How to get more done — Robin Wils's website

Last modified: Wed, Feb 3, 2021

Table of Contents

Be patient

Becoming more productive is not always and easy task. You can have big goals, but doing too much might cause a lot of stress or other unpleasant symptoms.

You can become more productive. Try to believe in yourself and take your time, but don’t waste too much of it either.

Use better tools or make the task easier

This is not always possible, but it could help a lot. It might even be possible to automate a task, which means less work and more time for you.

How I made it easier to write this blog

Writing posts in pure HTML took time, since I had to surround the text with tags. Like this:

<h1>This is a big headline</h1>
<p>This is a textblock.</p>
<p>This is another textblock.</p>

I moved to ox-hugo after trying it out for a while. I can write my website in the org-mode of GNU Emacs now. I can type and create articles easier in org. This saves time. This is just a simple example, but it has more useful features.

Org-mode example:

* This is a headline
This is a textblock.

This is another textblock.

Eliminate useless tasks

It is completely normal to need some time to relax. Some relaxing things can be productive. You could try to replace less productive relaxing things with more productive relaxing tasks.

For example, replace games with watching educational videos or try to learn an extra skill which you find relaxing. Creating a own website is also something which you could learn from.

Games might be useful if you are a game developer and/or seek inspiration, but they usually do more harm as good for the most people. You could seek info about the game instead of playing it if you don’t want to waste too much time.

There are debatable exceptions like educational games or playing games for the art. I don’t find most of the popular games that much of an art piece, but some games are truly wonderful.

Social media is also a timewaster which you might want to avoid. This isn’t the only reason to avoid it. You can read my Media and social media article for more information.

Do you get something back for your time?

Productive activities usually give you something back after a period of time. Something that you can see as an achievement. Learning something is a task which returns knowledge. Making a project might even return you donations. Drawing something might improve your drawing skills, which can also get you money or respect.

It is all in the details

I have to admit that I usually also waste more time as I want to waste. Some things which you might not think about, might take a lot of time. It is probably also just healthy to not be too busy.

Think about the tiny things which you do. Even putting pens which were inside a closet in a cup on a desk might help. This makes it easier to get the pen when you need it. You don’t have to open the closet and it is easy to pick up.

Do something productive every day

Big improvements don’t always happen in one day. Working hard can help to get where you want to be. Do something productive every day. This can be something simple.

I try to do a small git commit every day. Not every commit looks valuable, but you improve something a tiny bit. A lot of tiny bits make something big.

There are exceptions though. You could get sick. It is good to push yourself, but everyone has a limit. You might need a break when you get sick.

Focus on one task

Many people can work better when they focus on only one thing. Multitasking often slows you down.

Multitasking is not always bad. Listening to music while doing something might increase your productivity depending on the task and music.

Tiny tasks can usually be multitasked in my experience, but bigger ones can’t. You decide how tiny or big, tiny and big is.