I know at any given time, many of us feel like there’s not enough time in the day. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably balancing work, school, a social life, building a business, trying to stay fit, and trying to maintain your relationships with loved ones. How can anyone do this without breaking a sweat and feeling like they want to pull their hair out? I’ll tell you, how, by increasing your productivity. Productivity is the key to better time management and improving your life overall. Do you know how much more you can achieve daily, or weekly if you simply eliminated all the time you spent working on things that don’t matter? If you want to know how you can boost your productivity and get shit done once and for all, keep reading.
Are You Busy or Productive?
There’s a common misconception concerning productivity and what it is. Many people make the mistake of confusing productivity with being busy. However, these are two very different things, and it’s important to know which one you are.
By definition, when you’re busy, you’re just keeping yourself occupied or in other words, distracted. In contrast, when you’re productive, you’re taking actions that will result in the achievement of something. See the difference?
So, ask yourself. Are you constantly obsessing over your daily tasks and trying to seize the day, but still can’t seem to get ahead? Or, have you gotten everything done on your list except for the most important task? You, my friend, are busy, not productive. When you’re productive, each step that you take is bringing you closer towards your ultimate goals, whatever that may be for you.
A motto that I live by is: working smarter, not harder. It’s easy to be busy, and brag about the “hustle.” But when you think about it, are you truly being productive? There’s a difference and it can truly impact your life if you pay attention. The key to productivity isn’t the length of time you’re putting into your work. Instead, it’s about how much you’re getting done in a set amount of time. The goal is to maximize your time while doing less. Being productive has nothing to do with staying up all hours of the night, obsessing over a to-do list and drinking heaps of caffeine to keep up with your daily demand.
Benefits of Boosting Your Productivity
Nowadays it’s harder than ever to stay focused and be more productive. There are many benefits to choosing to be productive over busy. First and foremost, you’re setting yourself up to truly meet your goals. Why? Because you’re allowing yourself to get more done with less effort. Not only that, when you master your productivity you’re opening yourself up to several benefits including: and increased quality of life, a happier life, a given purpose in your life, decreased stress and you’ll have more time to do the things you truly enjoy.
“The most successful people in the world have mastered the art of working smarter, not harder…” – Monique Elise
How to Boost Your Productivity
Are you ready to boost your productivity and get shit done? To boost your productivity, you have to be willing to make some key changes to your current habits. Want to know why this is so important? Check out my post “Why Small Changes Lead to Big Results” here. Here are 11 ways to increase your productivity…
As I discussed in my post “How to Stop Procrastinating Once and For All” (You can read it here) one of the first things that you need to do is to eliminate distractions. It’s not easy, but it’s very necessary. The goal here is to fine-tune your focus, you can only do that when you cut out the distractions. So, turn off the television, close the door, put your phone on “do not disturb” and give your task at hand your complete attention.
Create a Plan of Action
One of the best ways to do this is to plan your day out the night before. This is where a planner comes into play. Take a moment to sit down, and map out your day. Think about what your most important tasks are, and add them to the top of your list. Make note of any idle hours(lunch break, commute time, time on the treadmill) in your schedule and try to fit something productive in. The best way to create action plans to have a planner and use it!
Check out these super cute planners:
Practice Time Blocking
Something that I’ve just started testing out is time blocking. Time blocking is simply a system that marries your to-do list with your calendar or planner. Many believe that blocking out time in your day to focus on only one task at a time, is one way you can boost your productivity. The idea is to break your day out into manageable blocks. The idea behind time blocking is that when you give yourself a certain amount of time to do said task, you’ll prioritize it and get it done within the time you’ve set aside for it. The key to successful time blocking is know how long it takes you to do certain tasks and not to over-schedule yourself.
Know Your Peak Work Hours
We all have peak hours of production. Some of us work better first thing in the morning, while others are night owls. Pay attention to your work patterns and productivity levels. What are your peak work hours and when are you most productive? Start to schedule your more important tasks during those times.
Learn to Say “No”
Y’all know that I love the word “No!” Saying yes to everything that comes your way may seem nice in theory, but you’re only stretching yourself thin and making it harder to focus on yourself. Truth is, you’re never going to get anything done if you’re always neglecting your goals to appease other people. You are allowed to put yourself first, and sometimes that means telling other people no.
Focus on Your Systems
The only true way to meet your goals and be more productive is to have a great system in place. A system is simply a “repeatable process” or the steps we follow to get something done. If you want to give your productivity a boost, turn to your system and evaluate it. Are all the steps you’re taking in your system necessary? Or are you just doing these things to be busy? How does your system impact your long-term goals? The benefits and impact of your system should increase or compound over time. If they don’t, it’s time to switch things up.
Automate Repetitive Tasks
To piggyback off of having good systems in place, it’s also important to automate repetitive tasks. The more you can automate, the more you can free up your time to do other things. List out your daily, weekly and monthly tasks. Which ones are constantly repeating themselves? This may vary from person to person, but for me, a few things that I automate are certain bills, email blasts to my readers, posting my blogs, and pinning to my Pinterest profile.
Learn How to Delegate and Outsource
None of us is an expert at everything. The best way to optimize your productivity is to focus on what you do best and outsource/delegate the rest. Why spend hours trying to pick your brain doing something when you can ask or hire someone else to do it in a fraction of the time.
Eat the Frog (I’ll explain)
Eat the Frog is a concept introduced by Mark Twain. What it means is to do the most crucial task on your to-do list first. Author, Brian Tracy built on that concept and introduced the “eat-a-frog” technique in his book “Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time“. The main areas of focus being: decision, discipline, and determination.
“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it First Thing in the Morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the BIGGEST one first.” — Mark Twain
Check out the book here:
Many people make the mistake of believing multi-tasking boosts their productivity, but it’s quite the opposite. When I think of someone that multi-tasks, I instantly picture a chicken running around with their heads cut off. The goal is to work smarter, not harder remember? Your brain can only thrive when it is focused on one thing at a time. It’s much more effective and efficient to work on one task at a time and give it your undivided attention.
There you have it loves! I hope that you find these tips helpful. Let’s get shit done! What other tips do you have for someone that wants to boost their productivity? Let me know below in the comments.
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