I don’t know about you, but I am all about finding ways to make my days more productive while also being able to enjoy life and the loved ones around me. Being productive, whether you work from home or a full-time job, is not an easy task. Today, I want to share five tips to increase your productivity.
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Before I do, I want to say I am preaching to myself as well. I get home after a days work and don’t want to do anything but watch TV. Then after a few hours of a Netlifx binge, I feel regret of not getting anything done I originally set out to do. With that said, you should totally take full advantage of relaxing from time to time.
Tips to Be More Productive
I am a work in progress with these things. Being ambitious is a good thing until it is overwhelming. Then it is counterproductive. Trying to do too much will just cause you to stress, making you less productive and more anxious. So refine your to-do list, and be intentional about what needs to be done for that day.
But I have read lots of advice and cultivated a few skills over the years that I want to share with you on tips to be more productive while bringing love and joy into every day. All of these tips have made a tremendous difference in how I can be present with my work, family, and friends when it counts.
Best Productivity Planners
I know this is the day and age where no one writes things down anymore. Everything is on our phones. While I am all about productivity apps, for me personally, I have to write a list of to-do’s so I can remember to do them. I love the Day Designer planner. A simple way to increase your productivity at the beginning of your day is to write out your list into “personal” and “work” categories. Otherwise, I am all over the place when trying to get things done. After you have written down your to-do list, you can prioritize what needs to be done that day.
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Before you hit the ground running each day it is so important to stop and think what realistically you can actually get done that day. Make a reasonable to-do list. Focus on one goal at a time. One of the benefits of writing things down is seeing what you have accomplished by the end of the day. Always give yourself some grace for things that didn’t get done. You can move those tasks to the next day.
I just started doing this and it has made me so much more productive at work and at home. For me, time blocking every two hours helps me stay focused and prioritizes the most important tasks during times I know I am most productive. I even write it out in my planner to remind myself what I have set out to accomplish for the day. I will explain what this means. So you have your long list of to-do’s, and you get started. Two minutes into your task you get distracted by all the emails coming in or the 100 other things you have to do. I don’t know how people work from home, I do it one to two times per week and I get so distracted with all the household chores (Just me? ok!).
With my day, I plan times when I will check my emails, call people I need to call, write grants, among the other list of things I need to do. Have some discipline, especially when it comes to emails, by responding to ones that need a response and push others back in order of priority. Time blocking my day allows me to do all of those things without the stress of feeling like it needs to be done all right now. When I am working from home, I am not worried about the laundry and endless other things that need to be done because they were not in my time block. I make my time blocks smaller so I can really focus on what needs to be done during that time. I highly encourage you to time block your day.
Clear Your Surroundings
Like I said above, I tend to clean my house if I am surrounded by clutter. Your physical environment impacts your work. We all work better in environments that are stress-free. You can control your workspace. It helps you be more productive when you don’t feel like you have to clean or put things away. I have a dedicated time in my week, usually Friday, where I go through my desk to throw out unnecessary papers and clutter. You will save time throughout the week by doing it consistently and on a set schedule. You will also get more clarity and focus on the task at hand, ultimately leading to more productivity.
Take A Break
The ache in your brain after several long hours of working should be your signal to take a break. Focusing eight hours straight without a break is simply not possible. No matter how many efficient habits you build, you just cannot maintain distraction-free focus for that long. That’s why taking breaks are so important. Even breaks that are just a few minutes can help you recharge and come up with new ideas.
Find time to get out at least every couple of hours. Try to walk or get out of your office at least once a day. That could mean around the parking lot or local park. It’s more refreshing than spending your time scrolling through social media. This isn’t necessarily about staying in shape or losing weight, it is more for the mental clarity you will get from “taking a lap.” Exercise has many benefits that you just cannot pass up.
Find An Accountability Partner
Last but not least this is the most important, have someone who can hold you accountable. Creating some structure to help you achieve your goals is a great way to accelerate your progress. You aren’t necessarily going to report to your friends, co-worker or mentor that you did not accomplish your goals that day, week or month. You share that goal with someone you trust that will support and encourage you to be more productive with your time. You need an encourager who will hold your “feet to the fire” and not give you a pass because you didn’t feel like doing something.
Being productive isn’t always easy, but the rewards are more than worth it. I hope these tips encourage you to be more productive. If you have other tips that help you to be productive, I would love to hear about them in the comments below.