Productivity is a buzzword often thrown around with efficiency and time management. Many only consider productivity at work, but personal productivity is one of the keys to building a better life.
Being more productive at work and home can give you a sense of accomplishment and enhance your well-being.
What Does It Mean to Be Productive?
In a nutshell, being productive means doing a lot. But it goes deeper than that. You spend a lot of time lurking on Reddit or gaming, but does that mean you’ve been productive?
Maybe If you’re a Reddit moderator or Twitch streamer, but if you aren’t, it probably doesn’t count.
Being productive is more than doing a lot. It’s doing a lot towards a specific goal. The goal could be anything: losing weight, writing, completing chores, self-improvement, professional development, or more.
Why is it Good to Be Productive?
There’s no doubt why it’s essential to be productive at work – we need to keep our jobs, right? But the lines are a tad bit blurry when it comes to being productive at home.
Why do we need to be productive at home after we’ve worked an eight-hour shift? The truth is that you don’t. There’s no requirement to be productive in your daily life.
It’s OK to come home and recharge after work. If you’re content with your day job and your work-life balance, this post probably isn’t for you – and that’s okay! We all have different goals and different aspirations.
But, if you hate that you get home from work and don’t get anything done or waste your weekends doing nothing – this post is for you.
These tips will help you be more productive, so you stop wasting that time and start getting stuff done.
How to Be More Productive
Sometimes it takes a conscious effort to make yourself productive. You must tell yourself what you will do and stop yourself from getting distracted.
Here are ten things that will help you achieve that:
- Take Care of the Small Things First
- Brain Dump
- Make a List
- Set a Specific Time Frame
- Say No
- Create a Routine
- Put the Distractions Away
- Focus on the Most Important Tasks
- Take Time for Self-Care
- Reward Yourself
Take Care of Small Things First
Have you eaten, used the restroom, and let the dog in or out? You must take care of these small tasks before starting.
Stopping every five minutes to tend to small things like this can destroy your vibe and get you out of the zone.
Imagine trying to accomplish anything if you have to get up and use the restroom, then get a glass of water, check the mail, and switch the laundry over. Your hour of productive time is going to be gone before you even get started.
Making sure that you and your surroundings are ready is one of the first steps to ensuring productivity.
Journaling is an underrated productivity tool. Use your daily journal to express gratitude, log your workouts, and write down what you want to accomplish.
Journaling for productivity allows you to set goals, track accomplishments, record task lists, monitor progress, and work out complex problems. It gives you a way to visualize your progress and allows you the satisfaction of checking items off a to-do list.
Numerous types of journals help with productivity. Grab the one that’s right for you!
Sometimes, we are so overwhelmed with everything in our heads that we can’t focus on the most critical task. We might need help to determine what that task is!
A brain dump can help. It’s a system of getting everything floating in your head out on paper. Getting your thoughts on paper will help you organize them and stay focused on what is essential.
We have a free bundle of brain dump worksheets to help you organize your thoughts and stay at your most productive – get it here!
Make A List
Is making a list the same thing as journaling? You’re writing stuff you need to do down in both, right? But they aren’t the same, and doing both is vital for productivity.
Your journal entry will be much broader than your to-do list. For example, you need to do many things if one of your goals is to publish a blog post. You need to write the post, create photos, focus on SEO, create a killer headline, do social media shares…and the list goes on.
List-making corresponds with the goals you laid out in your journal. Your journal entry may have a big goal, like “publish a blog post,” while your list will outline all the small tasks required to complete that goal.
You can add a task list to your bullet journal spread if you prefer everything in one place.
Set a Specific Time Frame
It’s hard to be productive all day, every day. But it’s much easier to be effective from 4 pm to 6 pm! That means you only have to focus for two hours, and your mind can look forward to a sweet relaxing reward after.
Set a specific time of one to two hours to which you dedicate yourself to being productive. You may get so engrossed in it that you spend even more time on it!
Time blocking is the basic idea behind the Pomodoro technique. You set a timer for a short time, focusing on a specific task for that timeframe. When the time is up, you can move on to something else.
People wanting you to do things for them is a massive hindrance to productivity. I understand that it’s great to help people out on occasion. But it might be time to say no when helping others becomes such a drain on you that you can’t accomplish your own tasks.
Ask yourself if the person who needs assistance really needs it or if they just want company. Put headphones on to minimize interruptions. Don’t let other people waste your time.
Saying no and focusing on what’s important to you is a great way to boost your own happiness and productivity.
Create a Routine
Focusing on a specific time for productivity works even better if you make it a routine. I’m a morning person, so I’m at my most productive levels first thing in the morning. Therefore, I use that energy to get personal stuff done before work.
Setting a daily routine like this will help you be more productive. Set a specific time daily and do your best to keep to that schedule. Eventually, it will become a habit, and being productive during that time will be second nature to you.
Put the Distractions Away
Distractions are one of the biggest productivity killers out there. Our phones burst with distracting apps, calling us to waste our time. But we can find ways to stop ourselves from procrastinating with distractions.
The biggest distractions usually come from our phones – so turn off the notifications and put them away! Put it someplace out of reach for the next hour or so, and don’t go looking at it. You can even set a timer to tell you when you can look at your phone again.
Focus on the Most Important Thing First
Getting a big, important task off of our to-do list feels fantastic. Once you knock that huge task out, you will feel productive. Use that energy to complete some of the smaller things on your list.
Whether you have time to finish those minor tasks, you can feel proud knowing you have achieved something huge.
Take Time for Self Care
Increasing productivity is hard when you’re tired, hungry, or unfocused. Take some time for self-care to ensure you have the energy to get stuff done.
Ensure you sleep well, eat a healthy diet, and take naps. Doing these things to take care of yourself is not only motivating but will boost productivity.
What’s the point of productivity if you don’t get anything out of it? Reward yourself!
Reward yourself for achieving your daily goals, completing significant milestones, and or developing creative solutions.
You can reward yourself with a favorite snack, some downtime to read a book, a relaxing bath, or anything else that motivates you. But remember, you don’t get that sweet reward until after the hour allotted time of productivity!
Being productive is hard. But thankfully, there are tons of resources available to help you!
Ultimate Productivity Bundle
My favorite is the Ultimate Productivity Bundle from Ultimate Bundles. This pack is loaded to the brim with tremendous resources that will help you be more productive with your time.
It has six e-books, 29 courses, and 20 workshops & printables – all specifically designed to help you be more productive. That’s over seventy products for under seventy dollars!
The bundle is only offered a few times per year, but if you click here, you can browse current offerings and sign up to get notified when your favorite bundles are released.
This bundle contains loads of resources on time management, multi-tasking, and other hacks to improve your productivity. If you need help getting into a productivity mindset, this is a fantastic tool for you.
Books on Productivity
Bundles aren’t for everyone. Sometimes you just want a good old-fashioned book. My favorite book on productivity is Getting Things Done – the Art of Stress Free Living by David Allen. This book is about improving your day-to-day productivity, which will enhance your overall productivity.
The Four-Hour Work Week is another great read (and one of my picks for the best finance books!) because it discusses optimizing your overall productivity and using that to create a dream life. It’s more of the big picture on productivity than the day-to-day, but I love the message, so I had to include it.
For more books and resources on how to be productive, check out our list of the top 10 books on productivity. You will definitely find a book on this list to help you!
What are Your Top Productivity Tips?
What do you do that helps you stay productive in your everyday life? Let’s start a conversation on how to be more effective to help everyone achieve their goals!