Effective Ways to Boost Your Productivity & Time Management

April 1, 2020

Written by: Chloe Corona Yan | September 2018

As much as we like to be organized and stay on top of things, sometimes life proves otherwise. It’s easy to lose track of time when our schedules are packed between work, a social life, and taking care of ourselves. Part of life is learning how to balance it all, yet everyday, people struggle with the grind. Time stops for no one and how you choose to break it up is a huge proponent of our success. 

Often we hear people say, “I don’t have time for that,” but here’s the real truth: you always have time - you just have to make the time. So you want to make an improvement to your work attitude? You want better relationships? More impactful results? Here are a few tips to manage your time more effectively. 

Keep an agenda. 

Make it a habit to plan ahead and schedule it in an agenda. When you have everything laid out in front of you, you can always go back to it. While this may seem a bit old-school, having a planner keeps you organized, visually shows that your shit will get done, and reduce your Google calendar notifications. So if you don’t have one already, head on over to your local bookstore and buy one. Then, sit down and start adding in your to-do lists. Simple right? 

Prioritize. 

Knowing what’s important helps you prioritize wisely.. Categorize tasks and events based on their level of importance. Think of it like a scale, whatever project is most crucial is number 1 on your to do list, where the least crucial is number 10. Then stick to it. Complete your first task before moving on to the next one. By saving low priority for last, you get the important stuff done first and have a nice break at the end. Tying in with our planner, add your list in chronological order to your schedule. Now your organized and hitting deadlines. 

Start early. 

We all know how procrastination feels. Before you know it, your deadline is right around the corner and you’re staying up in the middle of the night trying to finish your task. While it might seem hard, if you do your tasks early, you will thank yourself when the deadline rolls around.  Get it done and over with - it will lighten the weight on your shoulders. Out of sight, out of mind. 

Focus on one task at a time. 

While multitasking is a good skill to have, sometimes it’s better to devote your focus to one task at a time. If you want to do a good job, it’s best to put 100% of your effort into it rather than half-assing your entire to do list. At that point, are tasks even worth your time? You haven’t put your best foot forward. Multitasking might seem more productive, but often times, it does more harm than good. Overwhelming yourself with trying to juggle everything at once is not healthy and it increases the likelihood of mixing up projects.

Set deadlines. 

Give yourself a time limit on how much time you’ll spend on each task or assignment. By doing so, you push yourself to get the task at hand done. Dilip Soman, a professor of marketing at the University of Toronto, has even suggested to keep your deadlines as near to the present as possible. 

"People don't think of future time periods as continuous passages of time. They don't think about the number of days left to make a decision or finish a task, but rather, they tend to categorize future time outcomes—thinking about the deadline coming up next week/month/year, rather than this one. When a deadline is far into the future, we tend to put the task on the proverbial back burner, believing that we have a lot of time to attend to it. Things that are on the back burner stay there for longer than they should because there are plenty of other things that take up our attention as relatively more urgent." 

Eliminate distractions. 

If you’re the type of person who gets distracted easily, be honest with yourself and eliminate them. For example, some people work better when they listen to music, while others can’t work with noise. If music, TV, or any sort of noise distracts you from working, simply turn it off. By taking away the culprit of distraction, you will be able to focus better. 

Take care of yourself. 

This sounds obvious, but no one really follows it. You see it everywhere - take care of your body,  mind, and soul - but, the reality is that we all get caught up in our own chaos. When you find that you haven’t been sleeping, you’re diet is take out, and your irritable - it’s time to take a step back. Nothing is worth burnout. Taking care of your body and mental state leads to your best performance. That means sleeping  for 8 hours a night, eating properly, exercising, and drinking water. Having a healthy lifestyle increases your work productivity. It boosts your energy levels and allows you to focus your mind on what matters most.

Platform
Price
Pro’s
Con's
Anchor

Free

  • Easy to use
  • Automatically distributes your podcast to major platforms.
  • Embed media player.
  • Great if podcasting is a
    side hobby
  • Very basic editing
  • Since it’s a free tool, you don’t have full control over the monetization of your podcast.
  • Not the right platform for people taking podcasting seriously
Buzzsprout

Free for 2 hours of content per month

$12 for 3 hours per month

$18+ for 6 hours and up

  • Very user-friendly
  • Caters to both long term and beginner podcasters
  • Advanced analytics
  • Easy distribution of your episodes
  • They measure their size requirements to hours not megabytes
  • Bonus: get a free $20 Amazon gift card when you sign up for any paid hosting plan!
  • Advanced features like dynamic ad insertion need some work
Libsyn

$5/month for Monthly Storage 50mb

  • Oldest podcast hosting site.
  • Easy distribution to major platforms and great for scaling once your podcast gets bigger.
  • Hosted over 35,000 podcasts.
  • An iTunes Podcast partner.
  • Allows you to publish your podcast to specific directories.
  • Embed media player.
  • Price is based on storage
  • 50mb storage for $5 won’t be enough if you are publishing weekly so you’ll end up with a higher price point
Podbean

Unlimited audio package: $9/month

Storage space:

Unlimited

  • Great support & customer service features
  • Unlimited audio.
  • Pages are easy to customize
  • Can schedule podcast release dates.
  • Easy to use.
  • Uploads and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions are automatic to Spotify.
  • Embed media player.
  • Simple Analytics
  • Analytics aren’t as advanced as other platforms
  • Upload and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions take a day to change on iTunes.
  • Not an iTunes podcast partner.
  • The process to send a podcast to iTunes is more tedious. But, you will still be able to get on the platform.
Blubrry

Classic

$5/month

Monthly Storage

50mb

  • Podcast Wordpress plugin and management.
  • If you want to record a new introduction or conclusion, add in a sponsored ad or upload a new version of a podcast, it doesn't count towards your storage usage per month.
  • Blubrry allows a 25% storage overage each month
  • Prices are based on storage.
  • Usability is okay.
SimpleCast

Starting: $15/month

Recommendation: $35/month

Monthly Storage: Unlimited

  • Hosts your audio files no matter what the size!
  • Dynamic insertion for podcast ads or edits.
  • Incredibly detailed analytics including number of episodes completed and listener location tracking.
  • Embed media player.
  • Easy to use.
  • Great distribution! Easy access to all major podcast platforms.
  • Customizable podcast
    website.
  • Prices are slightly higher than other platforms, but well worth it especially if you have a branded company podcast!