It is impossible to approach every area in life with a constant burst of energy and productivity, but small changes here and there can make such a great difference in how much work you can rip out! Below are 9 ways you can be more productive and improve your life.
9 Ways to Be More Productive:
- Wake up early
- Set an intention for the day
- Plan out your important things only
- Work-life balance and boundaries
- Protect your energy
- Understand your productivity cycles
- Just get up and do it
- Find a mentor or mastermind
Let’s dive deeper into these tips and tricks on how to be more productive so that you can get the most bang out of every minute AND have time left over for more fun stuff (who doesn’t want that??).
1. Wake Up Early
Some of you may read this and think “Nope!!”, but hear me out.
A time as early as 4 am may be a tad excessive, but a time that allows for a solid morning routine is just right!
Waking up early allows you to start your day in a healthy way, which in turn impacts the rest of your day as well.
This way you have time to ease into the day without feeling rushed, and whether you want to hear this or not, it is also the perfect time to get your daily workout in.
Working out first thing in the morning gives your body the kick-start it needs, and though you may be expending energy, a good workout actually gives you an energy boost throughout the day.
Seems crazy, I know, but it’s true.
This boost in energy naturally ups your productivity as you feel as though you have already accomplished something shortly after starting your day.
2. Set an Intention for the Day
Another suggestion on how to increase your productivity is to take a few moments to set your intention for the day ahead.
This can be in the form of quiet time, a short meditation or a time of prayer.
Setting your intention for the day ahead allows your mind to focus on what needs to get done, and it helps you form a list that you can go through as the day progresses.
It is highly recommended that you write your intention down on a piece of paper, because this way it is made real and tangible and you are more likely to stick to it.
For instance, if you wrote down that your intention is to stop piddling around with that task you dread and get it done so you can spend more quality time with your kids, write that down.
When you find yourself starting to get off task, making it take longer, remembering that getting the thing done, already, is the key to more time with your kids there is a MUCH bigger chance that you will actually get ‘her done.
3. Plan Out Your Important Things (Only)
A day that is roughly planned is always a more productive day than those we just wing without a care in the world.
Planning the day or week ahead programs your mind to focus on goals that you have set, making it more likely that you will follow through and do what needs to get done.
Because our homes are our sanctuaries and the place of relaxation, you should aim to get important tasks done first and out of the way.
In fact, you should ONLY plan out your ONLY YOUR MOST IMPORTANT things for the day.
Obviously you are here because you struggle with productivity, and I would bet that if you currently make to-do lists you write it a zillion lines long.
Not only does this hardcore stress you out, it overloads you cognitively which causes burnout, less focus, and spinning your wheels.
In the morning, write down the 3 BIG THINGS only that will be THE BEST WAY to spend your time today.
Also, approaching your to-do list this way allows you to get the “big things” out of the way, so that your day is well balanced with things you don’t particularly enjoy, as well as relaxation time.
Look and it like a prize waiting for you at the end of a tunnel – the more productive you are earlier in the day, the sooner you get to the good stuff!
You neeeed relaxation or you will soon burn out and productivity will crash, anyway (ask me how I know!), so just get done the important crap and get to living life!
Don’t waste another day letting your day happen TO you.
Download our FREE Intentional Living Goal Setting Journal Template that takes a holistic approach to setting priorities for your day.
It will walk you through setting your intentions and point you in the direction of your best life.
Download now for instant access and to get started NOW. ↓
A household chore you hate and avoid could very well be one of the biggest contributions to increased productivity, and that is decluttering your space.
And, if you’re particular form of lack of motivation involves cleaning your house, I hear you and I feel you.
Let’s face it, nobody enjoys sorting through tons of old stuff, but decluttering your space will give you the sense of a lightened load.
There is definitely truth in the notion that a cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind.
Considering the state of my storage and guest room at the moment, that may explain some things.
I want to introduce you to my FAVORITE resource for cleaning productivity help, but I will warn you that it is chock full of the f word. Is that isn’t for you, keep scrolling.
Unf*ck Your Habitat (and yes, I added the * to keep it classy) offers INCREDIBLE tips and challenges for folks who just can’t seem to find the motivation to clean their house.
Their 20/10 technique can be used for housework or anything you are avoiding, and it’s simply setting a timer and working for 20 minutes followed by setting a timer and resting for 10.
I assure you, their site is full of guides and challenges that will get you moving, even if you’re dreading it!
5. Work-Life Balance and Boundaries…
First and foremost, I cannot stress the importance of a work-life balance enough for both your mental health and productivity!
The big question is how we can achieve such balance in a world that is so demanding of our time for such little reward, and the answer is simple: boundaries.
The setting of boundaries begins with you, and the sooner you realize that you don’t owe a single soul permanent access to you, the more productive you will be during your work-from-home hours.
Sure, this isn’t the easiest thing in the world, especially if our employer is used to having us available 24/7, and cutting back work hours if you’re working too much may seem counterproductive, but it is absolutely not.
The notion of multi-tasking for greater productivity is false.
Our brains SIMPLY cannot do it.
Don’t believe me?
The abcNEWS article entitled The Grand Seduction of Multitasking, authors Javid and Verney interviewed Vanderbilt University neuroscientist, Rene Marois, who reported that multi-tasking “essentially it slows us down. We do one task and then after that we switch to the other.”
So multi-tasking is an illusion.
When we are supposed to be having personal time at home, yet our minds are on work (did that email come through…let me check quick, yep, it did…better respond quick) THAT is multitasking and it not only DOES NOT really allow us to work and play at the same time, but it causes stress, burnout, and loss in productivity.
