5 ways to be more productive – today.

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How about this weather, eh?

After two days of sun and glorious warm breezes (hey, after the winter we’ve had, 40 degrees definitely feels warm!) we were hit with six inches of snow overnight and I woke up to cancelled school and gray skies. And from what I’m reading around the Internet it sounds like many of you are dealing with dreary or unpredictable weather and a resulting case of the blahs.

This time of year can be tough – we all know sunshine is just around the corner, and it can be hard to muster up the energy to get things done when you’re in the in-between straddling seasons. So I’ve compiled some of our best posts on productivity and “getting stuff done” for you today. I hope they’ll encourage you to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Make a “to dream” list.

Is your to-do list, more often than not, incomplete at the end of the day? Do you find yourself carrying the same items forward day after day? It’s possible your to-do list is bloated with tasks that really belong on a to-dream list. Find out why creating a to-dream list can quiet the noise in your head and help you focus on the day-to-day stuff you “have” to get done, without forgetting the big-picture stuff you want to accomplish. 

Do less. Do it better.

Nobody can run in twenty-five directions at once, and when you try to focus on too many priorities, your efforts get diluted so much that it’s hard to make forward progress. A few years ago I decided to focus on doing fewer things, but doing them better. It makes it so much easier to prioritize and take effective action.

Streamline Your Mind

When your brain is full, it’s easy to spiral downward into social media escapism or get stuck doing little stuff that doesn’t get you closer to your goals. The first step when dealing with mental clutter is to get it out on paper, then organize and streamline. Here’s the process I like, detailed in of my favorite posts on how to stop spinning your wheels and take action. 

Forget about giving 100%

We often think of productivity in terms of “giving 100%.” Problem is, the 100% you are capable of on a sunny spring day when you’re feeling great might be completely different from the 100% you can pull off when you’re getting over a cold and your yard is a slushy mess. Here’s why giving 100% doesn’t always look like giving 100% – and why it’s enough to simply make forward progress without comparing your “average” self to your best self.

Stop thinking and act.  

It’s easy to get caught up in “paralysis by analysis.” Nobody wants to act recklessly, after all. But sometimes we use research, organization and preparation as excuses to never make forward motion. I recently wrote a post about how 10 years ago I started down the path toward creating a life (and career) I love. The number-one factor that changed everything for me? I took action, starting right where I was, rather than waiting to feel 100% ready or for somebody to give me permission.

You can too.

Did any of these ideas speak to you? What are your best tips for staying productive and getting important things done?

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