You probably already have your own set of habits that help you get the job done, whether it’s work tasks or household chores. But what if I told you that you could boost your productivity game like never before?
That’s right, you can supercharge your productivity powers with little tweaks! And when you combine all of them, you’ll have people wondering how to be the well-oiled productivity machine that you are.
In this article, I’ll share these simple habits that can get you going all the way to the top, day after day. Let’s check them out!
1) Have a morning ritual
Let me tell you a secret: starting your day with intention is like giving yourself a productivity power-up.
My family makes fun of me because I am a creature of habit…maybe too much, but hey, it’s one of my secrets to getting things done!
I love starting my day with a set routine – coffee, meditation, reading a poem, then feeding my dog – once I’ve done those, my brain knows it’s time to buckle down to work. It helps me start my day with a clear and focused mind.
Your morning routine could look entirely different from mine, and that’s okay. The point is to find one that suits your preferences, whether that’s going for a jog then whipping up a healthy smoothie, or doing a quick yoga sesh and having a bowl of oatmeal.
Whatever it is, it’s got to nourish your body and soul. It’s all about creating an environment that fosters productivity and positivity from the moment you wake up.
2) Use the 80/20 Rule
Once I’m at my desk, I make my to-do list. I’m pretty sure you probably already do this, but do you put the most important tasks on top?
See, when you’ve got a looong list of to-dos, it can feel pretty overwhelming right off the bat. You’ll already have a sense of exhaustion just from looking at your list!
This is where the 80/20 rule comes in. Also known as the Pareto principle after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, it states that 80% of results will come from 20% of our efforts.
That certainly puts into perspective the importance of the tasks on our list, doesn’t it? It means the bulk of the outcome comes from only 20% of what we do!
So, identify the high-impact tasks that give you the most significant results. This narrows down your focus, and you’ll be more likely to complete these tasks and feel a sense of accomplishment.
Plus, crossing them off the list feels oh-so-satisfying! I know that when I’ve ticked off my most important tasks, I get a renewed boost of energy, and I feel so much lighter. Energy efficiency achieved!
3) Harness the power of the “Not-To-Do” List
Equally as important as the to-do list is the not-to-do list. People often think of the to-dos as the priority, but the not-to-dos bear writing down as well.
You know why? Because, despite our best intentions, we are highly distractible creatures!
Think about it: how many times do you stop, get your phone, and scroll through social media in the middle of a task?
That’s an example of an oftentimes mindless habit that wastes precious minutes. Plus, it makes it harder for you to get back to your task. Research shows that when we get distracted or interrupted, it takes us 23 minutes to get back on task.
Fight back against distraction by making a not-to-do list. Maybe it could be binge-watching, scrolling through social media, or responding to text messages that aren’t urgent. This list serves as a constant reminder to stay focused on what really matters.
4) Learn the art of mono-tasking
While we’re on the topic of tasks and interruptions, let’s take a moment to debunk the myth of multi-tasking. This strategy had been touted for decades as the way to get things done. There was a time when people would pride themselves on being multitaskers.
Recent research now suggests that multitasking is actually a terrible way to do things.
The principle is the same as that of distractions – when our brain is constantly switching gears to move back and forth through tasks, we become less efficient. And we’re more likely to make mistakes!
That doesn’t sound productive at all.
Enter the more efficient tactic – mono-tasking. It simply means focusing on one task at a time and giving it your full attention. Deep work gives you better flow and concentration.
I promise, you might be doing stuff one at a time, but you’ll finish faster. Plus, the work you produce will be of higher quality!
5) Use the Batching Technique
Another game-changer for me is the batching technique. Pair this with mono-tasking, and you’ll see your productivity skyrocket!
How does it work?
It’s pretty simple: you group similar tasks together and dedicate blocks of time to work on them. You’ll create a more structured and predictable workflow, which helps you stay on track throughout the day.
Of course, you can batch your tasks in a way that works for you. But one way I’ve found to be really efficient is to categorize tasks as “Deep” (e.g., writing and content creation) and “Shallow” (e.g., answering emails and administrative tasks).
That way, I can nail batching, the 80/20 rule, and mono-tasking all at once!
6) Cultivate a “Good Enough” mentality
So, you’ve got all those habits above and are on your way to being a productivity beast.
But – there’s one thing that can put a wrench in your best-laid plans.
This can be a real productivity killer. I’ve been guilty of this as someone who has a tendency to overthink and obsess over tiny details that don’t matter much to anyone else but me.
I learned my lesson the hard way. In the end, I found that it was actually counterproductive. Yes, I was producing quality work, but at the expense of everything else. Simply put, I was slowing myself down.
Sometimes, it’s important to remind yourself that “good enough” is, well, good enough! Strive for progress, not perfection.
Embrace the art of moving forward, even if things aren’t perfect. Let go of the unrealistic expectation that everything must be flawless, and instead, focus on completing tasks. You’ll get more done, I promise!
My new mantra is, “Aim for progress, not perfection.” That’s a thought that’s carried me through those dangerous moments when I’m about to obsess again, and it might help you, too.
7) Remember the One-Touch Rule
You know that habit of picking up something, looking at it, then putting it back down, only to deal with it later? That is a surefire way for things to pile up, and pretty soon, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed with more things to deal with.
How to ditch this: Say hello to the one-touch rule.
When you pick up an item or open an email, deal with it right then and there. This habit keeps clutter at bay, both physically and mentally, and saves you time in the long run.
When you tackle tasks as they arise, you prevent the accumulation of small tasks that can quickly become overwhelming.
This is particularly helpful for managing your inbox, household chores, and paperwork. Adopting the one-touch rule creates a more streamlined workflow and helps maintain a clutter-free environment that’s conducive to productivity.
8) Be a boundary boss
Another thing that gets in the way of productivity is a lack of boundaries.
How does this mess up your flow?
Well, when you struggle with saying no and setting boundaries, people will be constantly coming to you with various concerns and demands.
And if you work from home, the lines between work and personal life can get easily blurred.
You’ll get pulled in so many directions, and that’s the quickest way to burnout.
So, it’s time to say no when you need to. If you’re working from home, establish a designated workspace, set clear working hours (and stick to them!), and let everyone around you know your boundaries.
9) Do a weekly review
All right, we’ve pretty much covered some habits you can do in your day-to-day life that could hopefully boost your productivity.
Don’t stop there. At the end of each week, set aside some time to review your goals, progress, and upcoming tasks.
This weekly check-in ensures you stay on track and helps you identify areas that need improvement. Think of it as a productive pit stop on your journey to success.
Once you’ve done that, you can turn off your computer and go out for drinks. After all your hard work, you definitely deserve it!
This leads me to my next point…
10) Restore your powers with rest
Last but certainly not least, never underestimate the importance of rest. As they say, all work and no play make you dull.
Or…burns you out.
Burnout is the arch-nemesis of productivity.
That’s why it’s necessary to schedule regular breaks, prioritize sleep, and don’t forget to take days off.
You might feel like you’re slacking off, but that’s absolutely not true. In fact, countless studies point to the huge impact that rest and sleep have on improving job performance.
So, don’t shortchange yourself by thinking that you’ve got to keep going, going, going. If you want to be truly productive day in and day out, your body and mind need to recharge.