When you research ways to improve your productivity 9 times out of 10 it’s related to your work life, strapped to a desk and how to get the most out of the 8 hours you’re there…
but what about your personal life? 🙃
Staying productive can be a mentally hard task as life is full of constant distractions. Just the other day I was writing a blog post called The top daily habits of successful people and I heard the beautiful words “ THE PIZZA IS HERE! 🍕” coming from downstairs and I got up off my chair like my life depended on it and ran.
I ended up not doing anything for the next two hours due to the constant distractions from leaving my desk which messed up my plan for the day.😑
Did that pizza taste amazing? Of course it did. Was it worth messing up my schedule? Probably not. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying don’t eat or exclude yourself from everything, just have a plan in place to be as proficient as possible.
Here are my top 10 ways to help you improve your productivity to stay on track and get the best out of your day.
1. Introduce “the 5-second rule” into your life
The 5-second rule was created by Mel Robbins who said “ If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it”
The moment you feel the instinct to act on a goal or a commitment use the rule. She says “ When you feel yourself hesitate before doing something that you know you should do count 5-4-3-2-1 GO and move towards the action.
Who has ever laid in bed and said that they’re going to get up in the next 2 minutes but 20 minutes go by and you’re still in the same position scrolling through your phone? (I’m going to guess that you’re shifting your eyes right about now) 👀
Whenever I find it hard to get out of bed I use this 5-second rule and it has never failed me, so I urge you to try it whenever you need that little extra boost to get up and go do what needs to be done.
2. Minimize interruptions
You go to sit down at your desk to start your daily tasks and your phone rings, you take a quick glance to see who it is but you’re determined to stay focused so you make it ring out.
You put your headphones on to help keep you focused but all you hear is your stomach grumbling and the pings from the notifications on your phone and laptop.
You finally give in to the temptations and get distracted and put the majority of the things you were going to do that day till the next.
Then you feel like crap and can’t find the motivation anymore. 🤷♀️
This is not the way to go. ❌
The best way to minimize interruptions is to take some proactive steps to avoid them.
Here are a few examples:
👉 Close the door while you’re working.
👉 Schedule in beaks
👉 Tell people that you’re busy and only to disturb you if there’s an emergency.
👉 Turn your phone off and give it to someone to hide it from you until you are done.
👉 Get rid of the clutter around your space.
3. Take regular breaks
The rejuvenation you feel after taking a break enables you to complete your tasks more accurately, leading to fewer errors and making you feel more refreshed.
There are good breaks and bad breaks. Good breaks (every 60-90 minutes, however, this is debatable depending on what you’re doing): reduce mental fatigue, boost brain function and help us stay focused for longer periods of time. 😌
Taking excessive breaks (also known as bad breaks) makes you lose momentum as it will take more than twice as long to accomplish anything by dragging out the day with unnecessary breaks.
4. Prioritize your tasks ahead of time
It’s always best to plan your day the day before so that you can better manage your time from the start of the day till the end Instead of spending time in the morning thinking about everything you’ve got to do and feeling overwhelmed.
Figure out your most important task that NEEDS to get done and write out 2-3 sub-tasks that can help you get ahead.
Need some help with prioritising your day? Check out our Goals & Planners printable bundle to help keep you productive.
Prioritising allows you to identify your most important tasks which enables you to give those tasks more of your attention, energy and time.
Prioritised work is productive work!
5. Get enough sleep
Sleep plays an important role in your physical health and is important for various aspects of brain function.
Having a good amount of sleep has been shown to improve problem-solving skills and enhance memory function, however, a poor amount of sleep has been shown to impair brain function.
The first barrier to productivity is insufficient sleep. 😴
Waking up to no energy makes you react slower and have little to no concentration. (you’re basically a walking zombie).
Sleep deprivation takes its toll on us physically, mentally and emotionally. The amount of sleep you need varies between ages but the average sleep you need as an adult is between 7-9 hours a night. 🛌
6. Learn to say NO
One of the biggest problems people find with being productive is getting interrupted by other people with their requests.
“Hey, can you read over this article for me today?”
“Hey, can you walk my dog for me? I’m a bit busy”
“Can you come over and help me revise?”
Learning to say no can be difficult for quite a few of us, especially if you have a nurturing and easy-going personality and always want to people please.
One of the difficulties of saying “No” is knowing how to say it politely without offending the other person.
Here are a few tips on how to say No:
👉Keep your response simple (be firm but direct)
👉Ask for more time before committing to the request.
👉Provide an alternative.
👉Compliment them for asking you but let them know it’s not for you.
Heather’s top tip: Remember, you don’t have to justify your No. Resist the temptation of having to explain why you don’t want to do something.
Your time is your greatest asset. Don’t waste it trying to people please and spend it doing more of what you love.
7. Prioritise your most urgent work first
Similar to tip number 4 which was to prioritise your work ahead of time. It’s even more important to follow through on what you wrote down! 😂
First, work out which tasks are urgent and which tasks are important.
Urgent tasks are things you need to deal with right away, such as submitting a paper first thing in the morning before the deadline. While important tasks are ones that contribute to your long-term goals and values.
How you start your day sets the tone for the rest of it. So, tackling your urgent tasks and then your important tasks out the way first thing gives you the energy and inspiration to keep moving forward. 💪
8. Organise your work environment
By keeping your workspace organized you save time by not looking for things you need which can hinder efficiency.
I dread to remember the countless times I used to spend looking for pens only to realise they were under a mountain of folders and books! 🙄
An organized workspace encourages you to be productive, reduces work-related stress and you’ll know what you have and what you don’t have before you start work.
When you establish an efficient workplace, you establish structure.
9. Stop Multitasking
Multi-tasking greatly reduces your efficiency. We millennials are known for being able to juggle a million things at once from being able to switch our attention from one technology to another.
The more tasks you have, the more mistakes you’re likely to make. According to Standford research, multitaskers are terrible at filtering out irrelevant information, so you’re doing a lot of work but producing little results.
Identify your most important tasks to get done for the day and then simply work on them one at a time.
Even though it may seem like multitasking is saving you time, that’s not usually the case. This is because you’re not giving each task the time and attention it needs which can lead to sloppy work being re-done or edited. 😬
✨ To do your best work, single task! ✨
10. Move around
Have you ever tried to stop your eyes from closing, your head from dropping to the side and ultimately falling off your chair? This is a common occurrence, especially with mundane tasks which we all have to do now and then.
After every 60 minutes of work move around for 15 minutes. What you do in those 15 minutes is up to you. Whether you want to do some push-ups, run up and down the stairs or just simply walk to the fridge and get a snack. 🍇
Sitting down for long periods of time has a negative effect on your health. Your body adapts to the reduced physical demand and slows down its metabolism.
When your metabolism slows down you burn fewer calories and boost the chance that extra energy will be stored as fat. This is why it’s important to have breaks but to also move around in those breaks. 🏃♀️
These are my top 10 ways to help you improve your productivity to get successful results in whatever tasks and goals you want to accomplish.
What habits do you have that keep you productive? Let me know in the comments!
Pin this post for a reminder 📌 👇