Productive Tips

Tip One: Declutter Your Workspace

Clutter is distracting and hurts our ability to focus. A clean desk helps to keep us focused on the task at hand. Not sure where to start? Check out the article “How to Declutter Your Workspace” from lifehack.org to get started: http://bit.ly/1JSKfzE

Tip Two: No More Multitasking!

Did you know multitasking can reduce productivity by up to 40%? To be your most productive, keep your daily “to do” list short by limiting it to only 3 items. Every day, I list 3 priorities on a post-it note and stick it to my monitor, making the first project on the list the top priority for the day. I used to begin my day with a long list of items I wanted to get to. However, I found at the end of the day I had only checked one or two items off the list. By focusing on just a few things each day, I’ve become much more productive.

Tip Three: Time Management is Key to Productivity

Time management and productivity go hand in hand. If you want to have a productive day, you need to know how to manage your time. My newest article “7 Time-Management Tips for a More Productive You” (read here http://bit.ly/1mQ6IrS) focuses on mothers who work from home, but includes tips that anyone trying to manage their time can benefit from. Good time management habits are your first step to having a more productive work life.

Tip Four: Sleep 7.75 Hours Every Night

Studies have shown productive people sleep an average of 7.75 hours per night. Less sleep results in reduced productivity. Too much sleep has the same effect, reducing productivity. How can you make sure you are getting enough sleep for a productive day? Set a bedtime and stick to it. Can’t get to sleep with so much on your mind? Keep a journal by the bed. Write down any nagging thoughts. You’ll be surprised how much easier it will be to fall to sleep once you get those thoughts on paper and out of your head.

Tip Five: Eat a Good Breakfast

Many of us may choose to skip or skimp on breakfast when we need to get out the door in the morning. Don’t. Eating a healthy breakfast is a good way to ensure you’ll have a more productive morning. When we’re hungry, we lose focus and tend to be more negative, which can affect our productivity. Eating a healthy breakfast has been proven to increase our focus, making us more productive. Low-glycemic foods such as oatmeal, greek yogurt, fruits, and whole grains are our best options. These foods release glucose into our bloodstream at a slower rate so we don’t suffer a sugar crash as we would eating high-glycemic foods such as donuts. So before you rush out the door, be sure to grab something healthy, and you’re well on your way to a more productive morning.

Tip Six: Become Accountable

Get involved in an “accountability group.” Tell group members of your plans and a date or time frame when you expect to have projects/goals completed by. The members of the group will expect results and hold you accountable. Similar to having a gym buddy to keep you motivated to reach a fitness goal, having an accountability buddy, or buddies, is a great way to ensure you’ll stay on target to avoid disappointing the group members.

Tip Seven: Make Decisions in 60 Seconds

It’s easy to second guess a decision, but doing so can affect productivity. Instead, once you have all the information that you need, make a decision on it in 60 seconds or less. More importantly, once you’ve made your decision, commit to it and move on.

Tip Eight: Exercise Every Morning

Studies prove that exercising in the morning, even a small amount, leads to lower blood pressure and a better night’s sleep. How does this effect productivity? Exercising in the evening can have an negative impact on your sleep, while a good night’s sleep puts you in a better position for the day. In addition, exercise provides us with physical benefits such as the release of endorphins, increased oxygen intake, and more active brains which all help kickstart the day. People who exercise are more productive even when taking the time out of their work day to exercise. So if you can’t get to her gym first thing in the morning, make sure to stay active at work by taking the stairs or walking around as much as possible.

Productive Action Cards

Identify What Distracts You

To set in motion good productive habits, we need to know what it is that distracts us. For a week, track how you spend your time. Note any distractions that happen and when. Jot down how long the distraction lasted and what activity you were doing when it occurred. At the end of the week, evaluate your findings and look for cause and effect trends. Most importantly, be honest with yourself. So, grab a pen and paper and start tracking!

Sign up for Rescue Time

Do you ever wonder how much time you spend doing daily tasks? Rescue Time is a great app for keeping you accountable about how you spend your time during the day. Do you know how much time you lose reading email? What about how much time you lose on social media? Sign up for Rescue Time today (they have a free option) and start tracking your time and setting goals. You’ll even receive a weekly email report. Being armed with all this knowledge will help you “get serious about focusing your time.” Sign up at rescuetime.com.

Relax Your Workspace

The better our work environment, the more productive we can be. Disorganized and dull environments can inhibit our productivity. Don’t just declutter your work space, destress it as well. Read 10 Ways to Relax Your Workspace to learn how to create a work space where you will be your most productive.

Join Wunderlist

Wunderlist is a way to keep your life and your business organized. Basically, it’s an electronic to-do list with lots of bells and whistles. If you’re like me, you have numerous pieces of paper scattered about with things you need to remember to get done: shopping lists, kids schedules, work projects, meetings, upcoming deadlines, etc. Wunderlist allows you to keep track of these different lists, as well as easily share your lists with multiple users. Plus Wunderlist is easy to access. Once you are signed up, any lists you make are saved in the cloud, allowing you to access your lists from your computer at work as well as your smartphone at the grocery store. You can also set timers and due dates for your list items. Wunderlist is a solid step to a more productive you! Join for free at https://www.wunderlist.com/

Watch This!

How to Manage Time With 10 Tips That Work

5 Things You Should be Doing to Have an Insanely Productive Week

44 Apps That Turn Your Smartphone Into a Productivity Powerhouse

5 Morning Rituals to Keep You Productive All Day Long

Productive Quotes to Live By

“Have one thing you plan on getting done each day. It’s overwhelming once I start adding to my list of things to do and I always spread myself thin. By having one main goal, even if I end up jumping to other projects, I know I have to eventually jump back and finish that priority task before the day ends.”

David Ly Khim, Growth Marketer for HubSpot

“It’s not always that we need to do more but rather that we need to focus on less.”

Nathan W. Morris

“I pay very close attention to my periods of high and low energy during the day and adjust what I’m working on accordingly. I find my energy and productivity is highest between 7 a.m. and 12 p.m., so I like to tackle most of my writing in the early morning hours. Sometimes, I’ll immediately start writing when I wake up and work from home until I hit a wall. My energy tends to decrease in the mid- to late afternoon, so I leave smaller projects and emails for that time whenever I can.”

Lindsay Kolowich, Staff Writer for HubSpot Content

“Improved productivity means less human sweat, not more.”

Henry Ford

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