As a freelancer, between client emails, tweeting on Twitter, watching metal detecting Youtube videos and working on passion projects – it can be a challenge to stay productive.
You may not share my enthusiasm for unearthing WWII memorabilia, but I’m sure you have a guilty pleasure that seduces you away from important work.
One solution I’ve found is to follow what I call “Granny’s rule.” It is a simple but effective rule for increasing your productivity and it goes something like this…
“You eat your carrots before you get your icecream.”
My granny may have been a crass Polish woman who smelled faintly of caramelized onions, but she knew how to run a tight ship. During our meals, before I got to dive into a bowl of Co-op brand vanilla ice cream, I had to eat my carrots.
And you know what? It worked.
How to use the granny rule to be more productive
In practice, Granny’s rule represents doing the hard work first.
Hard work, is well… hard. We tend to put it off, make excuses for not getting it done, and instead work on the easy (ice cream) tasks first.
But as we know, eating ice cream and skipping our carrots can make for a squishy boy or girl.
If instead focus on doing the hard stuff first – as soon as you begin your day – you’ll be well on your way to getting more accomplished. Make a list of tasks at the start of every day, prioritize carrots to ice cream, and tackle your to-do list like you would a meal at Granny’s dinner table.
The sooner you get it out of the way, the sooner you can work on the fun stuff. The stuff you’re passionate about – your own personal ice cream.