I'm baaack! And I've got 10 more productivity tips to help you make the most of your work days (just in case you've already mastered the first 10)! If you missed the first installment, you can read it right here.
1. Purge and donate
Confession: I’m a minimalist trapped inside of a hoarder. I have what’s called the “but-I-might-be-able-to-use-that-one-day!” syndrome. If you are also afflicted with this, you need to switch up your mindset. Instead of keeping things because you might be able to use it one day (but probably never, let’s get real), donate them because someone else might be able to use it right now. This includes clothes and shoes that you haven’t worn in at least a year, supplies for projects you never got around to, and knick-knacks that sit around and serve no other purpose than to collect dust.
2. Start your day with meditation
There’s such a tendency to start the day off at a full sprint, especially when you have a ton of things on your to-do list. Instead, try starting off your day with a little slice of silence and reflection. I love and recommend the Headspace app, especially if you’re new to meditation. You can try it for free here. It might seem a little weird at first, but the more you’re able to control your thoughts, the calmer you’ll be when things don’t go quite as planned.
3. Set an alarm to get up and move around a little
When you’ve been sitting at your desk (or on your couch) working your butt off, sometimes it’s easy to lose track of time. (Wait, when is the last time I even peed?!) Set an alarm to get up every so often and walk around. Fix yourself a big glass of water, grab a snack, play with your dog. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to hustle as soon as you sit back down.
4. Use music / white noise / podcasts to focus
Personally, I’m way more productive when I have music playing. The opposite might be true for you. Whatever background noises make you the most productive, take advantage of them. Maybe it’s music you sing along to, or instrumental pieces. If you can’t focus with music playing, but the silence isn’t helpful either, try a white noise app. I love listening to podcasts, but only when I’m doing something that doesn’t involve reading or writing. They’re perfect for editing photos or creating graphics.
5. Keep your end goal in mind
What is the number one goal that is currently driving your work? Ask yourself this question: “Is everything I’m doing moving me closer to my goal?” If you’re working just to be working, re-evaluate your to-do list. There’s no need to be spinning your wheels on tasks that aren’t chipping away at your end goal.
6. Create a checklist of everyday tasks
There are some things that we do every single day just for maintenance sake. They’re probably on auto-pilot by now, but if you’re adding something new to your everyday routine, or you’re just starting out and trying to make a routine for yourself, creating a checklist of those everyday tasks is essential to making sure you don’t fall behind or forget something important.
7. Focus on one important task at a time
Multi-tasking is NOT your friend. I sometimes like to think that I’m the princess of multitasking, but the reality is always that it takes me longer to do 5 things at once than if I did 5 things back to back. Instead of trying to do all the things all at once, put them in order of most important to least important, and stick to your list.
8. Make a list of things you’re thankful for
Sometimes we can get so bogged down in everything we have to get done and focus on the things that aren’t going quite right that we can forget to be thankful for everything that we already have and the things that ARE going right. Keep the list handy, add to it regularly, and refer to it when you’re feeling down.
9. Take a day off to do all the little things
The daily grind can totally wear you down. We often get stuck in a routine of maintaining and forget to grow and expand. Sometimes it’s just a few little things that need to be handled in order to move forward. Take a day off from the daily grind to get all those little things done, and you’ll be able to start fresh the next day!
10. Turn your brain off at night
This is one that I’ll definitely be putting into practice right alongside you. I’m terrible at shutting my brain off at night, especially since bedtime seems to be the perfect time to scroll Instagram for way longer than I actually mean to. It’s been scientifically proven that putting your phone away at least an hour before you plan to go to bed does wonders for your sleep quality. If you’ve still got thoughts running through your head while you’re laying in bed, keep a notepad close by, write down your ideas and to-dos and then forget them. They’ll be there when you wake up.