We all have big dreams and long to-do lists but why is it that some people are so good at actually accomplishing things, while others are constantly feel like they’re struggling to catch up?
The answer lies in developing your own unique approach to productivity. Just like Integrative Nutrition’s concept of Bio-individuality which states that there’s no one diet that works for everyone, there’s no perfect way to be productive either!
The important thing is to set the intention of being more productive, try out different methods, and then stick with the one that best fits your schedule and circumstances.
To help you get started, here are some tips to become more productive this week, try them on and see what fits YOU.
1. Pick out your clothes and pack your bag for the next day before you go to sleep.
This is great for anyone who spends unnecessary time picking out outfits or searching for various things needed for work in the morning. With your clothes all laid out, getting dressed and ready will only take a few minutes!
2. Do a quick workout in the morning.
Morning fitness is a great way to not only boost your energy at the start of a new day, but also help with focus and mental clarity, so you’re less likely to waste time on social media “mental breaks” and more likely to get things done. Plus, this frees up your evenings because daily exercise was the first thing crossed off your list in the morning.
3. Set designated times to check your email/social media.
Email and social media are consistently listed as among the top distractions that reduce productivity, so space out your digital consumption by scheduling specific times in the day to check them. One to three times a day is sufficient. Even work email can be checked at certain intervals so your attention remains on a single task until it’s complete. We also love time management techniques like the Pomodoro technique.
4. Make the most of commuting and chores.
Want to read more books but never have the time? Try audiobooks and absorb all that wisdom while traveling or doing chores around the house! You can even go through many of your Integrative Nutrition lectures on your mobile device while commuting.
5. Do the most important or dreaded things first.
Procrastination is a productivity killer and you are less likely to complete a dreaded task if you put it off in favor of minor busywork. Make your biggest task of the day the very first things you focus on so that you can get it out of the way and liberate your mind. You’ll feel productive for getting it done, and that’ll fuel your motivation to make progress on something else too. Need help figuring out how to prioritize your goals? Check out the one simple tool you need to get stuff done here.
6. Plan LESS for every day.
If your list is usually very long and you never get through it, then you’re either putting too much pressure on yourself or being unrealistic about the limits of time. Experiment with breaking up tasks in phases, delegating, asking for help, or whatever else you can think of to reduce the number of things you try to accomplish each day.
7. Get adequate sleep every night.
You can’t be superwoman (or superman!) if you’re sleep-deprived. Aim for 8 hours every night so that you have all the energy and rejuvenation needed to be at optimal performance/awesomeness.
8. Take breaks, and stop work at a reasonable time.
It is neither possible nor productive to work nonstop for many hours - you have to take breaks! Take 10-15 minutes between breakfast and lunch, an hour for lunch, and 15 minutes in the afternoon to clear your mind. You will always be more productive – and probably less stressed – with a quick physical or mental reset.
9. Schedule everything in your calendar.
From tasks to meetings to yoga breaks, see if having both personal and professional in one virtual calendar helps to keep you on track. Make sure there is balance to the flow every day, so that multiple mundane tasks are followed by something you enjoy, phone calls are followed by quiet time, and even “reflection time” is included at the end of the day.
10. Unclutter your space.
A cluttered desk leads to a cluttered mind so clean it out! Get rid of all those old papers, expired snacks, and other things you don’t need. The bare necessities and plenty of clean space provide a blank canvas on which to create without distraction.
Remember that productivity isn’t an endeavor in its own right, but a means by which to help you focus on what matters most. So as you think about which of the above could best help you increase productivity, ask yourself why you want to be more productive in the first place.
Whether it’s to spend more time with your kids, advance your career, or grow your income, having that big WHY at the forefront of your mind will only strengthen your productivity resolve and make these efforts more effective.
What productivity hack do you swear by? Share in the comments!