Use these free printable task list templates to help you be more productive and get things done.
There are 24 hours in a day but for many of us, it doesn’t seem like enough. We want to make the most out of our day, make good use of time and just get things done but it’s not so straightforward.
Why is it so hard for us to be productive? Is it because we are a relaxed species? Is it because the pandemic has made us lazy? Is it because we are bored of work? I can’t say because as individuals, we are all affected differently.
What I can tell you is how to be more productive, how to get things done, and how to do it at home too.
I’ve also put together this list of the best task list templates to help you plan and organize the things you need to do more easily.
In a time where we have all spent the last year and a half working from home and being predominantly indoors, learning how to be productive at home is a must.
How do you get things done?
Do you know that there is actually a method to getting things done? It’s called Getting Things Done and it follows five steps to “apply order to the chaos.”
The GTD (Getting Things Done) method created by productivity consultant David Allen is a system that allows us to organize our thoughts and tasks so we actually do them rather than becoming overwhelmed.
It follows five simple steps to practice:
Whatever thoughts cross your mind, write them down somewhere organized like a journal or notebook. The idea is to get everything out of your head. Whatever captures your attention, write it down.
Out of these thoughts, what are actionable? Decide what thoughts are projects, references, rubbish, or something to put on hold.
Organize your thoughts. File references away, bin the useless thoughts, put your thoughts on hold somewhere safe, and organize your projects, adding dates and actionable steps. You could even delegate some tasks. Use any of the task list templates below to help you.
Look at your lists daily to see how you are getting on and do a bigger review every week. Use this time to update and revise your lists.
Use your newly created system to work on your important tasks. You should have an idea of exactly what you need to work on and when.
These five steps are the basic principle of how GTD works, but you can read a more in-depth guide here.
Use a free printable planner to help you develop your system. You can also use a daily planner, weekly planner, monthly planner, task list templates, or schedule templates.
There are so many free printable organizational pages to choose from to help you perform at your best.
How do you focus and get things done?
If you’re looking for ways to focus and get things done then here are some great tips. I actually use these tips myself and they are so straightforward you will be kicking yourself for having not implemented them into your work routine.
A great way to stay focused is by allocating each task of the day into time blocks. You focus on doing the task for a certain period of time and then move on.
This method is called time boxing or time blocking any many successful entrepreneurs use this method such as Elon Musk. I won’t rattle on about Elon Musk here (I’m a big fan) but you can’t deny the guy is doing something right.
This article discusses how Elon uses time blocking to be productive and bring in the billions.
Clear your desk
Having a messy desk can be distracting. Not only does the clutter catch your eye but it can also get in the way. Having a clear desk gives you the space to work and focus on what’s in front of you.
Take any paperwork off your desk and either file it away or bin what you don’t need. I only have my laptop, a glass and a plan on my desk.
Put your phone away
This is a no-brainer but having your phone near you while you’re trying to get something done isn’t going to help.
Your phone gives you access to hundreds of distractions right at your fingertips so put it in a drawer, keep it in another room, whatever. Just don’t have it near you.
Do one thing at a time
Let’s be truthful here. How much do we actually get done when we try to juggle too much at once? Many of us believe that when we multitask we are “killing two birds with one stone” but in reality, we either procrastinate or do an inadequate job for both things.
Stay dedicated to the project you are doing and you are more likely to complete it quicker and it will be of a higher quality.
I’m a huge fan of background music when I work but it has to be chill music. I find Lofi Girl playlists really help me focus when I’m working because it doesn’t distract, it just blends in.
For other people, silence just works better. You’ll find something that works for you.
Tip: If you’re in an office then stick your headphones in. People are less likely to interrupt you if they think you are in the zone. Music is optional!
This is actually a great way of figuring out what you need to do to reach your goal. My husband does this all the time using our task list templates and he is very productive.
Backward planning is when you write your goal and then list the steps to get there. It can also be used for time. Write the time you want to complete your task, then divide that amount of time into smaller tasks to complete.
How can I get things done in less time?
It always comes down to time. it’s the one thing we never seem to have enough of so getting things done quicker is high on many people’s lists.
Here are some ways to help you make more of your time when it comes to being productive.
60 second decisions
Don’t linger when it comes to making decisions. Are you someone who stands in the bakery aisle for 10 minutes deciding what cake to get? Yeah, me too.
Instead of pondering over something that really isn’t that important, make a quick decision! Give yourself 60 seconds max to make a decision and then move on.
Have a plan
Knowing what you need to do is going to make it so much quicker to do things. Having a plan instantly points you in the right direction and also makes sure you do the things that are important to you.
Keep meetings to 30 minutes
If you have meetings at work, schedule them for 30-minute slots. If a meeting has limited time then you will get straight to the point and bring the important topics to the front rather than any small talk.
Focus on what needs to be done
Try the tips above on how to focus and simply get on with it. The more you focus the more you will get done much quicker.
How to be more productive
How do you become more productive? What can you do to be more productive? There are some simple things to implement into your daily routine that can help you have more energy and more productivity throughout the day.
Get up an hour earlier
They say, “the early bird catches the worm.” Set your alarm and make the effort to get out of bed an hour earlier every morning. Use this hour as a productive hour whether that’s for work or personal tasks.
Eat the frog
If you’ve never heard of this term before it simply means tackle the most unpleasant task first. If you complete this task first then the rest of the day will be better, right?
Exercise in the morning
We all know that exercise is good for our mental health but what does it do for our productivity? Well, a heck of a lot actually. So much so that the company TotalWellness actually pays their employees to exercise at work!
Why do they encourage exercise at work?
- reduces stress (happier at work, more focused, less sick days)
- gives employees more energy (more productive)
- keeps them healthy (less sick days)
Why not fit a workout into your morning and see how it benefits your productivity?
