14 Methods for Boosting Your Personal Productivity

It is possible for anyone to move from a position where they feel unproductive, overwhelmed and unfocused to be in control, calm and ready to handle any type of work project regardless of its size, with the right level of productivity.

With the wide variety of productivity methods available, finding your perfect fit is definitely possible.

To save you from reading through numerous articles scouring for your best option, here’s a detailed list of the most effective productivity methods you can use to enhance your personal productivity level.

14 Methods for Boosting Your Personal Productivity

1) Personal Productivity Method: Personal Kanban

Time to get started: Usually Low

Method explanation: The Personal Kanban method helps a person see the status of all their projects in a simple visual layout. The method requires you to choose a preferred medium – a whiteboard, sticky notes, or digital board will work fine – and then carefully assign each of your projects to one of three categories including “To Do,” “Doing” and “Done.” It is as simple as that.

By using a limited space to display your To-Do and Doing projects, you will be able to notice how fast you are starting new projects, and as the spaces fill up; you will also feel the pressure to complete some on-going projects before you can add new ones to the categories.

Perfect for people who usually start a huge variety of projects only to finish a few at the end of it all.

2) Personal Productivity Method: Must, Should, Want

Time to get started: Medium

Method explanation: This method helps you separate the things you must do today from those that can wait. All you need to do is write down all the activities you need to get done and then carefully go through the resulting list, identifying each as a Must, a Should or a Want.

Must things are non-negotiable and must be handled first. Should things are those that you need to do, but not necessarily today. Want things are things that you might be interested in doing but are not considered to be necessary.

Perfect for people who prefer to use lists over graphs when it comes to prioritizing things.

3) Personal Productivity Method: Eating Live Frogs: Do The Worst Thing First

Time to get started: Low

Method explanation: instead of simply helping you cross things off your to-do list, this method helps you create a schedule of where you need to start. According to this method, you are supposed to complete the most robust activities in your to-do-list, earlier in the day, before moving on to the easier ones.

Everyone feels the push to procrastinate; it is in our nature; however, learning how to work around this impulse can help you improve upon your level of productivity; this is exactly what this method is aimed at helping you achieve.

Perfect for people who уsually end up missing their deadlines or rushing through their work because they tend to procrastinate when it comes to working on important projects.

4) Personal Productivity Method: SMART Method

Time to get started: Medium

Method explanation: The word SMART is an acronym which stands for Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic and Timely. Although there are numerous variations to this method, the main idea is to take a bid project or idea and using a series of questions find a way to make it practical in the real world.

The main advantage of this method is that once you are familiar with how it works, it’s easy to remember and apply.

Perfect for people who need to strategize on the way forward before getting started on a big project, as opposed to handling day to day activities.

5) Personal Productivity Method: Timeboxing

Time to get started: Low

Method explanation: This method is designed to ensure that you are accountable to your schedule for the day by assigning specified periods of time to specific tasks. According to research findings, small distractions can take away your concentration for up to half an hour; this means that you might end up wasting your day on small tasks at the expense of bigger and more important tasks.

To implement this method, you need to break up your day into specified blocks of time with given tasks assigned to each of these blocks.

Alternative time boxing methods include Day-Theming and InboxZero.

Perfect for people who find that their day is being taken over by interruptions and small tasks.

6) Personal Productivity Method: Action Method

Time to get started: Medium

Method explanation: For creative processes to be truly innovative, a lot of messy work has to be done. The Action Method was specifically developed to achieve this. This personal productivity method requires innovative ideas to be broken down into three categories, Action Items, Backburner Items, and Reference Items.

Action Items involve the steps you need to take to bring the project to fruition.

Backburner Items are the worthwhile ideas that you cannot accommodate in your current action plan.

Reference Items revolve around the information and resources needed to bring the project to fruition.

Perfect for people who need to come up with an actionable plan from the results of a creative brainstorming process. 

7) Personal Productivity Method: Biological Prime Time

Time to get started: High

Method explanation: This method helps you find out more about the variations in your level of productivity throughout the day by tracking your biological rhythms. You will need to collect a lot of data on your level of productivity throughout each day while steering clear of any factors that have the potential to affect your energy and activity levels.

At the end of it all, you should be able to go through the data collected and find out how, where and when you are most productive.

Perfect for people who want to optimize their days for the highest level of productivity because they are drawn to statistics and love experimentation.

