I wanted to share my simple tips for How to be Productive. I am definitely the person who always has a plan. I live by a planner. I just need to write everything down and get it out of my head. There are tons of options out there, so make sure you chose a planner that works best for you.
Why being Productive should be Important to you?
- You don’t have time to waste. Your busy with work and juggling you’re personal life.
- You are stressed out because you have so much work to do
- You are working really hard but your results don’t match your effort
- You want to get more done in less time. So you can have more free time.
- You want to spend time with your family
- You want to go on vacation or have a night out
Start your day off right
- Get some sleep! 6-8 hours should suffice. Side note did you know over sleeping can cause you feel tired (how crazy is that).
- Have a proper breakfast, preferably a light breakfast (i.e. oatmeal, eggs, yogurt, etc.)
- Have a clarity moment, because the most successful people in the world do (Read: Reinvent Your Morning).
- Create your to-do list prior to beginning your work day.
- Keep a sticky note near you to joint random those.
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Create a Distraction Free Zone
- Turn off distractions. Log out of your emails, turn off the TV or music, turn your phone off or on silent (usually covering my phone screen helps).
- Create an environment that enables you to thrive. When the last time you were most productive? If you can remember then try to recreate that day.
- Before you get started with your work day. Grab a pen and paper. Literally write down everything that comes to your mind, don’t try to make it pretty or make sense. Just write it down as it comes to your mind.
- Brain dumping is a great way to get clarity and focus on your task at hand. Once it’s all out you can stop worry and get started.
- Sometimes my brain dump is a place for me to vent my frustrations, it’s a good way to just get your thoughts out. If you’ve read the from Dreamer to Doer Workbook, then you know I’m a huge advocate for brain dumping.
Do Hard Stuff First
- Get the hard stuff done first. Once its complete you’ll feel motivated to keep going and relieve that it’s done.
- Let’s face it 9 times out of 10 if you don’t put the hard stuff at the beginning of the day, you won’t do it.
- Prepare your lunch and dinner the night before. Salads or sandwiches are great for lunch, chicken or tuna salad is quick to prepare and keeps well in the fridge.
- If you can’t prepare breakfast ahead of time I recommend oatmeal because you can prep and eat within 15-20 minutes.
- Recent lesson but having your meals and snack at home makes it so much easier to stay focus. You can grab a quick bite and get back to your to do list.
- Keep a running to do list of all your task
- Day prior to work day, create a schedule for each task.
- Give yourself lead way between each task (my personal recommendation is 15-30 minutes)
- Stop at your designated time. When you work on the same task for extended periods of time, you may begin to loss interest or get bored. This leads to being unproductive (usually on social media or emails).
- Try to take a 5-10 minute break every 2 hour, go to the restroom or check your phone messages.
Plan for possible Interruptions
- Group similar task together such as errands, time consuming work, and people task.
- Writing, budgeting, working from home, or doing school work well plan to stay in.
- Tasks that call for you to leave the house or spend extended periods of time (2 hours or more) away from your task at head. Should all be planned to be done on the same day.
- For example, if you need to run errands, call clients or friends, cook dinner, and have plans to go bowling. Plan to do all that on the same day.
- Tasks that involve people usually take longer than expected and can be disruptive to your concentration.
We briefly discuss the importance of the running to do list. Well if you don’t have a running to do list, because you’re new to this planning thing. My recommendation is to start by planning on a daily, every night at the end of your work day create your schedule. After about 3 work days of daily planning, you’ll better understand your work habits and be able to develop a more in depth plan.
After day 3, my recommendation is to thoroughly review your lessons learned, fails, and so on. The From Dreamer to Doer Guide takes you through the process of creating an action plan and evaluating your progress.
Why should you live life on purpose?
Finally, you have overcome the productivity beast. But you’re still not sure if it’s worth it to create a plan for you’re life. Personally, having a vision and plan for my life helps me to stay focused on my goals. Without a plan I would not be here talking to you today, I would not have completed b-school, and I definitely would not have a beautiful family of my own.
Let’s face it every great plan is going to have hiccups but you have to learn to work through it and not give up. My point is it is perfectly ok to change your plans. It takes more effort and thoughtfulness to change your plans than it does to simply follow through with them because that what you know. Okay so now I’m going to answer the question I know is on all of your minds.
3 Reasons Why you Should Create a Plan
- A plan gives you a road map to reference when you need a reminder of what you are working towards. Your road map helps keep you on track. Just like a GPS does when you’re heading to an unfamiliar place. You become focused on reaching your destination and you begin to silence any distractions.
- A plan gives you a future to look forward to because you are capable of achieving anything you set your mind to. Don’t be afraid to set high goals for yourself, you have to step outside of where you are today if you want to live your dream life tomorrow.
- A plan helps you live intentionally. Living intentionally means you enjoy your life to the fullest and all the moments within it. You don’t allow obstacles to get in your way because you know that obstacles are just brief moments in between joy.
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