5 Top Productivity Planning Tips for 2022
2020 gave us the gift of Covid. We thought 2021 was going to be better, but we were quickly proved wrong. 2022, the weight is on your shoulders. Here’s hoping this year will be more productive to give us the chance to shine.
Whatever the forthcoming year holds, having a robust plan to be more productive and focused can help you weather the storm.
These 5 top productivity planning tips for 2022 will give you tried and tested ways to get more out of each day.
Used properly, they’ll also help you procrastinate less and help you waste less time on things that don’t matter.
Productivity Planning Tips to Avoid Wasting Valuable Time
These productivity planning tips are especially useful when it comes to posting on social media and promoting your content.
You start the morning with big plans. Your achievement will be phenomenal, and you’ll get through the mountain of tasks you’ve been stressing about for weeks.
You open your social media account before you start work and before you know what’s happened, it’s time to pick up the kids and pack away for the day.
This can be highly frustrating.
Having a structure for your day can help plan out your time effectively, so you know you have a set amount of time to post your social media content without getting sucked into the vortex of memes and viral videos.
1. Pomodoro Technique
One of the most successful ways of managing your time is the Pomodoro Technique.
This is an effective time management tool that has been around for over twenty years and can help you become more productive than ever before.
It takes its name from the tomato-shaped kitchen timer used by Francesco Cirillo when he was just a student in Italy – it’s simple yet very powerful.
Each working session is broken up into twenty-five-minute sessions or a pomodoro, followed by a five-minute break. After four pomodoros a longer break is taken, from 15-30 minutes.
6 Basic Steps to Time Management
There are six basic steps to implementing the pomodoro technique:
1. Find out how much effort an activity requires
Assess each activity and estimate how long it will take you.
If it’s a mammoth task, break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks that can be easily measured.
2. Protect your pomodoro from internal and external interruptions
Each twenty-five-minute session is precious and should be protected from any interruption.
Internal interruptions are important things you’ve remembered that you should have done or should be doing.
Rather than jumping up and distracting yourself from the task at hand, make a note of it and integrate it into a later pomodoro session.
As Francesco Cirillo, the founder of the pomodoro technique writes, ‘we’re no longer dependent on interruptions, interruptions depend on us.’
For external interruptions, if someone rings or interrupts a pomodoro, simply inform them that you’re working and negotiate a time to call back or speak to that person and make sure you call.
And don’t forget to set a pomodoro aside to respond to calls and deal with unforeseen situations.
3. Make an accurate estimation of how many pomodoros you need for a specific task
If you have a task that you estimate will take you two hours to complete, set aside four Pomodoros, which is four twenty-five-minute sessions.
The more you use this technique, the more you will get a sense of how long each activity will take, so you can adjust accordingly.
4. Use the technique not just to work on your task, but also to recap and review
Keep a pomodoro free at the end of your working session.
This will allow you to assess what you have achieved and whether your prediction of how long the task would take to complete is accurate.
5. Set your timetable according to your tasks and the time you have available
This technique can be very flexible. For example, if you only have half an hour, choose a task that you want to complete, or a series of smaller tasks.
The key is to have twenty-five minutes of uninterrupted focus.
However, if you have a few hours, you can achieve a great amount with enough breaks to stop you from going insane.
6. Find your own personal objectives
Finding your own personal objectives could be trying to be more efficient or improving the quality of your work.
To achieve the best results, the objective should be done incrementally.
In other words, if you didn’t complete an objective, don’t move ahead to the next one. Continue trying to do better with the current objective until you feel you’ve mastered it.
Organising and Reviewing
The first pomodoro for each day or each session should be organisational. This is where you can plan out the day’s tasks to be completed.
The last pomodoro is left to review what you have achieved. This means setting out an ‘activity sheet’, a ‘to-do today sheet’ and a ‘records sheet’.
All the activities you need to do are written in the activity sheet with the number of pomodoros estimated to complete each task. This is then transferred to the to-do today sheet and crossed off after each pomodoro is completed.
The rule is that a pomodoro cannot be split, so if a task will take less that twenty-five minutes to complete, combine it with other smaller tasks to fill the time. Also, if a task takes longer than 6-7 pomodoros, it needs to be broken down into smaller achievable tasks.
The rules seem rather strict. If a pomodoro is unavoidably broken and you are interrupted, that pomodoro is void and cannot be ticked off, whereas if an activity is finished before the pomodoro rings then there is time to recap and review what you have been doing until the end of the session.
2. Set Daily Goals
Setting goals on a daily basis will help you identify the most important tasks and will help you structure your to-do list around the time you have available.
I’ve found ticking off each task gives me a sense of achievement so at the end of the day I can easily see what I’ve managed to get through. This motivates me to do more and is good for my mental health.
3. Create a Routine
Creating a daily or weekly routine is a great way to maintain momentum. It prevents you from giving up and keeps you motivated when things get tough. Creating positive regular habits has power, like links in a chain. The more you go through the routine, the stronger it gets and protects you from the challenges life throws at you.
I’ve found this with meditating in the morning. They call it the long walk to the cushion, but the more I got up and sat down, the easier it got. This is the same with running. When I miss a session, getting the motivation to get out the next time is more challenging.
4. Do the Most Difficult Task First
Facing the most difficult task before you do anything else will help you get it out of the way.
It will then allow you the rest of the day to focus, without constantly thinking about having to face the monster task.
It will also give you a sense of achievement and will make you happier.
5. Write It All Down
Seeing it in black and white, or even better, colour means that you can see what you’ve achieved.
I do this with my weekly social media calendar. Once I’ve posted, I change the colour, so I know what I’ve done and what needs to be done.
These helpful productivity planning tips for 2022 have been set out to help you get the most out of your working day.
They are designed to help you get into a flow state, which is a highly focused mental state where you are totally absorbed in what you’re doing.
These techniques have helped me be more productive and this blog post was written using the pomodoro technique.
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