8) Personal Productivity Method: Getting Things Done

Time to get started: Medium

Method explanation: The GTD method is designed to help you take all the unfinished activities that are taking up space in your mind, organize them into a neat list of activities you can immediately get to work on.

To achieve the above, the method follows four different stages which include Capture, Clarify, Organize, Reflect and Engage.

Perfect for people who need to organize a large number of unfinished activities they are stressing their brains.

9) Personal Productivity Method: The Medium Method

Time to get started: Medium

Method explanation: This method brings together the best of both digital and paper methods of compiling to-do-lists.

To implement this method, you will need to have a variety of analog and digital tools including a main pen notebook, travel notebook, Post-It notes, Online Calendar, Task Management App and Note App.

All these tools will be needed to reenter information relevant to keeping track of the progress you have made throughout the day. You can use this record to review how productive your day was.

Perfect for people who prefer to put down their to-do-lists down on paper but have too much to do to rely on the paper lists solely.

10) Personal Productivity Method: Don’t Break The Chain

Time to get started: Low

Method explanation: Popularized by Jerry Seinfeld when he said that he writes a joke every day; this method is designed to help you build consistency about your daily tasks and habits. However, it does not tell you anything about your priorities or deadlines.

To ensure that you stick to the habit(s) you are trying to build, and maintain consistency, you can use an old school calendar. Cross off each day that you uphold the habit, and you will see a pattern emerge in no time. Any missed day, marked by the absence of an “x” will be more or less of an eyesore.

Perfect for people who are looking to build new day to day habits.

11) Personal Productivity Method: Pomodoro

Time to get started: Low

Method explanation: This personal productivity method simply breaks down your work time into short bursts to boost your concentration levels.

There are many variations of this method, with Pomodoro being the most popular one. In this variation, you repeat four cycles, 25 minutes of work separated by 5-minute breaks, before taking a longer 25-minute break. Note that you can vary these periods to create your own perfect fit.

Use the available selection of digital applications to make things easier when implementing this productivity method.

Perfect for people who tend to get distracted easily but have pressing tasks that they have to complete.

12) Personal Productivity Method: Agile Results

Time to get started: Medium

Method explanation: This method helps you focus on both the past and the future, by focusing on your priorities and results while still keeping track of all your goals and projects. This approach ensures that your daily activities remain aligned with your overall goals.

This method gives you some room to find the right path to achieving your overall goals as you can look back at your progress and after comparing it with your overall goals, make the necessary adjustments. This sets it apart from other productivity methods which are solely aimed at getting results.

Perfect for people who need to keep up with a timeline and are working on complicated projects or are goal oriented.

13) Personal Productivity Method: The To-Done List And The To-Don’t List

Time to get started: Medium

Method explanation: If you find that you are always wasting time dwelling on what you have not accomplished, try switching things up by looking at what you have accomplished; this is what this method aims to help you achieve.

A to-do list reminds you of what you need to get done, or in some cases what you never got around to doing. A To-Done list, on the other hand, helps you keep track of what you are getting done. After doing this for a day or two, you might be surprised at how much you have actually been getting done.

If you still find that you have a lot of incomplete tasks on your to-do list, then you consider putting down a To-Don’t list. This list documents all the habits that have a negative effect on your productivity. Every negative habit you avoid during your day should be crossed off the list.

At the end of your day, you will be able to take stock of how productive you were.

Perfect for people who have negative habits that hinder productivity or spend a substantial amount of their time dwelling on yesterdays, or even last weeks, unfinished tasks.

14) Personal Productivity Method: Eisenhower Matrix

Time to get started: Medium

Method explanation: You use an X-Y axis to differentiate between important tasks and distractions/less important ones.

Simply plot a big plus sign on a piece of paper. The X-axis represents how urgent a task is, with the level of urgency being highest on the left side and lowest on the right. The Y-axis represents the level of importance of each task, which increases as you move upwards.

This gives you four quadrants, Urgent and Important tasks, Less Urgent but Important tasks, Less important but still Urgent tasks, and Less Important and Less Urgent tasks. From this graph, you can clearly see your priorities.

Perfect for people who rather than dump tasks in several categories, prefer prioritizing on a continuum, and love graphs instead of lists.

Boosting your personal productivity is not easy fete; however, by finding your perfect fit from the above list of productivity methods, you will at least have a fighting chance.