Get Organized for Better Productivity: Design a Productivity Ritual

Get Organized for Better Productivity: Have a Productivity Ritual For most of us the workday consists of 2 activity types:  ‘Out There‘ and ‘In Here‘.

Out There are meetings, emails, conversations – interactions with others to communicate, advance projects and solve problems.

In Here are little buds of creation, thinking and expression – conflations of knowledge, talent, idea and experience that often produce the most important contributions to the work we do. They may be code, writing, design – or countless other outputs.

In a busy, harried world, how do you make the transition from Out There to In Here?
I suggest you put yourself in the mood with a productivity ritual.

Design a Productivity Ritual

1. Get sensual

I burn oil or incense, put chillout music on my iPod (faves are Ministry of Sound Chillout Sessions, Buddha Bar, Global Chilling and Cafe del Mar) and drink strong Darjeeling tea. Because I only do these things as part of my productivity ritual, they’ve become olfactory, auditory and gustatory cues that it’s In Here time. (Is that a bell in your pocket or are you just salivating to see me?)

How can you alter your sensory inputs?

  1. Sight: Change your scene – face a different direction, move to a different place, turn on a particular lamp, etc
  2. Sound: Listen to a certain genre of music – one that’s not distracting like classical, chillout or instrumental
  3. Taste: Sip a particular drink (um, maybe not vodka)
  4. Touch: Move to a different chair or sitting position
  5. Smell: Light a scented candle, burn incense or oils, or for something less co-worker alienating, dab an aromatherapy scent on your wrist (it doesn’t have to be girly, guys)

2. Pull up the drawbridge

It can be terribly tempting to wander back Out There just as you’re getting settled In Here. Procrastination, self-sabotage and rebelliousness all rear their 3-year-old heads from time to time. Make life easier on yourself by pulling up the drawbridge and removing the temptation.

  1. Close down your browser, Outlook, Twitter and other online siren songsters
  2. Turn off the ringers on your phones and PDA
  3. Close your door if you have one

3. Set a time limit

It’s much easier to (a) get started and (b) keep going if you only have to be alone with your brilliance for a finite period. For me this is about 2 hours. I know others for whom a 30-minute stint is enough to send them screaming back to their Crackberry. Do what works for you.

Don’t be surprised if your allotted time expires and you’re still happily working. If you make this side of the moat a pleasant little castle, you’ll find it easier to spend time there. I mean In Here.

Question: What Productivity Rituals do you use?

Image by visualpanic

 

Michele | Get Organized Gal

Michele is into writing, books, simplicity, love, TV, productivity, and staying thin in a world of chocolate.

How to get organized

32 thoughts on “Get Organized for Better Productivity: Design a Productivity Ritual

  1. Mike Milligan says:

    Great article and your site is the best I’ve seen for organizing. But, in true ADD form, I couldn’t make up my mind which product to use!

    Thanks.

    PS My Kiwi wife loves the site, too, although the Mae West-ism almost got me banned! LOL

  2. Mike Milligan says:

    Great article and your site is the best I’ve seen for organizing. But, in true ADD form, I couldn’t make up my mind which product to use!

    Thanks.

    PS My Kiwi wife loves the site, too, although the Mae West-ism almost got me banned! LOL

  3. Janice Romano says:

    Love this idea. I am always looking at the clock and saying – in three minutes, I will start (insert project I am avoiding here). But starting an enjoyable ritual that I only do before working may transition that 3 minutes in an effective way. Thanks!

  4. Janice Romano says:

    Love this idea. I am always looking at the clock and saying – in three minutes, I will start (insert project I am avoiding here). But starting an enjoyable ritual that I only do before working may transition that 3 minutes in an effective way. Thanks!

  5. Gill says:

    This is such a timely reminder. I have spent the last three weeks procrastinating and have found all sorts of reasons for not going “in here” and getting the things done I need to do. I start by tidying up my work space, even if it is just putting the post in my intray, make a cup of tea and put on some music. I do love to use aromatherapy oils or candles too. And I have a special lamp that creates the right lighting mood. Your piece has made me realise that I already have a productivity ritual and has made me quite excited about hiding myself away this evening and using it! I love the idea of a time limit too, makes it seem so much more acheivable. Thank you Michelle, like Adriana I love your website and am so glad I found it.

  6. Adriana says:

    Loved this piece! I too take some time out. Try to make it a fun part of my day. Put on some sweet music. Something soft and mellow I can concentrate and unwind with. I just love your website. So glad I found it. look forward to your next pice.

  7. Adriana says:

    Loved this piece! I too take some time out. Try to make it a fun part of my day. Put on some sweet music. Something soft and mellow I can concentrate and unwind with. I just love your website. So glad I found it. look forward to your next pice.

  8. Crown Prince of Web 2.0 says:

    I’m having a problem with getting “Out There”. I’ve there are so many things that can be done online it can become a trapping. I’m glad you put this piece together, because it made me think that procrastination can take different forms.

    Clarence

  9. Crown Prince of Web 2.0 says:

    I’m having a problem with getting “Out There”. I’ve there are so many things that can be done online it can become a trapping. I’m glad you put this piece together, because it made me think that procrastination can take different forms.

    Clarence

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