Chartered Occupational Psychologist, Consultant, Speaker and Writer

Productivity Round-Up


You know how it is.

You have a million things to do.

Your inbox is filling up, and every time you get rid of one email, another five come in.

You have several pressing decisions to make, and you forgot you said yes to helping a friend out with something.

What’s to do?!

I feel your pain.

I’m in productivity mode for two reasons. First of all, I’m doing ‘NaNoWriMo‘, a project that many people do in November where you try to write fifty thousand words of a novel in a month (here are 5 Productivity Tips for Writers from the wonderful Creative Penn if you’re doing it too!). This is on top of my usual crazy schedule.

Yep, I forgot the rule of ‘when you say yes to something new, you have to say no to something you’re already doing.’ (There’s an important productivity tip right there!)

The other reason I’m reminded of the importance of productivity right now is that I was featured on the lovely blog Always Well Within‘s Autumn round up with my post: How You Can Create Inbox Zero, No Matter How Many Emails In Your Inbox.

I thought it might be a good time to share some of my previous posts around productivity and getting things done.

Because one way to be self-compassionate is to get the hard things off your list – here are 7 tips on how – or to just make the decision that’s hanging over you (here’s how to make stress-free decisions).

I’m also a big list-maker. There’s no question they’re a big part of my productivity. Here are 6 Top Tips On Using Lists to Create a Simpler, More Productive Life.

Productivity Around The Web

I’ve joined Niall Doherty (of the awesome post ‘69 Tips for Superhuman Productivity‘)’s Facebook group Productivity 365, which has had tips on everything from the most productive breakfast advice to managing the glut of social media we all ensure (and love).

Here are some tips On Avoiding Distraction from one of my favourite websites, The Book of Life. It’s definitely not your usual productivity advice!

You might also want to track what you’re doing (‘what gets measured, gets managed, after all!). Check out The 15 Best Time Management Apps for 2017 from Time Doctor, for plenty of tech help for productivity.

I’m interested in trying out this article from Entrepreneuer on Time Blocking. One strategy that has worked for me in the past is dedicating a day to one thing, like writing fiction, or the blog. Typically I tend to jump around from micro task to micro task, which I’m not sure works as well.

If you’re more of a visual person, here are 9 Productivity Infographics. I liked the sleep one in particular – this is such a critical basic for me, that it should be the foundation of any productivity hacking.

On another note (geddit?!) here’s how to create a productivity playlist that will enhance your productivity even more, whatever task you’re working on.

Finally, if that’s all a bit exhausting for you right now, try these Two Useful Principles to Use When the Usual Productivity Advice Fails You. They’re what I got back to when I’m in the middle of overwhelm.

How do you stay productive when you have a lot on? I’d love for you to share a tip in the comments!


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Suzie Cheel November 16, 2015, 10:55 am

    Ellen what a wonderful collection of tools and tips. many of which I can use to improve my life- love the visuals thanks
    Suzie Cheel recently posted…Do You Love A Challenge?My Profile

    • Ellen November 18, 2015, 3:05 am

      Thanks Suzie, yes, the infographics are fab – a great resource!

  • Debbie Hampton November 16, 2015, 3:45 pm

    I think having a zero inbox is a completely unattainable goal, on most days!:) …and I’ve gotten OK with that. Thanks for these great links and tips, especially to be self- compassionate. That’s the most important one of all.
    Debbie Hampton recently posted…What You Need To Know About The Link Between Depression And DementiaMy Profile

    • Ellen November 18, 2015, 3:06 am

      Thanks Debbie, and you’re right, that should be the over-arching tip above all else. I think people differ greatly in how they respond to emails – for me, I like a clean environment to work, with no (well, few!) unclosed loops, and so I like inbox zero just in the same way I like a clean desk. But I know it’s not for everyone!

  • Betsy Henry/Zen Mama November 16, 2015, 9:16 pm

    Thank you for this great list of reads! Looking forward to getting started!
    Betsy Henry/Zen Mama recently posted…Look For The Good and You Will Find ItMy Profile

    • Ellen November 18, 2015, 3:07 am

      Thanks Betsy, good luck – I wonder which one you’ll choose to begin with!

  • Lea Bullen November 16, 2015, 11:04 pm

    Hi Ellen,

    Fifty thousand words, omg. I know when you start writing the words just flow to you without paying much attention to the count, but just the idea of that sounds like a lot. Good luck! :-)

    I too have become big on lists too. It’s crazy how helpful it is to jot stuff down. It’s like the likelihood of me getting done just skyrockets.

    To stay productive for me its all about staying on tasks and minimizing distractions. When I do things has I planned versus sitting around or playing on social media, way more gets done.

    Lea Bullen recently posted…Stop Being Lazy! Simple Ways to Get In the GrooveMy Profile

    • Ellen November 18, 2015, 3:08 am

      You get to 50k by just writing one word at a time…but yeah, it can be hard work, especially trying to fit it in on TOP of everything else, silly me! I’m up to about 27k though, so I’m about on track. And I so agree with you about social media…!

  • Cathy Taughinbaugh November 16, 2015, 11:22 pm

    Ellen, these are great suggestions. I love your How You Can Create Inbox Zero, No Matter How Many Emails In Your Inbox – so greatly needed. Lists help me as well. Just trying to get three important things down each day is good. Thanks for great reminders!
    Cathy Taughinbaugh recently posted…Interview With Drug Prevention Activist: Barbara StoefenMy Profile

    • Ellen November 18, 2015, 3:08 am

      Thanks Cathy, and I agree that prioritisation is one of the most important things. Sometimes I forget, but having lists reminds me just to do one thing at a time!

  • Sandra Pawula November 17, 2015, 12:49 am

    What an amazing resource. I’m definitely bookmarking this one! Thank you, Ellen.
    Sandra Pawula recently posted…Great Links for a Good Life {Autumn Edition}My Profile

    • Ellen November 18, 2015, 3:09 am

      Thanks for reading Sandra!