Being productive is something so many of us want to do, yet so few of us actually do it. Let’s face it, sometimes “life” just gets in the way.
The good news is that we can often make small changes in how we do things that lead to lasting changes in our productivity. It’s easy to get frustrated when we are overwhelmed and have a lot to do so remember that being more productive is a process and it won’t happen over night. Be kind to yourself because you will definitely have times when you aren’t productive and it might feel like a failure. It’s not. Just start the next day with a fresh mindset and start again.
How to be more productive:
Create a realistic to do list.
Remember not to overwhelm yourself by making a list where you’d have to be Wonder Woman in order to complete everything. Making a list that is too daunting only spurs procrastination and frustration right from the start. Some tasks might take longer than others so keep that in mind. If you have a list of let’s say 10 things to do today but there’s really only time to complete half of them, it’s a recipe for disappointment. There’s no way you could complete them all due to lack of time.
I will make a very realistic list of things to do with things I must do today and things I’d like to do today. I just find this sets me up for success and a feeling of being accomplished because it’s a list I know I can complete. If I complete the must do list, I feel awesome, and if I complete both the must do and the like to do lists, I feel ah-mazing!
Break down tasks
One of the easiest things to do is break down larger tasks into bite sized pieces. Rather than seeing it as a whole, you can actually see the parts that make it up and make it more attainable to complete. Set up timelines for how long you think it will take you to complete the smaller tasks, and put the steps in place to complete them.
I find this works especially good for me. I’m the type of person who will put off things if they just seem unsurmountable to me. I have to break them down into actionable steps. If I’m about to create a new digital template, the job as a whole seems very large. But if I break it down into stages or steps it instantly seems doable for me. It’s all about perception in many ways.
Related article: Organize Your Life Like a Total Girl Boss
Group like tasks together
Do things that are similar to save yourself time. If you have tasks like answering and composing emails, do them together rather than sending just one email and moving onto something else in another room.
Concentrate on one thing at a time
Jumping around only leads to a bunch of unfinished things on the go. Stick to one thing until it’s done before moving onto the next. That being said, there will be certain tasks that can be done while you are doing others. If your to-do list consists of cleaning the garage, laundry, and making dinner among other things, you can certainly pop laundry in and out of the washer and take supper out of the freezer to thaw, while you are focusing on the garage. Multitasking is a great idea ONLY if the tasks allow you to go back to your focus and not steer you off on other directions.
Related article: 7 Surefire Tips to Get More Done
Take a break for exercise
I know this sounds a little counterintuitive to stay focused on your to do list, but yet take out time to do exercise? What? It may sound strange but it’s actually proven true that you will be more productive if you find time to take a break – even just 30 minutes – to take a break and go for a walk or a quick jog. Doing this actually increases alertness, increases blood flow and you will find you’re likely less anxious and a lot more focused when you return to your list.
I will put my exercise break right into my to do list each day. That way, it’s a thing I need to do for my own mental and physical health. Not scheduling it in often makes it easy to overlook or skip and in reality, it’s likely one of the most important things I do each day. Even if it’s a quick jaunt around the block or a few minutes of resistance training at home it’s so good for the mind and body and I find I come back to my tasks with a refreshed outlook.
Like I said earlier, it might take a little time but remember to be patient and celebrate the productive days, and learn to embrace the ones that aren’t as productive as a way to improve. As much as we want to be productive each day, there will be times when life throws a curve ball and our day is spent in a way we didn’t expect or want… a flat tire while out running errands, or a phone call that your child has fallen at school and broke an arm. Suddenly every plan you had is thrown out the window.
The important thing is to get into the practice of organizing your thoughts and making plans to be more productive. Be sure to grab my FREE Printable Daily Plan worksheet and start planning your day.
Download my FREE Productivity Daily Plan Worksheet here:
Looking for a more detailed Productivity Planner? Check out my Ultimate Productivity Planner and finally get those things done that you’ve been wanting to once and for all.
Ciao for now…