How to Be More Productive, Once and for All

Dana Covit

Productivity! It about so much more than getting sh*t done. In our book, it's about checking those to-dos off the list so we can enjoy spending time with friends and family, cooking a nice dinner, or maybe taking a bath. You know—all of those things you can say sayonara to if you're deep in the trenches of the aftermath of prolonged procrastination, a deadline looming dangerously near.

If you often find yourself struggling with task management, know that you're not alone and that you can improve your habits in order to better tackle your projects and responsibilities. As a very prescient article in Inc. points out, it's less about doing it all and more about knowing what you need to do and doing it well.

Read on for five questions you should ask yourself at the beginning of every project.

Who is responsible?

Ask yourself if this is a task that can, and should, be delegated or if you need to handle it yourself. 

What does the project entail?

Make sure you have a strong understanding of the task before setting out to tackle it. Ask any questions early on, and organize all of the information, be it emails or data or contacts, so that you don't face any hiccups due to lack of understanding as you proceed.

How will it be accomplished?

Thinking about your process at an early stage helps you go about things in an organized and timely manner. Depending on your personal preferences, it can be helpful to map out the different stages of your project and identify priorities.

What is your time frame?

Establish a timeline and then break that timeline down into smaller sections so you can check in on progress. Having an established due date (a few, even) helps many people stay on task.

Why are we doing this project?

It's always good to take a moment of pause in order to think about why it is we are doing a project. Who will it help? What goal is it helping to achieve? These constructive thoughts of purpose and meaning help connect us to our work and make following through with energy and enthusiasm come naturally.

Do you have any tricks for staying motivated and productive? Share them with us below!

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