How to be productive – without licking a pensioner

“I rise at 5:07, drink 8 litres of stagnant water, lick three pensioners, play 4 games of Yahtzee before watching 18 minutes of Kabaddi, then I’m all set for an afternoon in A&E…”

Everyone has their favourite productivity system – some are complicated, involving apps, tomato-based timers and nipple clamps, whereas others are more simple and far less ouchy.

To me, productivity planners are like the revision timetables I used to make at school – something you spend time on when you want to avoid the real work.

“I know there’s only 3 minutes until my law exam, Charles. How the hell can I be expected to revise when I haven’t got a cyan crayon?”

Recently, I’ve been busy writing.

And that’s putting it mildly.

I’ve been working my ass off to meet deadlines.

5 – 6,000 words a day is tough going at the best of times…

… but when you’re writing for two or three different clients at once, it’s difficult to get into any kind of “flow”.

I tried to come up with a system.

I downloaded a Pomodoro timer.

I started time blocking.

The results were decidedly… meh.

I was getting stuff done, but not as much as I’d like.

That’s when it happened.

You know when you’re desperate for an answer to a question and then, all of a sudden, the answer appears out of nowhere… in the most random of places?

I was in my local garden centre, getting some wellies (admit it, you really wanted to know) when suddenly…

“You know what Geraldine, sometimes you just need to plonk your ass where it needs to be!”

Oh my god – that was it… the productivity system I’ve been searching for.

No timers… no apps… no licking pensioners (shame, I was just getting used to the taste!)

Just figure out where you need to plonk your ass and start making some headway (in my case, at my desk in front of my laptop) and get to work!

It sounds simple, but this one change has made a massive impact.

Take this morning, for example. I wanted to make a head start on some work, so I got up at 4:30 (my youngest is a VERY early riser!) and plonked my ass down.

By 7:16 – in one session of writing – I’d blitzed through my entire work for the day, freeing me up to make a headstart on tomorrow’s list.

Moments like this remind me of my talent to make even the simplest tasks amazingly complicated.

I didn’t need to create a revision timetable worthy of hanging in the Louvre to pass my law exam…

… I just needed to plonk my arse in the chair and revise.

I don’t need to create the PERFECT productivity system to write…

.. I just need to plonk my arse in the chair and write.

I don’t need to continue blathering on about this…

… so I won’t.

Have a great rest of the week,

John