Donna’s favorite productivity hacks
Just start: It's easy to feel daunted by new projects. I find that taking the simple step of opening a document, titling it, and writing a few bullet points makes the project feel tangible and ready to dig in to.
Batch process everything: Do you repeat tasks that involve the same or similar steps? You can usually save time by grouping these tasks together and tackling each step for all before moving on to the next step (e.g., write your articles for the week, fact check all of them, then add images at the end).
Listen to music without lyrics: I used to listen to pop or hip hop at work, but stopped after catching myself singing along instead of actually doing my job. Recently, I discovered that listening to music without lyrics gets me in the zone without distracting me (Try Spotify's Deep Focus or Productive Morning playlists).
Embrace the chaos: Author and professor Brené Brown is the first person who introduced me to the idea that when things feel messy, good stuff is usually happening. For me, this applies to big-picture planning meetings and complex writing projects. When I feel overwhelmed and like I can't see an end in sight, that's often when I've done my best work.
Know your next step: Before I leave work for the day, I write down my exact next step for a project so I can jump right back in the next morning without losing momentum.