Don’t let the rat race get the best of you. Rediscover your passions and take back your work life balance with these life changing productivity exercises that you can perform on a simple whiteboard.
1. The Eisenhower Matrix
“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.”
This visual can help you prioritize your tasks and make important decisions. Draw a square and 2 intersecting lines to make 4 boxes.
- The top left square is the biggest and most important because it is reserved for the work that is Urgent and Important, aka, the work you need to focus on. This section should contain activities that directly contribute to your main job function or overarching goal. Like finalizing a deal if you’re in finance or completing payroll if you’re in Human Resources.
- The top right, Not Urgent, but Important, contains items that have enough flexibility for you to decide when and how to fit them into your schedule. This could be exercising or choosing the theme for social media next month.
- The bottom left, Urgent but Not Important are items like approving a request to access a shared google doc. Delegate it to someone else.
- The bottom right, Not Urgent and Not Important are items that you can eliminate, like deleting junk emails.
Label your box and you are good to go. The Eisenhower Matrix gives you the full picture and allows you to easily add, change or erase when plans change.
2. Personal Finance Metrics
Tracking your personal saving goals is the way to ensure you’re on track to go on a life changing trip to Indonesia or finally get that car you’ve been eyeing. There are many different lenses you can use to view your progress. You could simply measure the rate of savings per paycheck or months till goal completion. You could dig a little deeper and report your monthly saving to spending ratio. Either way, you need a visual that you can quickly pull data from and plug into your phone’s calculator. This visual can be something you leave up for the entire year.
3. Display a Quote or Song Lyric
Not to get cheesy but, seeing a quote or lyric from your favorite person or film is a great way to start the day. It’s no one’s responsibility but your own to inspire yourself. Remind yourself to get inspired with a weekly quote that gets your juices flowing.
4. Let your Goals Guide You
We’ve all heard of the Harvard Business Review confirming that if you write your goal down, you’ll be 3x more successful than the person who did not write their goal down. This proves that just having a goal in mind is not enough to reach your full potential. Develop your goal and ensure that it’s timely and achievable. Leave yourself an empty box to check off to make your goal completion even more triumphant.
5. Health Tracking and Monitoring
Without your physical and mental health, you have nothing. When you’re sick in bed, you’re missing out on life. We need to stay healthy, so we can show up for our peers and for ourselves. Here are some great metrics that you can put in the corner of your whiteboard to help you stay on target!
6. The Ivy Lee Method
This simple exercise was developed by Ivy Ledbetter Lee, a public relations expert and productivity consultant. At the end of your work day, you write down the six most important tasks that you need to accomplish the next day. Continue by ranking them in the order of execution. The next day, you can rest assured that your daily goals are queued up and you can stop wasting time improvising and more time going through each task programmatically.
7. PreMortem or “What If” Analysis
Though the PreMortem Analysis is used in corporate or small businesses, anyone can use this to ensure personal success in their career or personal life. This analysis is insightful because it answers the question, “What if…?” No one has a crystal ball, but we can be prepared for future obstacles when we understand the things that could bring about failure.