying to balance it. If you figure that one out let me know!!


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