Do you ever find that once you get started on a project, it becomes hard to put things down again? You pick up momentum, and soon your creativity and energy levels are at an all-time high. The only problem, though, is that it seems like an insurmountable challenge to get started on your work in the first place.
One of the worst times we face this feeling is early in the morning. You're groggy, the day ahead of you is long, and you haven't touched your work in awhile. It's no wonder you don't feel like doing anything.
Instead of focusing on your most important task, maybe you resort to refreshing your email, clicking on a viral video, or chatting with someone who's available to talk. Sound familiar?
The "page-turner" technique
This is where my "page-turner" technique to productivity comes in.
Here's how it works: Imagine hearing part of a story and, just before getting to the good part, you hear a preview of what happens next. Unfortunately, you have to wait until next time to hear the rest of the story. This creates a feeling of anticipation as you wait eagerly to know what will happen next time.
This same technique can be applied to productivity. So if you're working on a project, just leave it partially done, or jot down the next steps for the following day. For instance, if I'm in the middle of writing a post, I'll just leave it partially done and have a few bullet points down for the next time I sit down to finish it.
Or, if I finish an article, I'll have another task set out for myself the next day. Either way, I write down something I need to do before the day is over. This keeps me looking forward to doing something the next day and not having to face a blank page.
As a result, the upcoming task quietly brews in the back of my mind. As it sits there, a new idea might pop up, or I might think of a better way to approach a task.
How to apply the technique
First, think of a goal you'd like to work on. For example, let's say you're looking to draft cold emails for job opportunities. Your aim is send out five to ten emails a day.
And so, you send out a few emails on Monday. Then what? Afterward, in accordance with the page-turner technique, you could jot down:
- A list of people you want to reach out to the following day.
- A few companies in mind from which to grab contact names.
- A few emails saved in "Drafts" ready to go.
The most important part of the technique is that you keep the momentum going. At the end of the day, plan out a couple things you need to do for the next day while it's still fresh in your mind.
Even if you're not successful in getting results or you don't get the response you want, keep the pipeline moving regardless. Don't stall and wait to hear back. Just keep moving.
You want to continue having a "page-turner" at the end of every day. Instead of waiting for inspiration or staring at your screen, you know what to do and are ready to go.
What if a task can't be left partially done?
But what if the task you're working on has to be finished in segments? Fitness is a good example. If you're walking or jogging outside, you can't just just reach your endpoint and decide you don't want to get back home (hopefully not, anyway).
So how do you create an incentive for yourself to keep exercising the next day?
By making yourself feel obligated to continue where you left off. If you're jogging and reach a certain landmark, you can pinpoint another landmark or trail and make it a point to reach it the next time you go jogging again.
Another way to create a "page-turner" is by leaving your running shoes and a pair of socks out in a space where it's impossible for you to ignore. Instead of putting away your shoes, put them beside the door and place your exercise clothes near your bed so that you can pick up where you left off.
Now it's your turn. What is the biggest goal on your mind that you're looking to achieve? What can you do to make yourself want to continue right where you left off the day before?