We all have the same hours and minutes in the day, but we definitely don’t choose to use them all in the same way. You see someone you admire and think…if I only had the time (or the motivation) that they do, I could accomplish those things too.
The not-so-secret thing is…you do. You just aren’t focusing your attention where it needs to be…or you’re focusing too much attention in too many areas. I fall into this trap all too often.
We get so caught up in being busy these days that we forget to buckle down and just do the work that needs to get done. We think that we must be successful if we have to keep turning invitations down or if we simply have no time to relax because we’re so busy. The truth is…we’re not focusing. Multi tasking was great in the late 90s when it meant that your computer could do more than one thing at a time…that made us more efficient. Until it didn’t. How many tabs are open right now on your computer? (I have 58…in one screen. Nothing to be proud of.)
5 steps to a more productive you
Get up on time, get dressed and make your bed - when you get up when you intend to (no snoozing) you’re giving yourself validation that you follow through with your promises, especially to yourself. When you get dressed in the morning you’re telling yourself that you’re ready to take on your day and when you make your bed you’re giving yourself an easy win. You’re taking a small amount of time to tell yourself that you’re capable and already getting things done…keep up the good work here.
Clean your work area, no piles, no out of area items in your space - when you have a clean and organized work area (a desk, your kitchen, your room) it helps you be more productive because you aren’t worrying about cleaning up before you can get focused on your work.
Use a planner, use a to-do list - keep your planner nearby, use it diligently and plan for you week and plan for your days (at the beginning and the end of each day). Prioritize your days to get the things that you need to get done and plan for potential distractions…see #4.
Reduce distractions and minimize distractions - block out your time to get things done during times when there are minimal distractions going on in your day. Keep your computer clean - the fewer tabs open the better (oh how I struggle with this…) and turn notifications off on your phone and computer and set specific times to check and answer emails so that you don’t get sidetracked.
Take breaks - when you have scheduled breaks you know that you’ll have time to do things for you…so you can stay off of Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest. And during your breaks…set a timer so you get back to your task at hand when your break is over.
What are your best productivity hacks? There are so many other things that you can do to set yourself up for success and so I would love to hear what your favorites are.