Become a productivity superstar

Rock and Roll

Do you find your productivity dipping from time to time? It happens to everyone and can go up and down depending on what’s going on in your life. Productivity comes from setting goals, learning to work efficiently and knowing how to relax. I’m fortunate enough to be very efficient, even on little sleep. I don’t know when I became this way, but I can effectively go through an amount of work that’s mind boggling to some. People that know me call me a machine. I’m not sure if it’s a compliment or not! It’s hard to notice when I have a dip in productivity, but when it happens, it shocks me, so I quickly have to refocus, replan and prioritize. These are some of the steps to help boost productivity, even during the toughest times.

Plan

Businessman breakdancing and working

Planning can help keep you on track and focused on achieving the things you need to get done, which is a large part of being productive.

  • Create longer-term plans to determine what you want to accomplish in the next three to six months.
  • Use Sunday evenings to make short-term plans to cover what you need to do during the week. Your short-term plans should also include the steps you need to achieve your longer-term objectives.
  • In the evenings, make a to-do list of the five most important things you have to do for the next day.

Prioritize

Cheerful businessman explaining colleagues over computer

Before you start any project or responsibility, evaluate how it relates to your job or personal goals.  Divide responsibilities into three categories:

  1. Essential 2. Important 3. Nice-to- Do

When prioritizing, ask yourself why you’re doing a particular activity. How urgent is it? Can it be given to someone else or done at a later time?

Consider your most critical work and personal time commitments. On busy days, you may need to compromise. For example, if you have a report due the next day, you may have to forgo the dinner out and eat at home instead.

Reshuffle

raquetball

Do your most demanding work when your energy is at its peak and save less challenging work for other times.

  • Break large jobs into smaller ones.
  • Plan some time each day when you can work without interruptions, for example, block chunks of time off as an appointment so it can’t be booked by someone else. Screen phone calls and learn how to handle unexpected visitors.
  • Say no to things that don’t support your work or personal goals.
  • If you commute and aren’t driving, use that time to get things done or plan your next day.

Organize

african american couple dancing in their new home

Stay focused on what’s important for your work and personal goals.

  • Create monthly, weekly and daily to-do lists.
  • Set up reminders in your phone, or use a calendar and check it daily to review your activities and avoid conflicts.
  • Clean up. Reduce clutter in your workspace, living space and car (if you have one). Chaos can affect your ability to find things, which can also make you late and frustrated.
  • Manage your messages, texts, and email.  Keep only the essential items and information you need and archive everything else that you may need at a later date.
  • Delete or throw away duplicate information.

Timing

handsome young man in black dress shirt wearing a wristwatch

Things always take longer to do than you think. If you’re chronically late, people may believe that you’re disorganized, can’t plan properly, or that you simply don’t care enough to show up on time.

Try setting your alarm, phone or watch ahead 10-15 minutes. It’s a trick that works well for some people (especially once they’ve forgotten that they’ve set their time ahead).

If you’re extremely late, think about getting up an hour earlier every day, especially if you try to cram more into your day than you can truly handle. However, if that’s the case, you should be more realistic about how much you can manage in one day, and try to reduce unnecessary things.

Relax

Close up of a man reading a book under the shade of a tree

Relaxing really should be number one, as it’s my top choice! Remember to have fun along the way. It’s important to unwind to minimize the chance of burning out and becoming unproductive.

  • Make time to exercise and spend time with your family and friends.
  • Make yourself a priority. You need to spend some time by yourself. If you don’t already do it, develop interests and activities that you can do by yourself including working out, reading or learning something new.
  • If you find it hard to squeeze fun time in with everything else you have to do, try scheduling the time into your day. Scheduling may not sound like much fun – but it does help to make sure you get to it!

What are some of your tips for keeping up your productivity?

 

45 replies »

  1. I love this post!! Over in my blog i’ve been setting myself weekly goals. They aren’t huge but not menial either and it’s a great feeling.. even just the sense of purpose gives me positivity and reduces my anxiety!
    This weeks is to set aside time to use adult colouring books to help with relaxation and winding down and is really helping! Thanks for all the tips here!!! 👍🏼

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  2. Your tips definely have a personal connection. I find that if I don’t plan ahead, I tend to scramble at the last minute, forget things and end up being disorganized. Thank you Sam for the tips.

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    • Thanks so much Bear! I’m so glad you found it helpful. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on the post. And I agree, I don’t know what I’d do without prioritizing! Have a wonderful day!!

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  3. Wonderful post ! Much needed today. Sometimes I do feel that I am not being productive and when that happens I beat myself up for it. Not sure how or if I have a systematic approach about it but it just happens with me. When the day ends and I realize that I have been slacking all day, I suddenly get this urge to get it all done before the night ends so I don’t feel as bad. I allow myself to have a relaxing night usually on Friday night after a long week of work and that in a way is preparing in advance and it does the trick somehow. I typically plan my 5 to do list on my way to work during my drive. Seems to work just fine then when I get into work I write down the top list on a notepad and cross it off as I get things done during the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks a lot Rudina! It’s great that you take a day off to decompress and re-group. The daily to do list is a good way to ensure the important things get done during the day. Slacking off happens to everyone from time to time, especially when our minds are occupied with something else. But getting back on track is important and it seems that’s how you get back to your productive state. And no worries about the length of the comment! Thanks so much for sharing what works for you. Have a great day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the post! Great for a Monday. I am really bad with timing. It’s true that things take longer than I ever plan for, especially with kids. I need to work on that for sure. Thanks for sharing these tips

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