7 Tips for being a Highly Productive Person
Everyday we all have things that we need to accomplish. Some days, everything gets done and we feel as though we have conquered the world. Other days, it seems like nothing has gone according to plan and the best thing to do would be to go back to bed, crawl under the covers, and play fun roulette games. While I’ve had my fair share of both types of days, I have also discovered 7 tips that I believe help to keep me on the productive path of success.
1. Get up Early
Eek! Yeah, I completely understand that those are horrible words that should never be spoken aloud. And yet, I highly recommend doing them. Set your alarm and rise and shine at least a half an hour earlier than anyone else in the house. This gives you time to drink your coffee and clear your mind in peace and quiet. This is the perfect time for Bible reading, Yoga, meditation – whatever you choose to do to help center yourself and prepare for the day’s tasks that lie ahead.
2. Get Dressed
No spending the day lounging around in your pjs, even if you don’t plan on leaving the house that day. You’re much more likely to lounge around when you’re wearing lounge clothes. Get dressed and you’ll find that your body naturally begins to respond in a more productive manner as you’ve now given your brain the signal that it’s time to begin a new day.
3. Set a Routine
When you know what you’re doing and when you’re doing it, it’s much easier to get it done. We’ve heard it said before, 21 days to make something a habit. Once it’s a habit, you can almost do it without thinking about it. If every morning you wake up, drink your coffee and eat your bagel while reading the morning news, and then proceed to start a load of laundry. You will soon find that you don’t even question what to do when you’ve finished eating, you’ll just instinctively begin walking to the washing machine. After each meal, make it a routine to rinse the dishes and then get them right into the dishwasher – which you will automatically start right before you go to bed. Routines help keep your mind in focus, knowing when tasks need to be completed.
4. Drink Water
One of the most common things that cause us to be forgetful, is dehydration. With all the sodas, juices, and other beverages that we consume, we sometimes don’t realize that the feeling we have is that of the need for what only water can provide to our systems. Over 50% of our bodies are made up of water! If you are like me, and don’t like the taste of water, try adding some fruit to it. One of my go to drinks is water with strawberries and lemon. Keeping our bodies properly hydrated can help us focus better, which will increase our productivity.
5. Stop Multi-Tasking
Growing up, I always heard that multi-tasking was a good thing. However, studies are now finding that it’s really not such a pleasant thing. It’s actually more beneficial for us to focus on one thing at a time. Multi-tasking stresses us out, causes us to make mistakes and take longer on projects. Focus on one project at a time. Pull the laundry from the dryer, flip the loads around and then fold that laundry. Remain on task until it’s completed and then mark that off your to-do list as completed. That way, you don’t have to remember to come back later and fold the load you pulled out, which will help prevent the wrinkles that you would have to iron out (or throw back into the dryer to remove, if you’re lazy like me).
6. Keep your List Reasonable
I understand that there is more that needs to be done than what you can possibly do in a day. If I were to write down everything that I need to complete, I don’t think a brand new roll of toilet paper could contain it all. What we must remember is that Rome wasn’t built in a day. When we set lists that are longer than what we can reasonably complete in the time that we have, we are only setting ourselves up to fail. Create your list by prioritizing what needs to be done and putting the most important things down. If you complete your list early, you can add another task to it, after your mini-victory party. Whereas, if you put too much on the list to start with, the victory party is replaced with a pity party while you sulk in feelings of despair and sadness.
7. Set Timelines and Rewards
If you know that something is a massive project, set a limit as to what you’ll do. For example, my office needs a complete overhaul. If I were to get in there and clean, it would literally take me all day and I still might not be completed by the end of it. Instead, I set timelines for working on it. My to-do list for today started with a 30 minute office clean out. Yes, it will take me more than a day to do it, but by setting limits as to how long I will work on it, I am also able to get the dishes and laundry and the million other tasks that I need to do, the attention that they need.
And then, of course, you’ve got to reward yourself for a job well done. If I get the office clean out and dishes done, then I’ll sit down and work on my blog for 30 minutes. Or I’ll go eat that chocolate bar that I’ve hidden in the back of the freezer so the kids won’t find it. Perhaps you set larger rewards – if I can get this house completely clean by Saturday, then I will go out to the club with my friends.
Get up early and get dressed. Drink your water. Follow your routine, one item at a time. Create your lists, set reasonable timeframes to get them done, and then celebrate with those victory party rewards. Following these tips will help you increase your productivity!
What tips have you found that help you be productive?
Share yours in the comments below.