25 Tips to BE Productive and STAY Productive
Updated: Sep 17, 2019
Last year I mastered the art of procrastination, and I became a pro at avoiding all of my responsibilities. I'd lay in bed at night making a mental list of everything I had to do the next day, but I'd never do any of it. There was always something more "important" to do, like a new episode of Sabrina, or a new series to watch, or a new YouTube video to find. I can't remember what caused the extreme dip in productivity, I don't know whether it was my shit mental health, my lack of motivation, or just pure laziness. Whatever the cause was, I got to a point where I knew I had to snap out of it! I realised I was just waiting around for things to happen, and that's not how success and happiness works. Fast forward to almost one year later, and my productivity is at an all time high! I had a full re-brand, I created a professional site from scratch, and I started taking online courses to further my knowledge - and I did all of that despite my mental illnesses, despite my painful health issues, and despite being broke. Once I took away every possible excuse to not be productive, I turned my life and mindset around. I want to help you do the same thing!
25 TIPS TO BE PRODUCTIVE AND STAY PRODUCTIVE
WAKE UP EARLIER
I know that I've basically just swore at you; trust me I know, I love lie-ins just as much as the next person, but the fact is that sleeping until 12pm every day does not help us get shit done. I'm not suggesting that you wake up at the crack of dawn, just try getting up between 9-10am. Nothing too drastic. The earlier you're up, the more time you have to do what you need to do.
Remember, though, to make sure you get the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night.
NO MORE SNOOZING THE ALARM
Whose bright idea was it to create a snooze button? That shit is dangerous! I've missed many appointments, deadlines and events because of that thing. It's just so easy to have another "5 minutes", but that turns into another hour, which results in your whole schedule being turned upside down. There's one effective way to make sure that you're not tempted to press snooze, and that is to leave your phone at the other side of the room. That way, when your alarm goes off you'll definitely get out of bed, because let's be honest, that alarm tone is unbearable.
START YOUR DAY WITH A PROTEIN-RICH BREAKFAST
I'm not going to sit here and act like I eat a high-protein breakfast every morning because I definitely don't; sometimes life really does get in the way, or a good cheat day does. I do, however, try to eat a protein-packed breakfast at least 3 times a week. I remember when I first read the words "protein-rich", I had no idea what foods are high in protein, and I was dreading the recipe suggestions because, I may be a blogger but I definitely don't eat avocado on toast or sprinkle weird green garnish over poached eggs. I was pleasantly surprised, though, when I found the list of food. Some of my favourites include; eggs, chicken breast, salmon, turkey breast, tuna, broccoli, milk, Greek yoghurt, and mozzarella cheese. You can have fun experimenting with recipes, or if you're in a rush of a morning try fruit and Greek yoghurt. I used to severely underestimate the importance of starting my day with a good-for-my-body breakfast, and I don't want you to do the same thing.
ORGANISE YOUR WORKSPACE
My workspace is on my couch, and when I have notebooks and to-do lists sprawled all around me, with my dog walking all over them, I get easily frustrated and it completely drains any motivation I once had to work. An easy way to make sure you don't lose your motivation, is to organise your workspace. Wherever your workspace is, whether it's a desk, your bed, or on the floor, go through all of your paperwork and throw out all of your old and redundant pages. Having a good declutter is a sure fire way to improve your productivity.
CREATE A TO-DO LIST
I LOVE lists! Any chance I get to hand write a list, I am all over it like a rash. Granted, some of them are dumb and completely irrelevant to my responsibilities at hand, but still it get's me excited and in the mood to work. I personally like to write a daily to-do list, but you choose what's best for you, and remember to always highlight your highest priorities.
CROSS THE TO-DO'S AS YOU GO
Lists are pointless if you're not going to actually complete the tasks. So in order to not lose track of what you've got to do that day, cross out each task as you do them. That was there can't be any "oh I forgot to do that" or "I thought I'd done that already".
TURN PHONE NOTIFICATIONS OFF
I'm not suggesting that you turn your phone off so don't panic now. We're all guilty of checking social media for "one minute" and then 3 hours later the laptop is on standby and no work has been done. An easy fix to that is to simply cut off all distractions by turning your notifications off. I can't praise this enough, honestly, it done wonders for my productivity level. Turning your notifications off means that you won't be checking your phone because you haven't got a notification popping up every 5 minutes telling you that someone wants a life on candy crush or that someone you have never spoke two words to has just posted for the first time in a while.
Og Mandino once said "the victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting and achieving goals."Think back to the last goal you reached. You felt an indescribable amount of pride and sense of achievement right? You probably even felt highly motivated and productive in that moment too. Well you need to work towards that feeling again and again because it truly never gets boring. Life is all about bettering ourselves and improving our lives. So sit down and write your goals; short term and long term ones. Take pageviews for example, if you think that reaching 5k views in 2 weeks is extremely likely then don't set that as your goal. Try 8 or 10k. Goals are supposed to make you work harder, otherwise there's no improvement being made.
DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME
If you take anything away from this post then let it be this - respect your time. Every day I ask myself if what I'm doing today is getting me any closer to where I want to be tomorrow. If the answer is no, then I ask myself why I'm doing it. I'm not saying you can't take a break, we all need one. Taking a day to practice self care is absolutely respecting your time, because you need to create a healthy mindset if you're going to get shit done and achieve your goals; which means you are helping yourself to get closer to where you want to be tomorrow.
LEARN WHILST COMMUTING
Another way to respect your time is to be productive whilst you're commuting. Let's say, for example, that you're on the bus on your way to meet a friend for lunch, you could be using that time to; write down post ideas in your phone, promote your latest posts, interact with other bloggers, brush up on your SEO knowledge etc. I know people-watching is fun but it's not going to get you closer to your goals.
FIND YOUR PASSION
What're you passionate about? Find it. Do it. It really is that easy. I promise that you'll feel, not only productive, but inspired, motivated, and empowered. As Oprah Winfrey once said "Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you."
Contrary to popular belief, multitasking is not efficient or effective in the long run. The thought of completing a bunch of tasks at the same time at an acceptable level just increases anxiety and stress levels, which decreases your motivation, and that in turn diminishes all desire to be productive. Take each task one at a time. I guarantee that you'll feel a hell of a lot more accomplished once you complete them all.
I'm just going to leave this quote here.
"I came to realise that visualising, projecting yourself into a successful situation, is the most powerful means there is of achieving personal goals." - Leonard Lauder
BREAK TASKS INTO MANAGEABLE ONES
One of the most effective ways to avoid stress and procrastination is to simply break big tasks down into small, manageable ones. Creating more achievable steps keeps the perfect momentum going.
PLAN MONDAY ON FRIDAY
Raise your hand if you start to dread Monday at about 4pm on Sunday afternoon, all because you begin to think of all the things you have to do. We all do the same thing, but I think it's about time you stop ruining your relaxing Sunday afternoons. When you get home on Friday, write down everything you have to do to prepare for Monday and go through each one as and when you can throughout the weekend. Monday's will become a hell of a lot more productive because you feel prepared and because you managed to actually chill out on Sunday evening.
FOCUS ON THE RESULTS
Before you decide to brush a task to one side because it might take too long, think about the results. Think about how much the results are worth the work you put in. If you're focusing on the finish line, the tasks will be over before you know it.
ELIMINATE THE NON-ESSENTIAL TASKS
Take a look at your to-do list and eliminate the non essential tasks. If you're not sure what they are, they'll be the ones that you wrote on there so that you can avoid the important tasks, which create the illusion that you're being productive. When in actual fact they're not getting you any closer to your real goals or being remotely productive.
GROUP TOGETHER SIMILAR TASKS
Grouping together similar tasks prevents you from getting stressed, dramatically. I tend to put my tasks into different groups, such as; content, personal, social media, study, etc.
Read more. Whether it's a book, a magazine or a blog - it inspires and motivates you more than you could ever realise. True words were once spoken by Dr. Seuss, "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."
Being grateful for all that you have, increases self-esteem and reduces stress and insecurity. That, in turn, allows you to focus on what you want and work hard to achieve it.
LEARN HOW TO SAY NO
It is okay to say no! It doesn't make you a bad person for making yourself, and your future, a priority over other people. Don't overwhelm yourself because you're too nice to say no to people. Sometimes it's essential to be selfish in order to keep yourself focused and on the right track.
Not unlike gratitude, being kind to ourselves and to others creates a positive atmosphere in our lives. It lowers our stress and anxiety levels which has a huge impact on our motivation and productivity.
GET 8 HOURS OF SLEEP
Some of you may read that and think "8 hours? I'd be lucky to get 5", and some of you may read it and think "8 hours? I can't function on anything less than 10".
Eight hours sleep is recommended for a reason, according to many scientific studies, those who sleep for less than 6-8 hours a night are at a higher risk of early death. Seems a bit extreme right? My personal opinion is that each person is different, I may need 8 hours of sleep to function whilst you may sleep for 5 hours and still feel great all day. So if you're happy with your sleeping pattern then stick to it. But I think you should consider the possibility that a person can train their body to function on X hours of sleep, so it stands to reason that we can train ourselves to sleep roughly 8 hours per night and feel energised throughout the day.
CREATE A ROUTINE
I've always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with routines if I'm being honest with you. When in a steady routine I feel highly motivated and productive and I feel as though I have control over my life, but if I stray from my routine, even for one day, I find it hard to get back on track. I'm getting better though, and I've learnt to not be so hard on myself if I don't follow my routine strictly every single day.
SET REWARDS FOR YOURSELF
Although you truly want to reach your goals, sometimes we need a bit of an incentive to carry on, which is why I think it's important to set rewards for yourself. For example, I may dedicate an entire day to writing content, but half way through I start to lose interest. So to keep myself motivated I promise myself that once I've finished my tasks, I'll treat myself with sitting down and binge watching Netflix for the rest of the night. What do you like to do to relax? What do you like to treat yourself with? Promise yourself a reward for after you complete your daily tasks.
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