This post was originally published on June 13, 2017. It was updated on November 8, 2018.
Have you ever woken up feeling sluggish, and ended up having a slow day? Maybe you keep telling yourself that you’ll get that stuff done “later.” Or maybe you felt like you were busy all day, but then you check your to-do list at the end of the day and wonder how on earth you didn’t get more done.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Productivity can be a complicated thing. It can be tough to stay productive, but it’s definitely not impossible. Anyone can be productive as long as they have some determination and a plan. And some tips to help them along the way. 🙂
Whether you’re struggling to stay productive at home, at work, or with anything, here are 9 tips to help you be more productive!
1- Block out distractions.
It’s probably one of the simplest tips, but it’s still helpful – and often overlooked! When you have things competing for your attention, you obviously won’t get as much done. So try to get a babysitter, turn off the TV, log out of social media, silence your cell phone, ignore your inbox, and do whatever else you need to do to block out any distractions and stay focused on the task at hand.
2- Plan out your day ahead of time.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: planners are the best. If you don’t use a planner, investing in one will be a game-changer for you! Without a game plan, multitasking and chaos can quickly ensue. This is one of my favorite planners that I recommend if you’re looking for one. Write out your to-do list, important things to remember, your goals, etc. And actually check items off of your to-do list each day as you complete them. It will help you feel much more productive and motivated, trust me!
3- Work in time blocks.
Time blocking is a certain way of scheduling your time to make sure you don’t get so distracted or overwhelmed by tasks. If you aren’t scheduling your time, you have a much higher chance of multitasking, getting off-focus by doing whatever you “feel like” doing and having lower productivity. The basic idea of time blocking is that you work in “blocks” or amounts of time, such as 30 minutes per task. For example, 30 minutes of replying to emails, 30 minutes of writing blog posts, 30 minutes of taking photos, etc. Set a timer to help you track your time!
4- Prioritize your to-do’s.
Figure out your 3 most important tasks and only focus on them. Plan out what your most important tasks are the night before so you’re prepared to focus on what NEEDS to be done. You’ll be less likely to work on unimportant, time-consuming tasks and you’ll be more likely to get your must-do’s done. When you get the important things out of the way, you’ll be less stressed and you’ll feel accomplished. Then you can start on the less important things.
5- Make sure you take breaks.
I know that when I’m working hard for too long, I’m way more prone to losing my focus and falling victim to distractions. And when I lose my focus, it’s harder to get it back. One thing that helps me with this is scheduling in “break times” throughout the day. One thing that’s great for clearing my mind, getting more focused, helping me relax, and keeping me motivated to get things done is going for a walk. Use your break time for something positive and helpful – but still fun!
6- Wake up (or start work) earlier.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day minus the time that we’re sleeping. So common sense tells us that if you start working earlier, you’ll get more done. Waking up or getting started an hour earlier each day can give you a full work week of extra hours per month! I know that not all of us are on the same schedule, so of course this doesn’t mean that you need to be waking up at 5 AM or anything. Just a little bit earlier than you normally wake up.
I actually have a few helpful posts about making your mornings better:
- How to Become a Morning Person
- How to Create the Perfect Morning Routine (free worksheet!)
- 5 Ways to Have an Awesome Morning
- 35 Positive Morning Affirmations to Start Your Day Right
7- Try batching your tasks.
Batching your tasks is one of the most helpful things for me when it comes to getting more done! Batch one activity together, and get as much of it done as you can. For example, I usually batch my blog posts. I spend a lot of time writing multiple posts and it helps me get more written. Once I get “in the writing zone” I feel so motivated to just keep writing. It also frees me up from having to write posts more than one day a week, so I have time for other things.
8- Get energized and happy.
Do something that lifts your spirits and energizes you. It could be listening to your favorite song, doing a quick workout, reading positive quotes, meditating, or something else. For me, this means drinking coffee! Whatever you do, getting energized and putting yourself in a good mood is a definite way to motivate yourself to get to work and get more stuff done.
9- Create a solid routine.
I’m a person who loves routines. Not only do they make things easier on you mentally, but they help you get more done as well. Before I had a morning routine, I would be frazzled, tired, and pretty unproductive. But a morning routine helps you streamline your tasks, wake up faster, and helps you get more done earlier. If you need help creating a morning routine that works for you, here’s a helpful post with a free worksheet!
What are your tips for getting more done every day? Leave a comment and let me know!