Productivity – getting more done in less time, it's the holy grail for most of us. And I'm sharing opening up to share my Top 10 Productivity Hacks.
Why do you want to be more productive? This is a good question to ask yourself, you may want to be more productive so that you don't have to take your work home at night, so you can have more time with your kids, you can have more playtime, or some other reason. Ask yourself this question and then ask it again and then ask it again. Get town to the real root of why you want to be more productive.
I did this myself recently and found that I really wanted to be more productive so that I could love and enjoy life. Productivity is a means to an end and that is again that I wanted.
Top 10 Productivity Hacks:
1. Drink more water
Do you drink enough water? Most of us don't. I even struggle with this at times. But our bodies are mostly made up of water and to be the most efficient and effective that we can be, i.e. productive, we need to drink more water. The most common role is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. For example if you weigh 150 pounds, that would be 75 ounces a day.
In seem like a lot, but once you mostly drink water you'll find you need very little other liquids. The upside of this is you can save a lot of money.
If you don't like water, I recommend reading this article on ways to enjoy water more.
2. Get plenty of sleep
Just like water, sleep is another one we often don't get enough of. Do you burn the candle at both ends? Going to bed late and getting up early?
Some people don't seem to need a lot of sleep. Can't say I've ever been one of, but the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep a night is what works best for me.
Establishing a regular bedtime routine and going to bed at the same time every night will improve your sleep. Some other tricks I use personally are blackout curtains, a sleep mask, nature sounds, turning my phone to the airplane mode, and covering every light in the room.
When you are fully rested, you will find yourself more energized in your brain will work best. When we are energized in our brain is working optimally, where more productive.
3. Move your body
The last of the basics for productivity is to get regular exercise by moving your body.
Just like with water and sleep, our bodies function optimally with regular exercise.
So whether you get out for a walk, hard-core workout or dance around the house, just be sure you're getting some daily movement in.
Your brain will be sharper, your energy will increase, and you'll be more productive.
4. Turn your phone to vibrate
Most people have a smartphone these days and that keeps us connected 24/7. But if you want to be more productive you need to not be available all the time. if your phone rings and you stop what you're doing to check it even if you don't answer the phone you lost a lot of time.
A phone check results in task switching and when you turn back to what you're doing it can take you a little bit to get back into it. Now say your phone rang 10 times while working on this task, all of the sudden that task has taken a whole lot longer than it should have.
Let people know that you are not always immediately available and they will respect that. Just set a clear expectation, there are work hours and there are social hours. Even when you're at work it is fair to only set certain time frames for handling calls.
5. Close your email
Along with turning off vibrate closing your email client can help save you a lot of time. Checking it every time it pings again results in task switching. Set designated times for checking your in you will find your productivity soars.
6. Quit watching the news
Whether you get your news from the TV and online news site or the paper, the news can suck you in and result in a lot of wasted time. One article or program can easily turn into many and often the information really doesn't add to your life. (unless you love it and can use it for you work – my husband is a history teacher and he loves to listen to NPR and political podcasts and then he correlates current events to historic events and issues to make the learning more relevant to his students)
I stopped watching the news years ago. Occasionally I will watch it or look at a few articles online, but have to say I am much happier not watching the news.
If there is something I need to know about I can look up into the research. If there's something important happening in the world I will hear about it from others. For me, I really stop watching because of the negativity. Your reason they differ.
If there is certain type of news you really don't want to get up, look at how you can get it in a more productive manner. For example maybe you can listen on your way to work, a podcast would be great for this.
7. Make the most of your wait/commute time
Where you most often find yourself waiting? In the doctor's office, in line at the store, at your kids' practice.
To make most at this time, keep a digital file of articles you'd like to read, I put mine in Evernote with a “to-read” tag.
I also keep audio programs handy that I'd like to listen to, these could be audiobooks, podcasts or other audio training programs. These are great to listen to in the car while commuting or while exercising or cleaning.
As mentioned above I keep digital articles in Evernote, along with almost everything else. I've been using around for many years is a great application that syncs between all of your devices. This application makes me more efficient and productive because notes, articles, receipts, and other information is always at my fingertips.
No matter where I am, I can find what I need. Learn more about getting more out of this amazing tool with my Evernote Cheat Sheet.
9. Take one day off entirely
With all the things we do these days our days are often go go go. When you get to chance to rest, when you give your mind a chance to rest?
This is why I take up one day a week entirely. You can determine what that means to you, for me it means no work and preferably very little (or no) time on the computer.
10. Practice today you want to have
Are your days often frenzied and stressed, or are they relaxed and calm. Which you think is more conducive to being productive?
Spend time at the beginning of the day or the end of the day envisioning how you want your day to go. See everything happening the way you want. I challenge you to try this for a week and see what changes.
I also recommend noticing the parts of your day that are going just the way you want to practice this.
By practicing, I mean you can write down all the things that went so well for you and then read and review it daily. The more we see ourselves being productive and having things go well, the more it will be so.
Bonus and possibly the most important productivity hack
Fix your mindset for productivity
Now this was a complete surprise to me, in 2014 I had “mastered” productivity. I had the extra time I wanted by being productive but when I was relaxing the hamster wheel was still running in my mind. You know what I mean, that constant churn of ideas or things to do.
So it never truly felt like I had relaxed. It was really frustrating.
So I kept searching for solutions (it's what I do) and I found that I needed to “fix” my mind.
I learned how to turn off that hamster wheel running in my mind
I was able to change my mindset to quit being bothered by my to-do list and all the unfinished projects I have (Hey, I'm not perfect and neither should you try to be!). The surprising thing was, as I let go of my worry around those things I became more productive as well as more relaxed.
What happened is that I change the way my brain responded and how I thought about certain situations. No longer did I feel like I was working all the time, I could actually relax when it was time to relax and focus whenever something focus.
If you want to learn more about how to change your mindset to be more productive, take my overwhelm relief training to get started!
Your Stress Relief Solution!
My 15 Minute Stress Release Formula (psst...It works no matter how busy your day is)
One Simple Trick To Boost Your Mood, No Matter How Bad It Is! (I can control my mood now...seriously!)
How To Rid Your Life Of Overwhelm (Enjoy your life, don't feel beaten down by your to-do list)