We all want to live a happy, productive and successful life. Thousands of books have been written on the topic. But it turns out that the best possible productivity hack in the world -- is one of the easiest. And I wanted to share it with all my readers!
Make weekend plans.
Seriously. The best way to stay focused is to have a deadline. If you know that the project you're working on has to be done by Friday, because you're going to a frisbee tournament/camping trip/wine country tour on Saturday, you will get your work done by Friday.
You have no idea how many people have declined invitations to do amazing, incredible weekend trips with me "because I have work..." Only to spend most of Saturday morning watching Netflix, then making breakfast, then doing the dishes, then running an errand, then going out for drinks with friends because they still have all day Sunday to work on the project... and, before they know it, it's Sunday night and they're only just starting on the work.
I'm not the only one who thinks so. Popular convention states that "work expands to fill the time allotted."
LifeHacker states that you should avoid Monday deadlines for a more productive work week.
Hische is a "procrastiworker"—someone who waits till the last minute to finish a project, but keeps working in bits and pieces until the deadline. In the end, she wasn't getting the time off she needs every week. Her solution was to eliminate project deadlines on Monday:
The Time Management Ninja writes that setting tight deadlines ignites creativity, reduces wasted time, encourages teamwork, builds confidence and makes the impossible possible. Plus, when you give yourself some extra time, it allows you to edit and revise the work before you submit it.
Fortune writes that if you're missing deadlines, you're probably not busy enough -- and that a long to-do list can help you beat procrastination.
What this all adds up to... is making weekend (and evening) plans. Not only will they force you to have tighter deadlines and make you more productive... they will also help improve your mental health by giving you a break from work and making your life an adventure. Remember: everything's always worth it.
Case in point: here's one photo from each of my last five weekends:
Surfing Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz
River hike to God's Bath in Stanislaus National Forest
Whitewater kayaking in The Gorge, South Fork of the American River
Scuba diving and spear fishing at Butterfly House, Carmel, CA
Abalone diving in Fort Brag, CA
8/16/2015 06:41:16 am
Wonderful! I have begun to use this in college, and am now doing things I most definitely would have put of if I had not scheduled them. Thank you so much!
8/17/2015 12:33:45 am
Yay!! That's great news! Thanks for sharing -- it's comments like these that keep me blogging :)
8/19/2015 02:19:08 pm
Hi Eva ,
9/22/2015 12:45:42 pm
Couldn't agree more. Which is why, when you look at the best, most creative companies who brainstorm right, you notice a pattern:
3/6/2017 01:41:28 pm
Hmm. I'm not sure I can endorse quite that 3 step process. Unfortunately, I've seen too many meetings where essentially stupid ideas which actually are not feasible cause damage by not being filtered with reality. In the steps you describe, it sounds like there's no room for reality filtering until you are facing a deadline.
3/23/2023 09:09:11 am
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Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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