Being productive is tough. Social media, Netflix, and taking frequent naps are just three of the distractions I deal with on a daily basis (and that doesn't even include my neighbor's overpowering music). So I get serious about developing strategies that help me get stuff done. Here are four of them.
I've written a document that I read every morning that casts a vision for who I want to be in twenty years. It's pretty specific about some professional and personal goals, and gives direction for all the work I do. Keeping this long-term view in mind makes the small, tedious tasks more fulfilling because I know where I want them to lead.
I want to be amazing at playing the piano, and that requires a lot of practice. So at the start of each week, I write out a schedule of long I'll practice each tune on each day of the week. That way I get to every thing I need to, and the plan helps me stay focused longer.
3. Time Card
I'm gonna geek out here, because I absolutely love this strategy. As I work through my practice schedule, I keep track of exactly how much time I spend on each tune using a time card app (this one, to be precise). That makes it easy to quantify my practice time, but more importantly, it encourages me to stay on task while I'm 'on the clock'.
4. Don't Bother Me
Lastly, I turn off all notifications for email and social media. This isn't earth-shattering, but it does help cut down the amount of time I spend checking Instagram. Ideally I would keep my phone out of reach while practicing, but I have to use it as a time card, timer, and metronome so that's not going to work right now. Perhaps an iPad is in my near future ….
Do Your Own Thing
In summary, I stay productive by keeping the big picture in mind, planning my work, tracking my progress, and limiting distractions. My specific strategies may not work for you, but maybe they'll help you develop your own. However you best do your work, I hope that you get it done.