Whether you work, run an organization, are a stay-at-home parent, etc., there are so many items that need to take place throughout the day. Everyone is busy, right? So, how can you be more productive and have a sense of accomplishment as your laundry list of items snowballs into a mountain of laundry?
By taking simple steps, you can start your day off on the right foot, cross off items on your to do list, feel accomplished at the end of the day, and get excited to feel more productive the following day.
10 Ways to be More Productive
Here are 10 simple ways to help you be more productive:
1.) Set Goals for the Day
By setting goals for yourself every day, you’ll begin to feel more accomplished as you create your list and check the items off your list. At the beginning of each day (or the night before), write a to do list with all of the important items that you need to accomplish that day. Don’t go overboard. There are only so many hours in the day. Make a realistic to do list and set your goals straight for the day.
2.) Tackle Your Hardest Task First
You’re dreading that really hard task, right? Instead of dreading it all day long, tackle that item early in the day. That way, you don’t waste mental energy worrying about that hard task. Once the hardest task is off your list, you don’t have to worry about it and you’ll have a free mind to tackle the rest of the items on your list. It can be a pain to tackle the hardest item first but it is so worth the time and effort.
What’s super important? What can be put on the backburner during the day. After you make your daily to do list, arrange the to do items in order of importance. That way, if you run out of time at the end of the day, at least you know that you accomplished your highest priority items first.
4.) Group Similar Items
Once you put together your to do list, do you start to notice a pattern? If you start to see similar items, then group them together so that you can get them all done at the same time.
5.) Take Breaks
I can’t stress this enough. It’s so important for both your mental and physical sanity to take breaks. Trust me. In the past, I used to sit at my computer for hours and hours and hours on end … from sun up to sun down (and then some). Days would pass by without a single break. I could feel myself reaching burnout and it was an awful feeling. I needed a break … and badly. Once I started taking breaks, my mentality shifted. From simply going on a daily walk to running errands to playing with my son to going out in the yard with my dogs, the breaks helped keep me super productive because they helped clear and refresh my mind. So, find something that you enjoy doing (e.g., going out to lunch with friends, grabbing a coffee, working out, etc.) and make sure you add “take a break” to your daily to do list.
6.) Set Deadlines
If you don’t set deadlines, then how will you know that you are reaching your goals? When is your project due? When do you have to go grocery shopping? When do you have to [fill in the blank]? You get the picture. Set hard deadlines for the to do items on your list so that you can cross them off in a timely manner and feel accomplished.
7.) Stay Accountable
Whether you work from home, work at an office, or are a stay-at-home parent, etc., it’s important to stay accountable for the items on your to do list. Make sure those items on your list are getting accomplished and that you’re feeling productive. Be sure to reward yourself when you check items off of your to do list. Have an accountability buddy (this helps for working out), keep a chart, join a group, tell people what you’re doing, etc. Create a way to make sure you are staying accountable for the items on your list.
8.) Set the Right Atmosphere
Turn on the music, sip on your coffee, find a favorite spot to get work done … create an atmosphere that makes you feel great. The better you feel, the more productive you will be.
9.) Limit Distractions
Look around you and determine what is a big distraction. If it’s the television, then turn it off. If it’s something else, then find a way to control the distraction so that you can stay focused.
10.) Practice a Healthy Lifestyle
Eat healthy, exercise, drink water … do whatever it is you need to do to keep a clear mind, have your energy levels increase or maintain throughout the day, and stay productive. The healthier you are, the more productive you will feel.
How do you stay productive?