Measurements for and methods to achieving ultimate productivity are littered all around the internet and self-help literature, but it can be a lot to sift through. We’ve compiled a list of our top 3 productivity tools, each with a different approach, for you to try. See what resonates with you and stick to it!
The Eisenhower Box or Matrix originates from the 34th President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, who would commonly categorise the items on his to-do list across four quadrants. The matrix is a cross-section of urgency (urgent, less urgent) and importance (important, less important). The most important and urgent are labelled ‘Do first’, and the most important but less urgent are to be ‘Scheduled’. The urgent but less important items are to be ‘Delegated’, and any item that is neither urgent nor important is simply labelled ‘Don’t do’. The strategy is an effective way of weeding out the items on your to-do list that really don’t need to be there.
Prioritising your to do list may seem like an obvious method of organisation, but The Ivy Lee Method takes it a step further – and even better, it only takes 15 minutes per day. At the end of each day, write 6 items for tomorrow’s to-do list in order of importance. The next day, work through each item from top to bottom, only moving down the list once you have completed a task. Any unfinished items then get moved onto the list for the next day.
Billionaire Warren Buffet uses the 2 List strategy to hone in on what’s worth working for. List the top 25 goals you want to achieve in your lifetime – take as much time as you need to think about these and write them out. Then, select the 5 most important goals to you. These 5 items belong in list 1, and the remaining 20 items go in list 2. List 2 is to be ignored at all costs. This may feel counterintuitive – list 2 has your goals on it as well, after all – but they will only serve as distractions from your true goals, and ultimately get in the way of your progress. “What you don’t do determines what you can do.” – Tim Ferriss.