It’s easy to tell yourself to “work hard” and “be organized” but those are abstract concepts. How do you actually achieve them every day? Imagine you’ve just started working in a coworking environment and you’re ready to make some headway with your business. The environment is only part of the battle. Here are some productivity tips you can use in conjunction with your coworking environment to achieve your goals.

Make Lists

We all have large, abstract goals. But achieving them is only possible if we break them down into small, specific and actionable tasks. By keeping lists every day of what needs to get done, you hold yourself more accountable and are constantly moving forward toward your goals. Keep a whiteboard in your coworking space with daily, weekly and monthly lists.

Eliminate Meaningless Distraction

We all love hopping on Facebook and Youtube to see what our friends are up to. But unless you’re on social media for business reasons, avoid visiting these sites while you’re working. We have all fallen down the rabbit hole of click bait and it’s a huge time waster. Not to mention it makes it harder for you to get back in the right frame of mind. There are blocks you can put on your phone or computer browsers that stop you from giving in to temptation while you should be working.

Keep a Journal

Sometimes our best ideas come when we least expect it. Brainstorming sessions are great, but sometimes your best brainstorming comes in the shower or on your commute. If you have a journal, either physical or on your phone, you have the ability to capture those great ideas before they get away.

Make Downtime Work For You

Working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week isn’t healthy or smart. Many people think that in order to be successful, you must never stop working when in fact, downtime, relaxation and balance is key. However, you can make downtime still work in your favor. Spend your free time practicing a new skill that can help your goals, reading up on better business practices or the memoirs of others or attending seminars. If your coworking space has quiet rooms or hammocks, allocate time to relax and catch up on some reading every day.

Label Everything Properly

Everything should have it’s place and everything should be named properly. This goes for physical organization as well as virtual. File paperwork correctly and in a way you will remember. File emails in marked folders. You will be amazed how much time you save when you don’t have to search for 20 minutes every time you need to reference a file or email.

Set Premature Deadlines

No one likes deadlines. They are scary and sometimes feel impossible. But they can work in your favor. Whenever you get a deadline, write it down as a day or two before it really is. Strive to complete a project on Wednesday when it’s really due Friday. You will work harder and feel an odd sense of relief when your brain thinks the deadline is before it really is. It’s like tricking yourself into getting an extension!

Plan for Tomorrow

Before you stop working for the day, establish what your goals are for tomorrow. It will save you time in the morning and you can jump right in. You also have a full night's sleep to mull over what you will be doing tomorrow. If you didn’t accomplish any of your goals for today, figure out why that is and reevaluate your strategy. This way tomorrow, when you try again, you can attack the problem from a new angle. You can also seek out wisdom or advice from coworking buddies about where you may have gone wrong.

Photo by: Denis Hamilton