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The Easiest Way to Get Things Done: My Personal Productivity Secret

The following post is from Prerna of The Mom Writes:

The Best Productivity Secret
source: Free Digital Photos

I’ve experimented with a lot of productivity tips that float around the Internet as well as a few that I come up on my own.

Sometimes they work; sometimes they don’t.

Today I have a productivity secret that I’ve played around with now for a long time and that has resulted in me crossing off some of my biggest to-dos, my toughest projects and most challenging activities.

Wanna know what? It’s simple: Work Before Play

That’s right. Whether you’re a blogger, writer, designer, virtual assistant, entrepreneur, working professional or a stay-at-home parent, you are bound to have certain “work” tasks that demand your most critical attention.

Tackling these tasks right at the start of the day and knocking them off will not only help you to actually get things done but also, not feel guilty about faffing away on Facebook or Pinterest or simply, lazing around.

So, how does one do it?

Here are the steps I used that I’m sure will help you to get started as well:

Start Small

First thing first, start small. For instance, I started by telling myself that I could check my email only after I’d written one article. It was easy-to-do and motivated me to set a slightly bigger goal. Soon, I’d created a schedule where the first 2 hours of my workday are spent on content creation, which is my core job.

Tackle the Toughies

Once you’ve taken the first steps, start tackling the tasks that you push to the bottom of the list only because you don’t like them. For me, it was marketing.  So, while I don’t do marketing my services first thing in the morning, I do it right after I finish content creation. It helps me cross it off the list relatively early in the day and when the results show, it boosts my morale further!

Track Your Time

Tracking your time is important, regardless of whether you use the Work Before Play guideline or not. Time tracking helps you see where you’re pouring in your maximum time and if those activities are giving you a good ROI as well.

However, when you’re using the Work Before Play guideline, tracking your time will enable you to see how much work you actually get done before you get down to “playing”. My latest free eBook on time management for busy moms as well as Mandi’s printables section both have time trackers to help you get started.

Reward Yourself

The whole idea of working before playing is to actually get to play or reward yourself with whatever makes you happy. For me, play is catching up with friends on Facebook groups or Skyping with them. Play is also reading blogs or online magazines, checking out new tools and experimenting with them. Play also includes offline activities such as flipping through magazines, going out for coffee with friends, shopping, or simply, not doing anything.

Choose your rewards and break up “work” routines with a suitable reward.  Two hours of straight content creation and am ready to chat with a friend on Facebook for 15-20 minutes before moving on to my next “work” routine. Sweet!

So, are you ready to experience greater productivity and more goal completion? Try out the “work before play” guideline for a week, and keep us posted in the comments! 

Prerna Malik is a mom, a wife, a writer and woman who believes in being postively productive, parenting with love and creating a home that invites you to put your feet up and relax. Find her sharing her journey and experiences with productivity and parenting at The Mom Writes.