The Art of Getting Things Done

Getting in control and creating space | David Allen | TEDxAmsterdam

Do you find yourself saying "there isn’t enough time in the day"? This phrase is all too common in today’s world. Emails, social media and the many other little to-dos that come up can make staying on task harder to accomplish than your actual work. It is no surprise then that so many people are looking to improve their focus, time management and general productivity. 

Improving productivity is not about finding more hours in your day. It is about working more efficiently in the time you do have. This requires building new habits to become more focused and efficient. By improving productivity you can reduce the stress of doubt, guilt and feeling overwhelmed by your jobs. Keep reading for great tips to help improve your productivity.  

10 top tips to get started: 

  • Take regular breaks – short breaks can boost concentration and creativity 
  • Eat that frog – tackle your most important task first 
  • Learn to single-task – focus on one task at a time to improve productivity 
  • Follow the ‘two-minute rule” – If you have a task that can be completed in 2 minutes, do it now as it will take longer to review and finish later 
  • Plan each day the night before – Write a simple to-do list of 2-3 items 
  • Take advantage of your commute – use this time to learn something new, read a book or listen to a great podcast 
  • Get organised – keep your space clear 
  • Eliminate digital distractions – set a limit on the amount of time you spend on your phone or browsing the internet 
  • Make a not-to-do list of all of those activities you're planning to stop doing in order to become more productive 
  • Get enough zzz’s – 7 to 9 hours sleep each night is recommended for physical and mental well-being 



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Set up a soundtrack with these motivational songs on Freegal

  • Eye of the Tiger by Survivor 
  • Any way you want it by Journey 
  • The Final Countdown by Europe 
  • It’s a Long Way to the Top by AC/DC 
  • More than a feeling by Boston 
  • Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough by Michael Jackson 
  • Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson 
  • Run the World (Girls) by Beyoncé 
  • Feel it Still by Portugal. The Man 
  • You get what you give by New Radicals 

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Listen on the go with these podcasts

The Tim Ferriss Show: Tim Ferriss, the bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, interviews world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, chess, pro sports, etc.), digging deep to find the tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can use. 

Beyond the To-Do List: If you're often finding yourself overwhelmed by your to-do list, your obligations, and all the hats you wear in your career and at home, listen and learn as Host Erik Fisher talks with real people who implement practical productivity strategies in their professional and personal lives.  

The 5AM Miracle with Jeff Sanders: The 5 AM Miracle is a practical self-improvement podcast that features interviews with authors, speakers, and highly successful people from around the world. This weekly podcast focuses on productivity, healthy habits, and personal development. 

More library resources

  • Want to boost your time management? Find great courses with LinkedIn Learning. Search “productivity”. To get started with LinkedIn Learning, log in with your library membership number and password 
  • Improve your focus with meditation and yoga videos available through Gale Health and Wellness. Sign in with a free State Library of Queensland membership.  


Productive morning Guided Meditation – Become Focused and Create the Perfect Day

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