Feel like you don’t get enough done?
Then, you might be looking for the right productivity system.
And today, we’ll look at 8 productivity systems that will help you take your productivity to the next level.
Ready? Let’s dive right in.
Which Productivity System Should You Go For?
Here below, you get 8 productivity systems.
Which one should you go for?
Here’s the thing:
You see, these different productivity systems work for different purposes.
Some of them will work better for you. It all comes down to testing and tweaking.
Read through the list and begin with the system that appeals most to you.
Ready to learn more about the different productivity systems?
Here we go.
1. The Eisenhower Matrix: A Prioritization System
Dwight Eisenhower was, among other things, the 34th US president, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during World War II, and the first Supreme Commander of NATO.
That’s why his productivity system is extra interesting.
After all, how did he achieve so many things in his lifetime?
With the Eisenhower Matrix.
What is it, exactly?
The Eisenhower Matrix is a task prioritization system that ensures that you focus on the right things.
It’s a system that sorts tasks into four categories:
- Urgent AND important. These tasks are highest on your priority list. They should be done immediately.
- Important but NOT urgent. Important tasks are seldom urgent… And they get deprioritized for that reason- because they don’t feel important. Think through your tasks. Which tasks have the biggest impact on your goals? Those are tasks you want to put high up on your priority list.
- Urgent but NOT important. Urgent tasks feel important- but that’s not necessarily the case. Answering to (most) emails, travel booking, and (many) meetings. They’re all urgent- but not important. These tasks are done after you’re done with your tasks in the two earlier categories.
- NOT important, NOT urgent. The last task category shouldn’t be prioritized at all. These tasks can be eliminated completely or done once you’re done with all your other tasks. These tasks include scrolling through your social media feeds, watching TV, and chatting about mindless things in office chats or email threads.
So there you have it… That’s the Eisenhower Matrix.
If you want a solid prioritization system, this technique is for you.
The Pomodoro Technique.
2. The Pomodoro Technique: A Productive Work Day
You might have heard of the Pomodoro Technique.
It’s a system that helps you keep productive by working in sprints.
The setup is simple:
You set a timer for 25 minutes. When the timer goes off, you take a 5-minute break. You work in eight sprints — that’s about the time you can keep focused.
The rest of the day, you can work on work that doesn’t require as much focus.
Why does this work?
Because your brain needs breaks from focused work.
Take five minutes off the screen and you’ll keep productive for longer every day.
The 12 week year.
3. The 12 Week Year: Reach All Your Goals
What’s the 12 week year?
It’s a system that creates urgency (and therefore, action).
The system is based on the book “The 12 Week Year” by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington.
The idea is that our annualized thinking (there are 12 months in a year) means we lose track of the urgency of our goals.
In January, December seems far off so we erroneously think we have time to work on our goals.
And so November and December are our most productive months.
That’s why, instead of our 12 month year, the authors propose a 12 week year.
12 weeks is enough to get projects done. And it’s enough to create urgency… and action.
But what does the system look like?
- Every three months, you decide on a few goals. These are specific and achievable within 3 months. For example, if you have a bigger goal, then you break this goal down. Your “subgoal” is your 3-month goal.
- Every week, you set up tasks that you need to get done in order to achieve your goal. You then track those tasks to iterate and improve your system.
- On a weekly, monthly and 3-month basis, you go through your progress to see what can be improved.
The 12 week year is a simple system… And that’s why it’s so effective.
Use this productivity system to create an unbeatable goal-setting system for yourself.
Of course, this is not the only goal-setting system.
Next, we’ll look at one that can be used together with the 12 week year.
4. The SMART Method: A Goal-Setting System That Works
The best way to define your goals?
Use the SMART system.
This is a system that helps you break down your goals into tangible, specific action-items.
What does it stand for?
S – Specific. Your goal needs to be specific so that you can define the steps you need to take to achieve it.
M – Measurable. If your goal can be measured, it can be achieved. Make sure your goals are trackable.
A – Achievable. It’s nice to put a goal that feels outrageously big out there… But at the end of the day, your goal needs to feel like you can achieve it. Otherwise, you’ll quickly lose motivation.
R – Relevant. Is your goal realistic? Is it reasonable? That’s what relevancy is all about. After all, there’s no point in creating a goal if it can’t be achieved because of a lack of money, time or other resources.
T – Time-bound. Your goal should be time-limited. Otherwise, you risk wasting time on a project that goes on forever. Plus, time-limits create urgency.
There you have it- by combining all these acronyms, you set attainable goals.
Getting things done.
5. Getting Things Done: A Solid Productivity System
Need a solid productivity system?
That’s where ‘Getting Things Done’ is perfect.
This system, coined by David Allen, is a five-stage workflow.
The five different stages are:
- Capture. Capture all the material in your inbox. Go through it once a day or at least a few times per week.
- Clarify. You ask yourself questions about every item in order to assign action items to every item.
- Organize. Organize the items into action item blocks. There are eight blocks: in the trash, maybe list, reference filing system, list of tasks, immediately completed, delegate, added to a “next action” list and added to your calendar.
- Reflect. Reflection is all about planning. You define the next action and desired outcome for multi-step projects.
- Engage. Finally, you work on a task on your list.
That’s it- that’s how the ‘Getting Things Done’ methodology works.
Next, we’ll look at a simple habit-implementation system.
6. The “Seinfeld” Strategy: Create New Habits
This system is all about implementing habits.
The comedian Jerry Seinfeld had a simple, but effective, strategy to implement new habits.
The system works like this:
Every day, you mark an ‘X’ in your calendar when you’ve taken consistent action on your habit.
If your goal is to use 30 minutes a day on email, you mark an ‘X’ in your calendar whenever you’ve achieved that.
What this does is gamify the process for you.
So you feel you have to continue achieving those ‘X’s… Or else the chain breaks.
And that’s how you create a lasting habit.
7. The 5-Second Rule: Become an Instant Action Taker
Here’s the deal:
If you’ve ever struggled with taking action, the 5-second rule is for you.
Whenever you have an idea or an urge to take action on something, do it within five seconds… Or you won’t take action at all.
So when you come up with an idea you feel you should act on, count backward from five and take action before the time is up.
But at the same time, you ensure that you take action every time.
8. Kanban: Organize and Execute Your Projects
Want a productivity system that gives an overview of your project? And helps you execute your tasks?
Here it is:
You see, Kanban is a project management system that was invented by Toyota to speed up production.
The idea is that you write down all tasks that are tied to a project.
Then, you organize them according to categories that you use on your board.
Not sure what categories you should use?
You could use a simple system like “To-do”, “In process”, and “Done”.
Or more complex categories — whatever works for your project.
And the tasks can be assorted
Yup, it’s that simple.
It’s effective, too.
How to Use These Productivity Systems in Your Work
That’s it — now you have 8 productivity systems to use in your work.
Choose one or two and start testing them.
It takes some time for you to develop new habits. Give it time and you WILL see your productivity go up.
Which productivity system is your favorite?
Let us know in the comments below.