I’ve read many books on productivity and time-management and learned different things from each of them.
If you’re busy, you might not have time to read the whole post (even though it’s quite short) so I’ll quickly tell you my two best productivity hacks:
- Get more sleep. At least 7.5 hours, get up at the same time every day and have naps.
- Get off social media. Delete your account completely if you can, and use an app to block it if you can’t.
These last six months I’ve massively prioritised sleep and early nights as a way to get more out of my day. It took about six weeks for me to feel the difference, but then I did. I noticed my concentration improve, which meant that my overall efficiency improved hugely.
Almost a month ago, I left Facebook completely. That has created a feeling of ‘white space’ that I haven’t known in quite some time.
I’m often asked how I manage to juggle many things and yet remain calm. I don’t always feel calm if I’m honest, but anyway, here are my favourite four ways to make the most of every day.
I can’t say they’re rocket-science, but I hope there is something here to inspire you.
1. RESPECT YOUR BODY
Your body and mind work together in a unit.
To be productive, you need to take care of yourself. If you keep pushing yourself to do more, you’ll get sick, and keep on getting sick until you rest. Pace yourself before that happens.
a) Protect and prioritise your sleep. 7.5 hours is non-negotiable.
b) Make every bite you eat as nutritious as possible. Drink plenty of water.
c) Exercise daily. Walking counts.
What can you do to take more care of your body?
2. Write things down
Pen and paper are tools that engage your mind.
When you write things down you are more likely to remember them. Whether it’s journaling, planning, drawing or simply making a to-do list, you’ll focus better.
a) Write down every single to-do you can think of onto a big sheet of paper.
b) Review your list and see which ones are there out of duty or fear. Cross them out.
c) Come up with an order of priority. Notice which you feel a sense of resistance to, and ask yourself why.
How can you separate ‘thinking’ from ‘doing’?
3. PLAN YOUR DAY to be more productive
If you don’t have a plan, you will be derailed.
Make a list of things for your ideal day. Include something you will do for enjoyment.
a) One large thing that will really make a difference when you get it off your plate.
b) Another, less challenging thing, but still important.
c) A few other things that are easy and quick to do. Batch them for ease: make phone calls together, for example.
Beware of over-scheduling yourself, and try to delegate where you can.
4. Allow extra time
Everything always takes longer than you think.
Be ruthless with your focus. Five minutes of distraction here and there really add up over time.
a) Ban social media while you are working.
b) Take steps to avoid human interruptions – work early/ late or simply put a sign on the door.
c) Know when you are being ‘perfectionist’ and allow yourself ‘completion without perfection’.
To avoid last minute stress, can you begin something sooner? If you are procrastinating, ask yourself why?
Know when your day’s work is done.
There is always more to do, but there is always another day.
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