I don’t know about you, but there are some days where I just feel like I NEVER get anything accomplished in my day! Other’s I get all jittery and just jump right into my to-do list and feel like I can conquer everything on my list! Well what makes these days so different from one another? How can you be more productive in your every day life? I’ve compile this nifty list to answer these questions!
- Evaluate you priorities. This is very important to staying productive, take about 10 minutes or so to list out your to-do list and examine who or what is important to you on that list. Keep your list on hand so you can view it frequently and stay on track, always make sure the big things come FIRST. The amount of time you spend on something should be relative to how important it is in your life. Life is short and every second is precious, don’t waste your time on the little things that don’t matter.
- Set a timer or time frames and stick to them. Setting a time frame can be the best way to keep yourself motivated as well as productive. For instance, I know that my workouts take up thirty minutes of my day so I always start them at 3:30 in the afternoon knowing I’ll be finished by 4:00 pm. Plan out your time and stick to it! Limiting your time on seemingly endless tasks like emails and Facebook helps a lot too. When you tell yourself that you only have a set amount a time to accomplish a task, it is a better motivator to get it done and not to procrastinate!
- Set concrete goals and write them down. When you sit and actually write out clear and specific goals, it is more beneficial to staying on track to reach those goals in a more timely fashion. Set long-term and short-term goals, then break down those goals into manageable day-to-day tasks. All goals that you set for yourself should also have an end date! I have a chart I utilize with my goals on paper and have them posted in our bedroom, so I am reminded each day of what my ultimate goal is that I am trying to achieve.
- Use daily checklists. For some reason I just LOVE the feeling of crossing off an item on my to-do list. A daily to-do list keeps you focused in spite of all of your daily distractions. Do not go overboard with your to-do list though, make sure that you can actually be accountable to complete everything on your daily list. I found a little notepad at Staples that I’ve found to be really useful!
- Wake up early. This will be everyone’s LEAST favorite item on this hacks list, because I can definitely say that I was never a morning person! But it’s gotten to the point now where I really physically have no idea how to sleep in! Even on the weekends we still wake up automatically around 7 am, granted sometimes we’ll force ourselves to go back to sleep, but we’re still up and doing something by 8 am. Look at it this way, just consider how much your life could change a year from now if you just wake up thirty minutes earlier? You can use that extra thirty minutes working towards your most important long-term goals. Every study that I have ever read confirms that you are more productive in first thing in the morning, use that peace and quiet to complete your most important tasks and you will never regret missing that extra sleep.
- Turn off electronics. This might seem to be an obvious item that goes hand-in-hand with maintaining the ultimate productivity levels. Now, I set a time frame and organize my social media posts to be automatically posted using Hoot Suite so I don’t get distracted trolling through my newsfeed on a daily basis. Some businesses require social media interaction, which is completely FINE! But in order to continue on with your daily list, you need to cut out your distractions. Utilize apps like Hoot Suite and set up your posts as a part of your items on your to-do-list, then once that is set get off your phone! When you’re writing your blog posts, or emails, or papers for school, do NOT play a bunch of Netflix shows in the background. You cannot do your best work when you are accidentally typing out an episode of Archer…trust me, that does NOT make for a good thesis paper when you type out “LAAANNNNNAAAA.” It might make for a good laugh with your professor, but only for five minutes before you fail completely.
- Make it interesting/fun. This one might sound weird, but it really works for me when it comes to doing something that I completely dread doing. Laundry for instance is my nemesis, I absolutely LOATHE folding laundry, so to get me through it I’ll try making it into a game. I usually will set a timer for myself to make it a challenge, with each week the time gets shorter and shorter. It absolutely sucks if I go over my time limit since I feel like I’ve lost at my own game. I also use a points system for socks, I’ll match the socks and try to toss them into the drawer. For everyone I make I get a point, and for every one I miss I lose a point. Call me a dork, but hey at least it gets done this way!
- Change your mood. Your mood completely reflects the outcome of your day. Some days it’s understandable not to be in the best mood possible, but once you change your attitude your entire day can be turned around! Be optimistic and think highly of yourself and be happy! Your productivity is heightened exponentially when you have the ability to change your outlook. You are more likely to accomplish your goals more quickly, than if you view everything with a negative attitude! I utilize personal development (audio books/YouTube/books) to help me stay positive and stay focused to achieve my goals!
- Do not half-ass multiple things, whole ass one thing. Multi-tasking might sound like a good idea, but the reality of it is that it’s not at all. Focus your time and energy on one thing at a time, it makes for a better outcome with what you are working on. When you accomplish one thing from start to finish, you are reaped with a better reward of self-accomplishment and are more inclined to move onto the next item with a better attitude. On top of that, you are less likely to make mistakes when you focus on one thing at a time instead of four. You will be more satisfied completing one item at a time and doing it correctly!
- Take a break! You cannot be expected to work productively constantly if you burnout and don’t take a break for yourself just to breathe. Taking a quick 3-5 minute break every 90 minutes or so is sure to help your brain refocus. Stand up, stretch, go get some water, a breath of fresh air. then sit back down and get back into it. Do not force yourself to power through an entire day of work without taking a few minutes to yourself to regroup! You will find that you are much more productive and on task when you sit back down after that break.
So go and make your days more productive! Stay positive and remember to breathe, we all have A LOT to get done in day!