When life feels like it’s speeding passed you at 100 miles an hour, it can be difficult to be present and productive in your day-to-day. I know that I personally struggle with this – if life moves too fast and I’m unprepared, I tend to feel disconnected and unaccomplished. Even if I might seem productive to the outside world, internally I feel as if I’m barely staying afloat.
Sometimes, a single distraction can derail your train of thought for hours. By the time you realize it, it’s nearly the end of the day. Overwhelmed and exhausted, you tell yourself that tomorrow is another day. After all, there’s only so much you can do with 24 hours.
The great thing about a new day is that it brings a fresh start to begin again. Simplify your schedule with the necessary and remove the excess.
Re-focus the chaotic energy of life into a streamlined flow of organizational bliss.
Boost Your Productivity
Take on the day with these 13 strategies!
1. Plan for tomorrow, today
Make note of the top 3 things you would like to accomplish the next day. Big or small, just take a moment to register your intentions. This will help prepare your mind and shift your focus for what’s ahead.
2. Get some sleep
Take some time to properly rest your mind and body before bed for a good night’s sleep. Whether you need to limit your screen time or have an earlier dinner, there are all kinds of measures you can take to ensure a better night’s sleep. Read a book, have a little nighttime yoga session, or enjoy a cup of tea.
3. Wake up early
No one actually enjoys rushing around 10 minutes before heading out the door after hitting snooze 4 or 5 times. Waking up early allows you to take care of yourself. Enjoy a slow morning of peppermint tea, a little reading, and a nice shower. Or, hit the gym for a more active wake-up call. Whatever your preference, an early start gives you time to prepare for your day. I wake up 2 hours before I have to leave for work. This gives me time to hydrate, focus, and collect my thoughts to better conquer the day ahead. Once I feel like I’ve had some proper “me” time, I’ll check in with work to see what I should expect before I walk in.
4. Knock out the most difficult task first
Dragging your feet because you’re dreading whatever it is that you have to do? Avoiding something because it requires a ton of brain power? Try tackling it first thing. Make it a habit to spend your morning taking care of the hardest task at hand. You’ll have the energy to focus on it AND when you finish, you’ll feel accomplished.
This is something I’ve done ever since I was a kid. With projects, book reports, and later, syllabi, I would organize all of my due dates right away and start working on my assignments from the earliest to the latest date. There are many ways to prioritize, from largest to smallest, most important to least, earliest to latest, etc. People work, think, and prepare differently. The key is to figure out the most effective way you can prioritize your work.
6. Declutter your mind
Get everything out on paper. It helps to visualize your to-do list, rather than keeping it locked away in your head. Write it all down and figure out the best way to prioritize what needs to get done!
7. Eliminate distractions
Try to remove as many distractions as you can. Put away your phone, pack your lunch, avoid social media, quit browsing the internet…Whatever your poison, try to eliminate what you can to get the most out of your day. Brian and I LOVE working from home because our biggest distraction is the on-goings of the ‘workplace’. Phone calls, co-workers, the office buzz – all of it is far too distracting for us to do our own jobs.
We’ve been fooled into thinking that multi-tasking is the answer to success. In this crazy, busy world we live in, we’re trying to stay ahead of the game as quickly as we can. Thus, we multi-task to try to feel accomplished and then swiftly move on to the next thing. Unfortunately, when we do so, our accuracy and productivity take a serious hit. Instead of doing one thing exceedingly well, we force our brain to split its concentration between different tasks and instead end up doing a few things half as well. Single-tasking allows for sharper focus, better results, and faster completion.
9. Schedule breaks
Your mind needs a rest every now and again. YOU need a rest every now and again. Make sure you schedule in breaks to fuel your body, visit a restroom, or even take a walk. It doesn’t have a to be a long break, even 10 minutes will help you reset!
10. Maintain your space
Whether it’s work or home, make sure your space is a healthy environment conducive to a clear, productive mind. Some thrive in what they call their own “organized chaos”, while others require major decluttering with intentional storage spaces. Figure out what works for you to keep the momentum going! Personally, I function much more efficiently when I can toss what is unnecessary! The rest of my ‘to-dos’ exist in a binder, which I have organized by due date!
11. Know when to step back
Don’t waste your time on irrelevant or non-urgent tasks. If you catch yourself stuck in a loop trying to complete a project or task that isn’t time-sensitive, allow yourself to take a break! You’ll revisit it when you have the brain power and energy to do so.
12. Accomplish a single goal
Sometimes life gets in the way of all of your grand productive plans. While you should begin your day with a game plan, don’t try to stack up a long list of goals you NEED to complete. Start with a single goal to accomplish and go from there.
13. Create a running list of mini-assignments
Throughout the day, you’re bound to encounter small tasks that require your attention. Create a separate list just for these tasks. Focus your energy on the bigger projects until you’re finished or need to take a little break from them…peruse the list of mini-assignments in the meantime to see if you can check off a couple of tasks. Whether you need to answer a quick e-mail, send an invoice, or phone a client, take a moment to see what you can fit in and knock out!
Overtime, I’ve learned how to compartmentalize my thoughts, goals, and daily tasks. I have absolutely become more productive in my day-to-day using a combination of the strategies above.
By using your time well, you eliminate wasted energy and become more productive.
Increased productivity is great for obvious reasons, such as the feeling of accomplishment and getting more things done in general. Though, most importantly, it allows us to have more time to experience the things we love with the people we love. Who would want to turn that down?
Have you tried any of these 13 strategies? If you have any other productivity tips or suggestions, I’d love to hear them! Share below!