Do you feel like the day just doesn’t have enough hours for everything you want to do?
Or maybe it’s not a matter of time but rather energy and concentration.
Well then, you’ve come to the right place!
The good news is that becoming more productive doesn’t have to be this whole big complicated thing. It can be as easy as making some small routine changes to your life.
Let’s take a closer look:
1) Wake up earlier
Look, I know that some people like to sleep in as long as possible, but starting your day a little bit earlier will give you extra time to plan your day and maybe even get started on some of your tasks.
I know from personal experience that I’m the most focused and energized in the morning.
It’s not like I’m saying you need to get up at 5, but try and give yourself at least half an hour to an hour more in the morning.
You can always make up for it by going to bed a little bit earlier. After all, do you really need to spend an hour on social media before going to sleep?
Yeah, I didn’t think so…
In short: Starting your day earlier will not only impact your productivity, but it will also set a positive tone for the rest of the day.
2) Create a to-do list
Listen up: Making a to-do list can do wonders when it comes to productivity.
This is especially true if you have a lot of stuff that needs to get done.
So, why not use that extra time each morning to make a list of things you need to get done that day? Of course, it doesn’t have to be made in the morning, you can also make it the night before, I was merely making a suggestion.
Trust me, a list will help you stay organized and focused throughout the day.
3) Prioritize your tasks
Now, when you’re making your to-do list, I strongly suggest that you prioritize your tasks according to how important and urgent they are.
By making sure that you tackle the most critical tasks first, you’re also ensuring that you don’t spend all your time on things that are not a priority and end up not having enough time for the really important stuff.
For example, if you need to polish your silverware and get a medical check-up, you’re probably going to want to focus on your health first, and spoons, knives, and forks second.
Does that make sense?
4) Embrace the power of saying “no”
I know, I know.
Saying “no” can be particularly hard for some people.
You might be scared of letting someone down or offending them.
But here’s the thing, if you keep saying “yes”, you’re going to end up taking on more than you can handle. This is sure to negatively affect your productivity as well as the quality of your work.
The solution is to say no to tasks and commitments that don’t align with your goals and life priorities.
Ready to give it a try?
5) Eliminate distractions
If you can’t eliminate them, at least minimize them as much as you can.
Now, if you’re anything like me (I’m pretty sure I have undiagnosed ADD) you’re gonna have a hard enough time focusing on the task at hand without unnecessary distractions.
So, get rid of as many distractions as possible.
For example, before I sit down to work I make sure to take my dogs on a long walk so they won’t keep asking me to play with them when I’m trying to be productive.
Another thing I like to do is eat something so that I don’t need to get up to eat half an hour into my work.
Finally, I like to turn my phone on silent.
While I can’t get rid of all distractions (I’m good at making them up as I go along), getting rid of the most obvious ones helps me be more productive.
6) Delegate tasks
Here’s the thing, not everyone is in a position to delegate tasks, so if you are, you should totally take advantage of that!
Whether it’s at work or at home, delegating – especially the easy stuff – will free up your time for more important responsibilities.
Trust me, assigning some of your tasks will help you focus on high-value activities and boost overall productivity.
7) Take regular breaks
It may seem like sitting for 8 hours straight is the best way to be most productive, but it’s not!
Turns out that taking regular breaks (while it may seem counterintuitive) can help you be more productive!
You see, breaks can help you reduce your stress levels, recharge your energy, and help you re-focus once you get back to work.
The bottom line is that you should schedule short breaks (for example 5 minutes every hour to stretch, go to the bathroom, get a drink, etc.) throughout your day to maintain productivity and prevent mental fatigue.
8) Practice single-tasking
You’re not gonna believe this but multitasking has been shown to lead to as much as 40% decrease in productivity!
That’s because our brains simply can’t do two things at the same time, we’re not robots.
I know that it may seem that we’re multitasking sometimes, but what we’re actually doing is switching from one task to another!
Do yourself a favor and focus on one task at a time. Give each task your full attention before moving on to the next one and you’re sure to see an increase in productivity!
9) Practice the two-minute rule
Ever heard of the two-minute rule?
Basically, the rule states that if a task takes less than two minutes to complete, you should do it immediately instead of adding it to your to-do list.
These are things like phone calls and short emails that are quick to do.
When we put them off, they start to pile up and contribute to the feeling that we’re overwhelmed and can’t get everything done.
In short: If it takes a couple of minutes to do, don’t procrastinate!
10) Stay hydrated
Did you know that dehydration can affect your focus and cognitive abilities?
It’s true, so remember to always have a glass or bottle of water nearby and make a conscious effort to drink at least two liters of water a day.
11) Practice regular exercise
Another way to increase productivity is to engage in physical activity during the day.
Here’s what I suggest:
- Get in a quick workout before work. Go for a jog around the park or ride your bike to work if that’s a possibility.
- Go out for a walk during your lunch break.
- Get up and do a bit of stretching every hour.
- Hit the gym or swimming pool a couple of evenings a week.
Exercise boosts energy levels and enhances mental clarity so it’s bound to help with your productivity. What’s more, it’s great for both your mental and physical health!
12) Minimize decision fatigue
Let me tell you about decision fatigue:
When faced with an overwhelming number of choices or decisions, our brains become tired.
And the result?
A decrease in self-control and a tendency to make impulsive or suboptimal decisions.
For example, we get decision fatigue when we need to make a lot of decisions throughout the day, whether it be at work (what tasks need to be prioritized) or in our personal lives (what to wear, what to eat, etc.).
So, what’s the solution?
Reduce the number of decisions you need to make.
For example, plan your meals and what you’re going to wear that week in advance.
13) Take advantage of technology
While certain technology can hinder productivity, other types of technology can actually help increase it.
For example, you can use productivity apps, time-tracking tools, and project management software to streamline your workflow and stay organized.
Simply put, if you want to increase productivity, you need to take advantage of all the technology at your disposal.
14) Set specific goals
It’s good to have goals because they provide a sense of direction and motivate you to stay productive.
And here’s a tip:
To make things easier, try breaking down your larger goals into smaller, achievable milestones.
15) Reflect and review
Finally, I recommend taking a few minutes at the end of each day to reflect on your accomplishments, identify any areas for improvement, and plan for the next day.
Doing this on a regular basis will enhance your self-awareness, allow for continuous growth, and improve productivity.
And there you have it, 15 small routine changes that will have a huge impact on your productivity.
Experiment with these suggestions and find what works best for you.