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work smarter not harder - inspirational productivity quote

Work smarter not harder: Five rules for a productive work day

Everyone works differently.

I love deadlines and I work best under pressure.

But this also means that I am very good at procrastination.

I need to structure my days carefully otherwise I get nothing done, or at least not what I am meant to be getting done. I’ve tried lots of different methods, including never ending lists. And I found that trying to do too much was almost as bad as doing too little. Here are the rules that work for me.

Rule No. 1  Be Realistic

Don’t give yourself an impossible amount to do and then be disappointed when you don’t get it all done. Set realistic, manageable goals.

Rule No. 2  Don’t start the day on social media

I love technology and it’s an integral part of my business but if I start the day online I find that before I know it it’s midday. I always try to start the day designing or making. I normally leave out a project the night before that I can pick up and get going on first thing in the morning. I have my laptop booted up so if there are any urgent emails I can deal with them but  they are not my priority.

Rule No. 3 Plan your day the night before

After a bit of work I came up with a ‘Planner’ that works for me. I have a bunch of them printed out ready to go. I can put tasks into categories, which helps me what I need to dedicate some time to. When I complete a task I tick it off and at the end of the day I fill in what goals I achieved that day.

My Daily Planner. six0sixdesign

Rule No. 4 Don’t waste your time

When I go on social media sites I set a timer. (This trick I learnt from the awesome Laura Roeder) I give myself 10 minutes and a daily goal. For example reply to or interact with 10 tweets with the aim of getting at least 5 to respond to you. Then when they do keep up the conversation. DO NOT CONSTANTLY SELF PROMOTE! It’s boring and one of the main reasons I will stop following someone.


Rule No. 5 Just get on with it

Not everything that is part of your business  will excite you. For example I hate doing accounts, taxes and all that numbers stuff. But you have to do it. So set aside a portion of your week or month and just get it done. And when you do complete it treat yourself.

How do you work? 

work smarter not harder - inspirational productivity quote

Until next time

– Vanessa