* This post was originally featured on The Student Affairs Hub.
Productivity is a fickle thing. It's objectively different for all of us (and our students) and what works best in terms of our personality (morning or night, at home or a coffee shop, etc.). Nevertheless, there are some general tips that can be beneficial to anyone as we all work towards getting the most we can out of each day.
1. Celebrate Each Little Milestone
A personal habit of mine is to have a little internal celebration for each of the small achievements I reach with any project. It could be a particular metric (views, downloads, etc.) or a specific first in my life (first guest post on my blog, or my first eBook). They don't have to be the best or the biggest, they just have to be important to you. Making sure to appreciate how far you've come, even when you're first starting, helps to motivate you when the going gets tough. I know that some of my projects have grown a lot over time, and it is nice to value all of the benchmarks along the way so that I don't forget where I came from.
2. Fall in Love with the Process
Something that can be difficult for a lot of people is the hard work that goes into all the details in something as simple as a blog post. It's awesome being able to share ideas with people, but before you get it out into the world as a blog post, you have to actually write, edit, choose a title, choose a header photo, format, pick categories and tags, and then you can push it out. Even then, you'll probably need to continue to promote the content to get it out to everyone you want to check it out. If you're not prone to wanting to put in the detailed work, you're most likely going to eventually give up since you don't want to do all the work that goes into whatever it is you're doing. You have to see how all the pieces come together and fall in love with the process to fully commit to any project you're undertaking.
3. Go Big (or Go Small)
When it comes to our to-do lists, there are the simple things we need to get done which may be incremental steps in a project, and then there are those big, ugly, hairy to-do list items that we'll do anything else possible to avoid. I totally can attest to these feelings and after reading some other articles on productivity (read my original thoughts here), I've found some helpful ways to combat never getting around to those pesky tasks we don't want to do, but should get to. On a given day, either commit to doing a bunch of little things (in order of priority) and have the momentum carry you through the get as many done as you can, or commit to just getting that one big task out of the way, and if you accomplish nothing else, at least you can feel satisfied in getting that one thing done.
Hopefully by following these general ideas you (or your students) can hack your productivity and crush whatever projects you're working on, big or small.