April 13, 2016

6 Tips to Boost Your Productivity

Do you ever feel like there’s never enough time in a day to get anything done? You have that to-do list sitting on your desk, and you’re adding to it quicker than you’re crossing things off? It’s annoying, frustrating, and un-motivating isn’t it??

If you read my blog post a couple days ago I talked about my goals for this month. My objective this month (not my goal) is to get myself into a daily routine! From day one of quitting my 9-5, and at the start of running my business full-time I lacked a routine. Some days I would spend hours in front of the computer working, while others I would spend time in front of the television procrastinating. Some nights I would go to bed at a decent time, while other nights I’d lie awake till 3:00am binging on YouTube. I’ll admit this was my life up until a couple weeks ago.

The sad part was I knew I had stuff to do. Yes I would go to Starbucks during the day with my MacBook and planner, but the work I was doing never felt complete. I would “work” for hours, but never felt like I accomplished anything….Why?

I read a book a couple weeks ago called “Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus and Sharpen Your Creative Mind” published by 99U. Since day one of becoming full-time in my business I knew I needed a set routine, but had no clue how to start building one. I knew I could possibly unlock some potential I was wasting deep inside, but how could I tap into it and start living the productive/creative life I knew I was capable of?

Since reading “Manage Your Day-to-Day”, I have read a few more books that have helped to impact my routine. However, you can read all the self-help books you want, but nothing in your life will change until you actually decide to….HELP YOUR SELF. So that’s exactly what I started doing. With the objective of creating a routine, I set goals for myself to help me stay on track. It’s been a little over a week since I started finding my groove, but let me tell you this…IT IS WORKING. I’ll share later on with you what my routine looks like, but today I wanted to share with you what I’m doing to feel and become more productive!

What are some things you do to boost your productivity? Here are six of mine:

Environment – Find a place that you enjoy and do your best work. You might find you’re more productive when relaxed on the couch, OR you may enjoy your favorite music through your earphones as you’re working from Starbucks. Find what works for you, and stick with it! If you have an office, but find it doesn’t inspire you…try sprucing it up to make it your haven of productivity!

Turn off Distractions – This was a huge productivity killer for me. I’d have my MacBook open with notifications turned on..sitting next to my iPhone that was blowing up with texts, e-mails, news updates, etc…while ALSO receiving the same notifications on my Apple Watch! It’s a wonder I ever got a single thing accomplished. So try this: TURN OFF YOUR NOTIFICATIONS! Seriously, put the “Do Not Disturb” to on, and put your phone away. (I’ve found that when I don’t see my phone I’m less likely to look at it.)

Block time and take breaks! – Whenever I was trying to work on a large project I needed to sit in front of the computer for hours working to feel productive. In reality within those hours I was…Talking to friends, checking Instagram, finding food, browsing the internet…pretty much anything that would prolong me from finishing what I was working on. To combat this I started working in 60-90min frames of time and worked rigorously for those minutes. (All while having my distractions turned off) Once that time was up I would stand up, walk around, and take a nice 15 minute break. Giving myself the chance to see the two people that liked my Instagram post while I was working. 😉

Break it up! – Do you have some big, hairy, audacious goal you have set for yourself?! If so, it can seem a little overwhelming when you stop and think of everything you have do in order to accomplish it.  I’ve found that it’s best to break larger project into little projects. So think to yourself how you can break up what you’re doing. As you complete each little project you’re going to feel motivated to finish the next. These little victories will motivate you to keep working until you’re sitting there behind you’re computer throwing your hands up in excitement because YOU ARE DONE.

You’re not perfect – Sorry to break it you…but you’re not. As much as we try to do everything perfectly, what we really end up doing is wasting our time. What you perceive as perfection, another person may perceive as crap. So stop worrying about being perfect. Now with that said don’t be half-assing your work…Do your best, but realize that “Good enough” is in fact…good enough.

Take Care of Yourself – I’ll be honest…When I have a lot on my plate anxiety eats me up, and I find myself on the couch binge watching Friends instead of doing what I need to be doing. That’s why when I would hear people constantly talking up how meditation changed their lives I decided..sure why not?! It’s been 14 days since I started meditating, and wow does it work! It has completely relaxed me, and had made me feel nothing but positive about life! This in turn has helped me focus on what I need to do NOW instead of worrying about little things that can wait. If you’re skeptical, give it a try! This can also be said for eating healthier, working out, and getting enough sleep! The better your body is feeling the more productive you’ll be!

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