Some days you just don’t want to do anything. You have no desire to do anything productive. I get it! But I want to give you some tips that I know will boost your productivity and help you get shit done!
We live in this world that is all about glorifying the hustle, but what if we instead focused on being the most efficient and effective and getting the work done so we could also make time to enjoy life too? I know that being busy can sometimes be a bit of a “badge of courage” but I think learning to work smarter is far more enjoyable! Below are some tips that I’ve learned over the years that have improved my productivity and how efficiently I get things done so I can have time to enjoy fun activities and time with friends + family. Time is your greatest commodity so here are my top 11 habits for increasing your productivity!
PS, be sure to read all the way to the end to learn about a special freebie I have for you!
Habit #1 – Avoid Social Media + Email first thing in the morning
You want to know the quickest way to get off track and put yourself behind for the rest of the day? It’s scrolling through social media + falling into the rabbit hole of emails! Reaching for your phone is a great way to get a hit of dopamine first thing in the morning, but before you know it, an hour has passed and you haven’t accomplished anything productive! I’ve personally gone into my iPhone screentime settings and created downtime + limits on certain apps that I habitually check first thing to cut down on my morning screentime.
As for checking emails first thing, it’s quite easy to get lost down the rabbit hole with emails as they continue to trickle in throughout the day or get sidetracked with links within these emails. Then what usually happens is your email inbox turns into a to-do list that you want to cross off each email as they come in but then you get nothing else accomplished! It is NOT a to-do list! Instead, schedule specific time(s) later in the day to read and/or respond to emails and then be done with your inbox the rest of the day so you can focus on your other tasks at hand.
Habit #2 – Start your day with Morning Meditation and/or Intentions
Ever roll over to hit snooze (…multiple times) and think, “I just want to go back to sleep! Thinking about today overwhelms me!”? I’m pretty sure a majority of us have been there! I’ve found that when I set aside time to focus my intentions for today – to be grateful for what I have and for what I hope to accomplish and why I want to do these things, it helps to get my day started out on a more positive note. I’m less likely to resist the day ahead, but to instead be excited about what I’m going to accomplish with reaching my goals and providing for others.
Habit #3 – Create Schedule Blocks instead of To-Do Lists
As a perfectionist, it is so easy for me to want to create to-do lists and get a high from the sense of creating the list itself. But then I’m not giving myself true deadlines to actually accomplish those tasks. When you put your tasks on the calendar for certain dates and times it forces you to make actual time for the task instead of it being a “someday” at “some point” task. If forces you to put a realistic look at how much you can truly accomplish in a given time frame (because did you really think you were going to get all 72 items on that to-do list done by 5 PM?! lol)
Habit #4 – Break Your Tasks Down into Smaller Steps
Do you ever find yourself dreading doing a task because it just seems so daunting and overwhelming? Sometimes all it takes is breaking things down into bite-size pieces to get the wheel rolling on a project. It’s always that first 1% of anything, that first step that helps to get things in motion.
Habit #5 – Batch Your Tasks
I want to let you in on a little secret…multi-tasking is NOT a real thing! Lol. When you go jumping from one task to the next to the next you are actually decreasing your productivity. When you schedule all your similar tasks together you are a million times more effective because your mind isn’t having to wander all over the place!
Habit #6 – Do the Tasks that Take Up the Most Mental Space First
If you start with the smaller, more mundane tasks first (so you think you are checking things off), you’ll likely never find the mental space to do the big tasks that involve putting that pre-frontal cortex to work! And then before you know it, you’ve pushed that task off for weeks or even months! If you start with the task that takes the most effort to get started, once you get your juices flowing, it will be all downhill, easy-breezy from there with whatever else you have planned for the rest of the day!
Habit #7 – Turn off Distractions During Important Tasks
I know, I know…you hear the ding of a text. You see the pop-up for a Facebook notification. You really need to see what is behind that notification! And then before you know it…a half-hour has past and you are still staring a blank page with nothing accomplished for your big task. Distractions are like feeding a kid candy…we love them! Lol. So if you have a big project you need to get done, turn off your phone. Shut off social media notifications. Shut the room door. Close your email tab and just FOCUS on what needs to be done. I promise you will get it done much faster and life will not have ended in the time you waited to check out that distraction! 😉
Habit #8 – Take Note of When You are Buffering
Did you just pick up your phone again to see if you got a message? Did you decide that now is the perfect time to organize your sock drawer or count the pencils you have at your desk? As I mentioned above, distractions are everywhere and sometimes we get so immune to them we don’t even realize how often we are giving in to them! So spend a few days jotting down when you find yourself avoiding your tasks at hand and what you did. Then reevaluate and decide if you need to make some changes so you can become more focused and productive!
Habit #9 – Create a Brain Dump to Drop Thoughts + Ideas to Schedule Later
Oh my gosh! You just thought of something and you need to do it before you forget! Sound familiar? Haha. We all do this at some point. But as I mentioned in habit #5, multi-tasking never leads to getting things truly accomplished! So while I know you want to do it now so you don’t forget, drop the thought or idea in a notes document or in your Asana or Trello and go back to the task at hand. Then use a scheduled time when you go through that brain dump and can actually put it on the calendar where it makes the most sense to do so.
Habit #10 – Resist the Sense of Urgency
It can be easy to feel that there is a sense of urgency for certain things that pop up unexpectantly or that we need to get everything done RIGHT NOW! But I’ll let you in on a little secret…most things aren’t urgent if you actually schedule out your time properly! A lot of times when “urgent tasks” pop up, it distracts us from what we already are working on and we tend to also rush through it. This ultimately leads to a “half-ass” job on both the urgent tasks and the task you already had planned. Learn to be comfortable knowing things will get down when they need to get done and that is okay.
Habit #11 – Schedule in Fun Time!
When you have fun things to look forward to on the calendar it’s going to make you much more inclined to get those work tasks completed in a punctual manner. And if you are more productive with getting your tasks accomplished, that means you’ll have more time for fun! You will be winning all around!
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Tell us your tips for keeping productive!
Do you have some tricks up your sleeve for how you keep productive? Post in the comments below! Or feel free to email me if you want to chat it out!