I am constantly looking for ways to improve my productivity in an efficient manner that honors the self care I’ve committed to myself. I’m on a journey of professional and personal growth and I want to share 3 tips that have helped me become more productive (when I follow them).
Now, one book that I read this past year that truly helped me to understand how habits work and why I should start small is from James Clear’s Atomic Habits. It also made me realize why I stopped running long distances after completing my half marathon. I had a large goal that I reached, but ultimately, I didn’t keep it up because I didn’t have another goal to work towards lined up afterwards. If you haven’t read this book yet, do it, because the advice seems so simple, yet powerful at the same time. It’s really about starting with small manageable steps toward larger goals.
Create a Morning Routine
Another book that I read recently is the Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. While I don’t do everything on his list, I try to implement the practice of being intentional when I start my day. I’ve especially been work on trying to stop snoozing my alarm clock in the morning so I can wake up a bit more refreshed.
In the book, Elrod talks about using the SAVERS method which stands for: silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and scribing. I’ve kind of merged Atomic Habits together with this, so I don’t do the exact lengths of time he recommends. I try to get up, make my bed, stretch, make coffee, and sit to write down my daily affirmations. After that, I go over my to-do list for the day and prioritize what needs to be done first.
Time Batch Similar Tasks
One method to improve productivity is to batch like tasks together in a single time block. For example, I might set aside 7:00am – 9:00am to complete household chores or do laundry. I also recommend only checking email at set times throughout the day. When it is easily accessible on our phones or in our Internet browser tabs, we are more likely to run to do whatever comes across instead of staying focused on the thing that was in front of us in the first place.
Another strategy is to use the Pomodoro technique to work in 25 minute increments with a 5 minute break. Spend 2 hours of your time block utilizing this technique to tackle a big project or report for work or your home life. I spent several months organizing my day using the time blocking method to make sure that I was able to get to everything on my list.
Narrow Your Daily Focus
I used to create these big long to do lists because I thought it made me more productive to have long lists. What I realized was that if I didn’t get to everything on my list, I would get mad at myself for not being as productive as I could have been. When I start my morning routine, I now focus what my priorities will be for the day. I use a variety of different types of to do lists, but I try not to overload or overwhelm myself with listing everything that needs to be done.
I can be proud at the end of the day if I manage to check off the majority of things I wanted to get done.
So what can you do if you’re trying to be more productive?
- Get a morning routine
- Batch similar tasks in the same time block
- Narrow your daily focus
Remember it’s okay if you have off days because that’s life. Best of luck on your productivity journey!
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