Sometimes, day-to-day life gets so busy it can feel like you are always spinning your wheels. There are ways to be more productive, and a more productive day will mean less stress and more items checked off your to-do list. Depending on your life and work schedule, productivity may look different for everyone. Maybe being more productive simply means remembering to put clothes in the dryer.
Whatever productivity means for you, there are ways to streamline your workday and leverage quiet moments for more output. Consider these 50 tips to increase personal productivity while staying stress-free.
1. Plan the Night Before
Whether you are 15 or 55, planning your day the night before can make your morning more productive and get you out the door with less stress.
2. Write It Down
No matter how great your memory is, some things are going to slip through the cracks. Even if it’s as simple as writing down a grocery list, going to the grocery store once is much more productive than going again because you forgot an important item.
3. Make Secondary Lists
To-do lists are important, but people often need a secondary list. Each one will help keep you on task and up to date, and it gives your head a few less things to hold onto for the upcoming days.
4. Keep a Pen and Notebook Handy
Where are you going to write all those crucial notes down? You need a place to keep your task lists, to write down names of new people you meet and take notes about your work. Searching for a pen is a big time waster.
5. Take Breaks
When you are busy, it may feel like the best thing to do is work until everything’s done, but you can’t work at optimal peak all the time.
Besides making you feel less stress and increasing your health, exercise can make you more productive because it makes your body and mind run better.
7. Make Healthy Food Choices
Like exercise, there’s lots of good that comes from eating well, and there’s no real downside. It may not be surprising that smart food choices help with concentration and overall well-being.
8. Plan Your Meals for the Week
Planning your meals for the week is a great way to increase your productivity. You or your partner can easily accomplish the shopping.
9. Put Away Distractions
Flip your phone over so you don’t start thinking about how to respond to your mom’s text and mute the computer so you don’t hear a work buddy chime in for a quick chat.
10. Do the Hard Part First
When you do the most challenging task on your to-do list first thing, the rest of the day becomes more positive, and you’ll get a lot more done.
11. Try Working Without Wi-Fi
You need Wi-Fi to send the job, find the job or do research for the job, but once that’s done, try and work without it. You may get more done than you realize.
12. Don’t Check Social Media Until After Work
There’s no better time-suck than a smartphone sitting next to you, with a little notification number somewhere on the screen.
13. Stick to the Right Screen
Avoid checking social media or BuzzFeed on your computer by deciding to stick with the tab you are on and not venture away.
14. Love What You Do
Loving what you do may not be as easy as it sounds, and for some, it may sound impossible. However, when you change your mindset about what you do, it can make your job more pleasant and help you get more done.
Sometimes, just putting the distractions aside helps, but if not, make a decision to simply begin. It may start off poorly, but it’s better than a blank slate.
16. Use the Middle to Jump Off
If beginnings are too tough, start in the middle and go back to the start when you feel more on your feet.
17. Get Enough Sleep
A poor night’s sleep can tank an entire day. Sometimes, split-second decisions need to be made, and a sharp, well-rested mind will likely make the better one, creating a more productive situation.
If you are a busy mom, ask your kids to pack their own snacks for school. If you run an office, delegate tasks that stop you from being as productive as you can be.
19. Leverage Technology
Tech can be a great distraction, but it also streamlines the processes that make industries run. Consider GetFriday to help with various tasks and keep everything on your Google calendar.
20. Farm Out Non-Crucial Tasks
Work like writing or accounting – unless those are your primary jobs – can kill a day. Hire a professional to get tasks done efficiently so you can focus on your own work.
Everything is much easier to see and take care of when it is orderly. It can also affect the way your mind works. Increase personal productivity by keeping your work area tidy.
22. Create a System
If you have a system in place to get work processes done, they will get done more efficiently.
23. Listen to Audiobooks
Listening to stories is a great way to engage with the culture at large and get your mind away from work.
24. Listen to Music
Some music can be a distraction, but having classical music on during work can actually make you more productive.
When we get stressed, we often hold our breath, which causes more tension. Give your mind the oxygen it needs and you will naturally get more done.
26. Say No
In a world of people asking for your help, this can be hard. Often, people simply stretch themselves too far. Saying no can help you focus on your own goals.
27. Get up Early
The quiet of a morning can help your mind begin to get energized.
28. Get Advice
Too many people try to work through everything on their own. There’s someone out there who can mentor you through this stage, and he or she can make your life easier with a few simple solutions.
29. Shop Online
Your pantry is an easy thing to stock from your desktop, and it means you spend less time at the grocery store.
30. Improve Your Typing Speed
There are many simple courses that will improve your typing speed so you can get more accomplished.
31. Work Remotely When You Can
Save yourself a commute and the world some oxygen by working from home a few days a week. If you run a business, consider making some days remote days for your team.
32. Keep a Strong Signal
Don’t waste money on a slow internet speed. Even if it is cheaper, it’s costing you time and efficiency.
33. Learn Keyboard Shortcuts
Nothing slows you down from an important email or document like searching out keys. Learn the shortcuts to stay on your toes.
34. Work in the Morning
Morning is the best time to accomplish many difficult jobs because your mind is functioning at top speed.
You hold tension in your body, especially during stress. Stretching releases the tension to improve personal productivity.
36. Take a Short Shower
This is another shortcut that is good for the Earth and good for your timeline. A short shower means less wasted morning time.
37. Focus on the Results
When you are thinking about a goal, it’s a lot easier to make your workflow more efficient.
38. Read a Book
This sounds like the opposite of productivity, but taking your mind away from work is crucial to getting fresh ideas. There’s nothing better at helping you escape than reading.
39. Don’t Eat Near Your Computer
It may seem like working and eating is a good idea, but it will eventually cause a crisis. You’ll be overworking your mind and likely overeating.
40. Auto-Pay Bills
Check-writing can kill a chunk of the day. In today’s world, there’s no need for it. Let the bank do the work.
41. Stay in the Groove
When you find a work groove, don’t let your office buddy slow you down with a chat. Stay focused.
42. Watch TV With Caution
Television can be a great time suck. Avoid binging, but keep up with shows that bring you joy.
43. Set a Timer
Don’t let one task kill your workday. Set a timer, and if you’ve spent too much time on one thing, jump to another for a bit.
44. Be Happy
Being happy is like a superpower. It will increase personal productivity, while making those around you feel more comfortable.
45. Try a Standing Desk
When you work while standing, you increase the blood flow throughout your body. It increases your oxygen, too, helping your whole body function better.
46. Be Proactive
Consider what is happening next, rather than react to what is happening now. When you consider the future, you can prepare for it.
Take a minute or two to celebrate your accomplishments as you complete them. It will help move you to the next level.
48. Respond Kindly
Email can be easily misinterpreted. Being overly kind in emails and texts can prevent confusion and help everyone stay more focused.
49. Slow Down
It may seem counterintuitive, but when you go too fast, things get messed up. Avoid the temptation to speed through hectic times.
50. Practice Self-Care
If you aren’t looking after yourself, all these things will be a challenge. Increase personal productivity by taking care of yourself so you can make a more efficient workspace that offers a good work-life balance.
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