Having TRUE work-life balance allows our minds to have the distinct separation it needs and lets it shut off work thoughts, which WILL make the hours you do spend at work more productive.
Make the decision that your life is more important than anything and DECIDE to set boundaries with work and do NOT feel guilty.
Oftentimes, people who set boundaries and honor them are respected more and seen as more valuable.
More time working does NOT equal more productivity!
For those who work from home…
You all need some special attention and love thrown your way.
Working from home is not the norm for most people, but the number of people now working remotely is higher than ever, and thus calling for increased productivity in the very place you go to relax.
It can be hard enough to maintain work-life balance when you work outside the home, but when your work and home space are the same space, you may end up resenting either your working hours or personal hours because your mind can REALLY struggle to see a difference.
This may leave you being super productive in one of those two areas, and dropping the ball in the other.
You are going to need to be even more zealous in your attempt to set boundaries or your ability to be productive will suffer.
Set timers. Seriously. I have worked from home and I sometimes worked from 7:30 am until after 11 pm for days on end and I HAD to start setting timers for myself to stop.
My balance was whacked and so my productivity in non-work areas of life was horrible.
Boundaries aren’t selfish, they’re smart and necessary.
Off the soapbox and on to the next topic:
6. Protect Your Energy
There are very few things that can make us more unhappy than people who suck the life out of you.
You are going about your day feelin’ good and then a friend or co-worker wants to talk endlessly about negative things that deplete your batteries.
Unfortunately, getting thrown in the mix with a bunch of people you wouldn’t normally choose to communicate with is par for the course with employment.
You can’t stay away from a negative co-worker completely, but you CAN distance yourself as much as possible.
I’m not saying be rude at all, but always look busy when you are in common areas with that person, back away as quickly as you can and don’t engage in negative conversation.
Sure, you will have to communicate for work purposes, but keep the socializing to a handful of people you really connect with.
If it’s someone you are friends with and they are going through a hard time, by all means, be a good friend and help talk them through their feelings!
But, if it is someone who NEVER offers anything positive and is constantly talking your ear off about their latest woe or complaint with the world, you may want to consider distancing yourself as tactfully as possible.
That can be tough, I know, but ou do only have a finite amount of energy every day, who or what do you want to give it to?
Giving your energy to negative people will lower your productivity and make you unhappy, protect it!
7. Understand Your Productivity Cycles
You may not realize it, but for each of us, there are specific hours of the day where we are able to churn out the most, our productivity window.
Understanding your productivity window is a game-changer.
We are all different, some morning and some afternoon people.
Morning people can quite literally open their eyes and get going on a bunch of tasks.
They feel their most productive in the first third of the day and choose to get their work done as early as possible so that they are free for the rest of the day to do what they enjoy.
This lessens their stress because the more difficult tasks are taken care of early on and they can ease into the afternoon knowing they have the day ahead of them to take a breather.
On the other hand, some people are not morning people AT ALL.
It takes them a good few hours to ease into the day, and the thought of having to knuckle down with work shortly after waking is very frustrating.
For these kinds of people, it may be helpful to categorize tasks from most stress-free to most urgent and challenging.
Doing this ensures that tasks requiring a burst of energy and productivity, are only scheduled for the person’s most productive part of the day.
Dr. Michael Breus, known as the Sleep Doctor, has studied this concept extensively and he coined the term “chronotype” that describes your personal productivity cycles.
He believes each person has a specific time of day where they will be best or most productive at specific tasks, and if we can figure that out, we can vastly improve our lives.
Get more information, including a chronotype quiz, at Dr. Breus’ website.
Or, listen to an interview on LEADx where he explains this concept and how it can benefit you below!
8. Just Get Up and Get to It
Sometimes if you are unproductive and find yourself “stuck” you just need to stop listening to your brain, stand up, and act.
Definitely easier than it sounds, but absolutely life changing.
I have two incredible resources for you if you feel as though you are unable to get traction in your life.
The first is Mel Robbins.
She found herself in that exact same situation and her life appeared to be going down the toilet when she tried simply counting backward from 5 to 1 and then moving toward a positive change, like a rocket launch.
She has since named the technique “The 5 Second Rule.”
This simple act changed her life and now she wants to use what she has learned to help anyone who wants it.
Ms. Robbins believes this can work to help launch you toward any positive change you should make.
Watch her explain the concept quickly in the video below:
9. Find a Mentor or Mastermind (or both)
Sometimes you just shouldn’t go it alone.
Sometimes being taken under the wing of a mentor or having the support of others in the same boat is beyond valuable and life-changing.
One place that you can find both is through Leonie Dawson’s Get Sh*t Done Club!
Yes, I added the * again. I didn’t intent for this to be a theme throughout this post, yet here we are!
She will tell you upfront that she isn’t for everyone, but she was DEFINITELY for me and her guidance has made me see myself differently and made me more productive.
Leonie Dawson is an author, blogger, artist, educator, and self-made millionaire, all done while working around 2 hours per day and raising and home-schooling children.
If you think she is going to tell you that you just need to work harder to be more productive, you are wrong!
She has a gift for speaking to your soul and getting the best from you.
I also encourage you to listen to her podcast. Saying it is entertaining is an understatement, you will NOT be disappointed!
Leonie offers several different courses, including one on money management, but the one I would like to point you to is the Get Sh*t Done Club where you get to be part of a community of people who are looking to increase their productivity, AND you get access to Leonie’s mentorship through weekly zoom meetings with the community.
I have never been a part of anything else like it, and I encourage you to give it a look.
But beware, Leonie has a beautiful way of speaking truth to you, so be ready to have your world rocked!
There you have it, 9 things that will make you more productive in all facets of life. Remember, you can do it!
Thanks for reading and take care!
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