Getting things done can be difficult sometimes. I have lots of different projects that I am working on, and to keep of track of them has been challenging for me in the past. That is, until I read the extensive literature and listened to (what I deem) the best podcasts and YouTube vlogs on Productivity.
If you’re anything like me, very curious and quickly excited by new projects, this article is for you! I am sharing some of my favourite time- and project-management techniques. Plus, books, podcasts, YouTube Videos and apps to support you on your productivity journey. You may have heard it (possibly over and over); You shouldn’t plan too many tasks simultaneously, or you’ll become overwhelmed. But what if you’re one of these people who love working on various projects? Well, I certainly am “one of those”, – and I found a way to make it work for myself. With this post, I hope to inspire you in your multiple-project-planning execution. You will find yourself more organised while not having to restrict yourself to just one thing at a time (that’s a valid method, too, no question. It just doesn’t work for everyone).
Structure & Tracking your projects for increased Productivity
Many years ago, I became overwhelmed with keeping track of all my courses and projects. I then started using Evernote for my project planning and have now switched to Notion. For me, Notion and GoodNotes are some of the best Apps out there, and I could praise them forever. GoodNotes allows me to keep all my documents and papers in one place, highlight them and revisit them wherever I am – without bringing whole folders to the places I travel. On the other hand, Notion allows me to organise and structure my entire life. There are Academic Planners, Life Planners, Manifestation Planners, Social Media Planners, Second Brains, and so much more. Have a look at Etsy and dive into the magical world of Notion.
Do you need a template to work with? No, but it certainly helps, as you won’t need to start from scratch. What I find a huge plus about Notion is that it is a lot of fun to put it into practice. I love writing on my computer and seeing how far I’ve come with my projects, and reflecting upon the end goal helps me feel accomplished and in charge. Try it out! Alternatives to Notion, especially regarding Project Planning, are Monday and Asana. And Evernote.
BUT: Pen and Paper will do the job for you, too. Just make sure you keep a journal to track the projects. Some argue that writing by hand even encourages deeper thinking and reflection. Whatever Method you use, the most important thing is to keep on track, keep organised and keep it going.
The SMART Method to achieve your Goals
Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound project goals. The idea is that having clear and realistic objectives allows you to plan your actions more efficiently and track your progress more accurately. Sounds smart, right? This Method can help you increase your motivation and performance by providing direction and feedback. When I did my training to become a Behavior change specialist, SMART goals were a huge deal—also the importance of adapting these goals from time to time. Sometimes life gets in the way, and we may become discouraged if our projects take longer than we anticipated. In this case, we need to re-evaluate. Don’t worry; it’s all part of the process. And taking more time is just that. Your priority is accomplishing the goal, and time is only a guideline. So re-evaluate your goals, push yourself and embrace the journey.
The Eisenhower Matrix to prioritise tasks
This tool helps you prioritise your tasks based on their urgency and importance. The matrix consists of four quadrants: do first (urgent and important), schedule (important but not urgent), delegate (urgent but not important), and eliminate (neither urgent nor important). The idea is that by focusing on the most important tasks first, you can achieve your goals faster and avoid wasting time on trivial matters. I am not a fan of this Method, as many tasks are competing, but some say that the Eisenhower Matrix can help you make better decisions and manage your time more effectively. However, it may not be easy to apply in practice, especially if you have a lot of competing priorities or unclear expectations. Also, some people may find it hard to delegate or eliminate tasks they feel attached to or responsible for. So, the verdict is to use it as a guideline but not a rule. Whenever there are many tasks for the day, take a few minutes and see if and what you could eliminate.
Listen to the YouTubers to increase your Productivity Game
I’d argue that Ali Abdaal walks the talk; YouTuber, Entrepreneur and Doctor. How does he manage his time so efficiently? Follow him and find out.
Andrew Huberman does not only cover Productivity but so much more. He is a gift to humanity. His Podcast has inspired me in all different aspects of my life.
The 5 am Miracle; A Great Book followed by a fantastic Podcast. You can find it on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
The Action Catalyst: Find it on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Books on Productivity
Project planning is lots of fun, and I hope you found all the inspiration to further your productivity goals. There are so many books on Productivity, successful goal setting and achievement out there, have a look at my favourite books within the field of personal development. Always remember to make it fun, re-evaluate, and keep track of where you’re heading.