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What is a productivity system and which ones exist?


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What is a productivity system?

A productivity system, also productivity technique or method, is nothing more than a set of procedures according to which something is done.

The goal of a productivity system is to bring structure and a systematic approach to your day, and to facilitate your work without you having to waste too much time managing it. A good productivity system can help you for example figure out what to do and when to do it, give an overview of all your tasks, or help you with the actual execution of your to-dos.

Even though you might not be aware of it, in a way or another each one of us has already some form of such a system in place. The problem is that sometimes our ways of doing things are not very efficient and for such cases a productivity system can come to the rescue.

When should I use a productivity system?

Keep in mind that a productivity system is meant to be a tool, and as such, it should help you and not hinder you from being productive. Hence, a system only makes sense when it is actually needed. If you just have 1 or 2 simple tasks that you need to do, you almost certainly don’t really need a system as what you have to do is still manageable.

However, if you frequently feel lost because you don’t know where to start, what to do, what to prioritise or when to do what, then exploring a productivity system might be the right way forward.
Likewise, if you often feel overwhelmed by all your tasks and you spend more time trying to organize your thoughts and to-dos rather than executing them, then a productivity system might bring some order to the chaos.

Which productivity systems exist?

Although each one of us has different needs and preferences, there are some common and popular productivity systems that many people have adopted and incorporated in their workflow. These systems are characterized by the fact that they are easy to pick up and that they are flexible enough to be customized to fit different work styles.

It’s important to note that a system might work well in some circumstances and less for others. For example, certain systems are designed for organizing tasks, some are good to plan and visualise short term and long term goals, while others are better to help make decisions or help facilitate the actual execution of your tasks.
This means that, throughout your day, you might actually want to use a combination of systems and techniques, each of which is designed to enhance a specific part of your workflow.

Which productivity system should I choose?

There is no one size fits all. But, the good news is that a good productivity system can be adapted and customized to fit your needs.

In order to get started, simply go through the above mentioned list and pick the one who speaks to you the most. Then it is all about trying and seeing what works for you and what doesn’t. Try a system for a couple of weeks and see how it goes, but if you feel like it doesn’t work for you, just pick another system and take it from there.

It’s likely that you might not find immediately the perfect system which will tick all the boxes, but don’t be discouraged if something isn’t 100% perfect right away.
Eventually, you might need to change a few things here and there and even combine multiple methods and techniques together to end up with a system that works for you and which will help you increase your productivity.

Avatar photo Written by Sabine Staggl

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