1. Wake Up Early
I’m a big fan of working late at night. I’m nocturnal by nature so this usually suits me fine. The problem here is that no one else is awake at the time, so all of answers/input/feedback that I need to get from other people needs to wait until morning. Recently, this has started bugging me so now I’ve resolved to get to bed a bit earlier and rather be up before the birds. So far, it’s working. Having said that, the coffee does have to be that little bit stronger though…
2. Work smaller
Over the last few months I’ve been working on really big chunks of stuff. But big chunks have delivery dates far down the line. Working on smaller tasks within bigger tasks has given me a greater sense of achievement and (most importantly) motivation. And before I knew it, the bigger ones started to resolve themselves.
3. Keep a timetable
Recently I dusted off an old varsity time table and tweaked it to fit in to my current schedule. Now I work in 50 minute increments with a 10 minute break between. At first it was hard to switch from one task to the next, but now routine has set in and it’s getting easier. I’m also finding that when I stop working on one task and get back to it a few hours later, I have some fresh perspective and usually some new ideas.
4. Schedule the driving.
For a while, I was driving every day. Not a lot, but consistently. With the state of the roads here in Cape Town, no trip was ever a short one, so a 30 minute meeting would turn in to a 90 minute trip. I’m trying to schedule all of my driving so that a lot of it happens on the same day. At least that way I can get some flow going on non driving days.
5. Use Bookmarks
I love reading, and more specifically, I love reading tutorials and articles about cool ways to do things. The problem is that one article usually leads to another and another and another. Instead of reading these during the day, I now use Delicious to keep track of all the cool stuff I find and then set aside some time to read them later.
While there are probably 500 other things I can do to get more done, these little ones have helped so far.