Tips for boosting your productivity
Being productive isn’t only important at work; it can be defined as any type of progress that you make towards your goals and dreams- regardless of whether or not they are related to your career.
What if instead of working harder, you could work smarter and have more time do the things that truly matter to you?
PUT IT DOWN ON PAPER
You might think that you can keep track of everything you need/want to do in your head, but the truth is- you can’t. Keep a journal, write down your thoughts and ideas. Having them written down will let you go back and re-visit them, improve them and build on them. It will also let you plan a lot better and prevent you from forgetting your ideas as well. You never know when inspiration might hit you- that’s why always having a journal (or a planner, notebook) with you will let you write them down as soon as they come to you. You can, of course, do the same on your phone, tablet or laptop, but I find that writing something down on paper is a really intentional act. When I write things down in my planner (whether it be ideas, or chores/tasks I want to complete) I always get a lot more done.
NEVER SKIP A MONDAY
I’m not just talking about fitness here. You’ve probably heard the “never skip a monday” rule when it comes to working out, but that’s something that I also apply to my life in general. A lot of us really don’t like Mondays (I don’t know about you, oh wait…. no… I DO know for a fact that just like me, you probably come across at least one “I hate Mondays” post on your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter feed, every single week) but changing that can not only make you more productive, but it can also change your life. Similarly to Fridays, Mondays are usually our least productive days, can you guess why? Of course you can. Both of them occur right before and right after the weekend. If you want to be more productive, you need to start giving your Mondays 110%. This applies both to work and your home life. If you “skip” your Monday and don’t perform all or at least most of your task for that day, you will find yourself being even more busy for the rest of the week, trying to complete those “Monday” tasks. If you want to tackle your Mondays like a boss, you need to start prepping Sunday evening. A lot of us love to indulge on Sundays, we go out to eat, we have a couple of drinks or we order takeout. This will make you feel bloated and sluggish come Monday morning and when you feel like that, your productivity levels automatically drop. If you love to indulge on Sundays, try to do so during the day and not in the evening, or right before you go to bed. Another quick tip that will help your Mondays be bit brighter: on Sunday evening, make sure that your kitchen and kitchen sink are clean- this will help you avoid frustration when you make breakfast the next day, and you won’t have to do any cleaning in the morning.
TACKLE THE MOST DREADED ACTIVITY FIRST
We all have those tasks that we just don’t enjoy doing very much. To me, when it comes to work- it’s making phone calls (especially when I know I’ll have to deal with a difficult client); when it comes to my “home” life- it’s a tie between working out and dusting (seriously, I could do dishes all day, I sometimes vacuum just for fun, laundry I can deal with, but dusting I can’t stand). Don’t get me wrong, I love being active, but some days, the last thing I want to do is jump around for 40 minutes. So what do I do? As soon as I get home from work, I take my dog for a quick walk, I take off my makeup, change and get my workout in. It’s really one of the first things I do when I get home- I don’t even think about doing it, I just do it automatically, and by the time I realize, it’s 40 minutes later and my workout for the day is complete. If, I avoid doing it or keep putting it off (“let me first check the mail”, “maybe I should think about dinner first”, “omg I missed my dog so much, I’ll just cuddle with him for an hour”) I usually either end up not doing it at all, or doing it, but not giving it a 100%. The same thing goes for everything else in your life. When I get to work and I know that I have some important phone calls to make, I just get them over with as soon as I can- that way I can focus on other important tasks, and get more work done. If there is something that you really dread doing, just do it right away and get it over with. If you keep putting it off, it will just hang over your head and make you feel uneasy-both of which can lower your productivity.
DON’T STRIVE FOR PERFECTION
This is something I had to learn the hard way. You can’t be perfect all the time, matter of fact, you can’t be (and probably won’t be) perfect at all. Trying to be the best version of yourself is great, trying to constantly learn and grow is amazing, but you can’t strive for perfection. You may or may not agree with me, but I think that striving for perfection is a waste of time. Literally. When I first started blogging, I was really obsessed with having beautiful pictures- only problem was, I knew very little about photography. I refused to publish any posts, unless my pictures were perfect. As a result, I only wrote a handful of posts during my first year of blogging- not very productive, wouldn’t you agree? You cannot wait until you’re perfect at something- going out and doing it, making mistakes and failing once or twice is the only way to learn and it’s the only way to grow.
CLEAN UP YOUR DESK
Get rid of those old invoices, bunch of papers you no longer need and all your junk mail. I know that a lot of us love to have that “organized chaos” but the truth is, you can’ expect to be productive if you have a messy desk. Same thing goes for your desktop or laptop- clean it up and keep it organized.
CREATE AN INSPIRATION/MOTIVATION BOARD
This one is really fun. I have one of those in my home office and every single time I look at it, I feel incredibly inspired. You can fill out your board with your goals or dreams, favorite quotes, daily affirmations, pictures- whatever brings a smile to your face and makes you feel inspired. When you glance at your inspiration board during work, you automatically become more productive since you know that your work is exactly what brings you closer to achieving your goals.
Again, this doesn’t have to be anything intense- it can be as small as taking a longer walk with your dog every evening or going for a little run. If you make it a daily habit, you will feel much better about yourself, it will also reduce your stress, kick up your energy level and it will help to keep you alert and focused.
READ BEFORE BED
Your bedtime routine can have a big impact on your productivity: the last thing you do before going to sleep affects your energy levels the next day. Watching TV before going to sleep is not a good idea as it offers too much stimulus which will not only stop you from falling asleep right away, but it can also keep you up an night. You’ve probably noticed that you fall asleep much quicker when you read, as opposed to watching TV. That’s because reading will help you calm down, relieve your stress and eliminate visual and sound stimuli.
DON’T TRY TO MULTITASK
When you’re trying to multitask your way through the day, you’re not doing yourself any favors. When you’re multitasking, you are basically switching between working on one task to working on another. You might think that multitasking saves you time, but in fact it does quite the opposite: it slows you down. When you jump back and forth between two projects or chores, it will most likely take you longer to complete them. If you want to be more productive, try focusing on one task at a time.
SET DAILY GOALS
Each morning, sit down and write 5 goals you want to accomplish that given day. By doing this the first thing in the morning you not only start the day with a positive attitude but you will feel motivated and will do your best to complete those goals. By doing this every day, you will also realize what’s important to you and what is it that you really want from your life. Maybe there’s a few books on your “must-read” list, maybe your goal is getting fit or losing weight, maybe it’s learning how to cook- remember that productivity isn’t only important when it comes to your “work” or career.
This is a no-brainer, right? Procrastination is the old nemesis of productivity. Procrastination is a habit, and those are usually pretty hard to break, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. First, you need to ask yourself why do you procrastinate? Is it because you’re trying to distract yourself? Is it because you don’t enjoy performing that articular task? If you have problems with procrastination, then make sure to check out this post that I’ve writer a few months ago.