Productivity is a way of living and there are many variables that affect how successful you are at actually getting things done and not wasting time. A productive day doesn’t happen by accident. It takes hard work and willpower, but there are some habits you can add into your routine to help you become more productive overall. Keep reading to see what my top productivity tips are to manage your time and create high impact results. You may be surprised at how productive you end up being if you implement a few of these into your daily routine!
- Eliminate clutter all at once.A cluttered life means a cluttered brain. Simple as that. If the house is cluttered and you’re trying to work from home, you’ll lose productivity looking at the messes around you instead of focusing on your work. Every evening before bed or each morning before you start work, take 15-30 minutes to declutter the area you’re going to be working in to eliminate the distractions during your work day.
- Prepare for the day in advance. Don’t scramble around in the morning looking for your keys or waste time trying to decide what to wear. The further in advance you prepare, the more time you have to remedy any unforeseen obstacles. Big event or work trip coming up? Gather your items several days beforehand so if you’re missing something, you have time to get to the store and buy supplies, refill a script or print any materials you need and then you don’t have to rush. When you are ready, you are confident. When you are prepared, your stress is reduced because you have less to worry about.
- Work from a to-do list. Chunk your to-do’s into manageable time frames. If you’ve got 20 tasks on your Monday to-do list, but each of those tasks will take you an hour to complete, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Think ahead and plan out your day or week with tasks based on how long they will take you. That may mean Monday’s list has 5 projects and Tuesday’s only has 2.
- Don’t multitask. Most of us spend our days jumping between tasks and tools, but you can’t do your best work when your attention is scattered across 5 open apps, 12 ongoing conversations and a to-do list that is a mile long. Try to break up your day between specific tasks or projects instead of juggling multiple things at once. For instance, check your email 3 times a day – upon arrival to work, right before lunchtime and at the very end of your work day. If you leave your email browser open all day, you’ll constantly be checking to see who has corresponded with you and you’ll lose focus on the project at hand. When you focus on one task at a time, you’re more productive, less stressed and even more creative.
- Organize your work areas. Constantly searching for items is a huge time waster and during the process of looking for something you may become distracted by everything else you find. Take an hour, or a day, to really get organized. Set up folders on your desktop and in your email to keep documents where they belong. Place a caddy on your desk to house things like your pens, highlighters, stapler, sticky notes and the things that you typically need during a workday. Place everything else in an (organized) drawer or file folder.
- Take breaks to maintain focus. In order to maintain your focus and energy at work, you need to take breaks from your workload. No matter how much you work, there are areas in your life that work can’t fulfill, such as social needs, love and rest. You should take regular short breaks throughout the day, such as taking a walk around the block each time you have to go to the bathroom or meditating for 5 minutes when you are tired. Don’t forget about vacations, too. For example, a weekend trip somewhere every few months, or simply a day off once a month from your usual routine. Doing so helps you cultivate healthier habits, sharpen your focus and make you more productive.
- Use the reset button when you need to. Sometimes things go wrong and it isn’t preventable. Maybe you got a flat tire on the way to work. Maybe someone gets angry with you. You might screw up at a board meeting. Or maybe you’re just starting to get burnt out. $h!t happens. Take some time to yourself, meditate, listen to music or go for a walk. Try to get back on track — don’t let your day go to waste. Finding small, simple ways you can get unstuck and refreshed in your life can be the reset you need to get back to focus.
- Be consistent. The more you implement these productivity tips into your everyday lifestyle, the easier it will be to get through each day and feel good about the work you got done. Don’t think, just DO.
These tips may not pertain to each person in the same way, but if you try to incorporate more organization and mindful thinking into your lifestyle, you’ll start building a productivity mindset and environment that lets you thrive. All I want is for my community of strong women to get things done in a more fun and less stressful way. Life is way more rewarding that way!