Productivity and the Importance of a Routine

A few weeks ago my good friend Jess came over for a playdate between her son and David. While the two played, we chatted. At some point, Jess said “you get so much done!” and I told her how there’s a long list of things I don’t do (like cooking) so I have more time. She insisted that even so I was more productive than the usual person.

I am not sure if that’s true but it is something I’ve heard before so it got me thinking. And I think I’ve realized the two important factors to what helps me get things done.

The first one is commitment. Or maybe more like a neurosis. When I decide to do something, I feel an inexplicable sense of responsibility. I don’t like to leave things unfinished. I’d rather never start than leave unfinished. It doesn’t matter if it’s for work or for my personal todo list. Once I decided to do it, I will do it. So this commitment part is the first crucial element since without thinking it’s important, it’s relatively hard to choose to get something done instead of relaxing.

The second has to do more with timing. If the task can be finished in a day, I will finish it. I’d rather lose sleep than leave it unfinished. Not only will I never do it but it drives me completely insane when others do it. That’s why I was up late last night moving karenika to its new domain. I couldn’t bear the idea of this task dragging over days.

But there are many tasks that cannot be finished in a single day. Like the 365 photos or weekly tags or scrapbooking or writing a book for example. For those, I use another trick: routine. As much as possible, I try to establish a routine so that it’s a recurring event on my schedule. I take my daily photos every morning unless I know we have an upcoming event later in the day (like the doctor’s appointment we had earlier this week.) I do my tags each weekend (sometimes sooner if I have an inspiring idea). I do my AMM kit the first weekend after I receive it. I just sit and do it. I don’t give myself the option of postponing.

I know that there are a lot of other tricks to productivity (like “Eat the frog” which is doing the thing you’re least looking forward to, first) but it turns out, for me, what matters most for long term productivity (especially for non-work related things that don’t really have to be done) is the commitment and setting up a routine.

1 comment to Productivity and the Importance of a Routine

  • Im so glad I read this post. I was just thinking to myself as I strolled through your blog how you found the time to be so productive and do the thousand and one things that seem to be listed down the side. The long and short of it is committment, how committed are you to get the things you say you want to do done, what have you prioritorised and when will you do it. I was begining to think ‘Wonder Woman’ had taken on a different guise. Thank you for sharing.


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