5 Ways to be More Productive in Your Everyday Life
Today’s world demands a lot. Work and family responsibilities can easily overwhelm us. As a single, working mom with three young children, I am a poster-girl for the over-scheduled and over-stressed. As a consequence, my daily productivity can be drastically affected by a constant need (self-imposed) to multi task. I have learned, mostly the hard way, that trying to fit too much into a day and not having a plan, causes sensory overload. And, pouf, focus is lost and less is accomplished.
These 5 changes I have progressively made in my life have had a profoundly positive effect on my daily productivity. Try them and see for yourself.
Every working day, whatever that means for you. Make it your first daily activity, after a tall glass of water. Twenty or thirty minutes is all you need. A jog, a run, a trip to the gym – anything to raise your heart rate and produce some feel good chemicals in your brain and body. If you start your day productively, your entire day will be more productive too.
The trick here is to create REALISTIC to-do lists. To accomplish that, assign a realistic time to each task. These can be daily lists, weekly lists or a combination of both. I like to make a weekly list each Sunday evening, after the kids have gone to bed. That list will detail my upcoming week in broader terms and I refer to it when creating my daily lists, with assigned times, each morning, over a cup of coffee. These lists work. They have changed the quality of my life.
Social Media ban
Unless work related, impose a social media ban on yourself. If necessary, schedule a “check-in” time, once a day. This is a hard habit to break. It has become a part of our everyday routine but the time you will gain back from what seems like just a few seconds here or there, will astound you.
Use a timer
This goes hand-in-hand with the to-do lists. If you have a specific work task that has been assigned a 30 minute block of time, set the timer on your phone. The timer helps keep you on track and make needed changes to your tasks’ assigned time, for future reference. And, I find the timer is a motivator for me to stay on task and gain a few extra minutes to send a quick note to a friend, make a personal call or grab a snack.
Does that sound counter-productive? It’s not. We need time to be idle, to breathe, to not be busy. These quiet times help our brain better deal with unexpected situations or difficult situations more productively. Take a look at this article for a more in depth look at the benefits of doing less.