Make a to do list
Having a to do list will help you get started much quicker. There will be no more time wasted trying to figure out what you need to do. Make a to-do list the night before and stick to it the next day. See our task list templates below.
Get more sleep
Did you know that it is recommended we get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night? 35% of Americans actually get less than seven hours of sleep per night. That is considered sleep deprivation!
Being fatigued in the workplace has detrimental effects on our work capability and can also make us prone to workplace accidents.
How much sleep do you get? Use a sleep tracker to find out and log your sleep pattern over a month.
How do you be productive even when you don’t feel like it?
There are going to be times when you just want to do nothing and that’s ok, but when the day of doing nothing becomes a week of doing nothing then maybe it’s time to force yourself out of the rut.
It’s hard doing something when you really don’t want to, but it’s not impossible.
Try these tips to help you be productive even when you don’t feel like it.
It’s a mental thing
I’m going to be brutally honest here. Sometimes you just need to force yourself. Sometimes there isn’t a magic remedy, you just need to get on with it. But once you start, it will get easier and you will get into the swing of things.
When we get a good nights sleep we always feel better the next day. More sleep makes you feel more refreshed, more energetic and ready to tackle the day.
If you know you need to perform well the next day, make the extra effort to go to bed early without any distractions from your phone or tv.
Make sure you’re in a good mood
It’s probably a no-brainer but being in a good mood makes me 10x more productive. Feeling happy and having a positive outlook on life makes me want to get things done, try harder, do better and have fun doing it!
To be productive you need to learn to take a break. Taking a break during your day can rejuvenate you and give you the boost you need.
Take 10 minutes to have an iced coffee, take 30 mins to go for a walk, whatever you do take the time for yourself, and then get back to it.
Think about the end goal
When I’m really struggling to get something done because I just can’t be bothered, I tend to think about the end goal. Why am I doing this? What is my goal? Why is it important?
Reminding yourself of why you are doing something can really encourage you to just do it.
How to be productive at home
It is so hard to be productive at home because it’s your chill zone. You come home from work and relax at home, you entertain at home, you play with the kids at home.
Now so many of us have resorted to working from home due to the pandemic, we’ve kind of landed ourselves in it.
How can we be more productive at home? How can we separate chilling from actually being productive? Check out these tips.
Get up earlier
Getting up earlier is a great way of being productive at home. There are so many distractions at home, especially if you have children so get up an hour earlier and enjoy the quiet time while everyone is still in bed.
You can use the hour to write a schedule, exercise, do your best work, or simply take a shower.
Schedule your day
Having a schedule is a great way of keeping you on track and giving you insight into what needs to be done and when. I love using a schedule to plan my day and I find it so helpful.
A schedule template will allow you to complete multiple things throughout the day and have time solely dedicated to that task.
Track your habits
Many people track their habits to see how they progress over the month and what really encourages those people to keep it up is not breaking the chain.
If you have stuck to a habit for 2 days, 7 days, 10 days, or however long, you will be more inclined to want to keep going. It’s almost like a game – don’t break the chain.
Use this idea to help you stay productive at home. Use a habit tracker for those daily tasks you need to do and try not to break the chain.
If there is something you need to do then use a visual reminder to encourage you. A visual reminder could be anything from leaving the trash at the door to take out or leaving clean washing on the bed so you need to put it away.
Visual reminders get your attention at the moment and encourage you to make the snap decision to do something about it.
Declutter (clean home, clean mind)
Having a clean space is everything. Whether it’s a clean space to work or simply a clean house to get personal tasks done, having a decluttered home definitely helps give you a clear mind to focus and get tasks done.
If your space is clean, at least you don’t have to waste time tidying up before you actually get to the things that are important.
Task list templates
Lastly, and best of all, use a task list template to help you be more productive and get more things done. Simply by writing the things down that you need to do, will help you plan and prioritize and give you the motivation you need to accomplish the tasks ahead.
Free Printable Productivity Templates
Now you’ve learned some ways on how to be productive in different situations and some ways of being productive refer to creating plans and schedules.
If you want to create a schedule for your day or even use a daily, weekly, or monthly planner then you can find a collection of free productivity printables and task list templates right here.
Use the 2021/ 2022 calendar to give you a view of the dates for the current year and the year ahead.
Perfect if you need to find dates at a glance for planning ahead.
Use the daily to do list to organize your tasks, priorities, errands and appointments for the day.
The day planner is perfect for scheduling your day along with organizing priorities and writing notes
Use the habit tracker to help you stay productive enough to not ‘break the chain’.
The home planning page is perfect for helping you stay productive around the house.
The master list template is the ideal way of using the GTD method to organize your projects and put them into action.
Use the month in review to help you review your productivity schedule over the month.
The monthly planner gives you space to plan your month along with monthly tasks, goals and projects.
Take a look at the year ahead by giving yourself an idea of what projects, events or tasks will take place.
The personal planning page is perfect for structuring your weeks focus and helping you stay productive.
Use the project planner to help you plan your projects so you can work smarter and faster.
The to do planner is great for organizing your tasks into general and priority. It’s undated so you can use it for any period of time.
The weekly planner offers so much space for you to plan your week down to a tee!
Give yourself a quick view of the weeks tasks and chores by using the weekly to do list.
Everything you need to get things done
If you find yourself stuck in a productivity rut, remember to try all the tips we have discussed here and don’t forget to download these free task list templates.
You will find something that works for you, but don’t try to do too much at once.
Better yet, check out our Ultimate Planner Super Bundle which features hundreds of useful templates that will help you organize your life, plan your meals, take control of your finances and more. Available in a low-cost convenient bundle that you can print as often as you like.
Remember, it’s ok to have a day off and take it slow.