15 Awesome Productivity Tips to Help You Slay the Day
Productivity is one of my favorite things ever. It’s so freaking satisfying to check something off my to do list. That feeling of accomplishment is priceless. Over the years, I’ve tried a bunch of different productivity strategies to help me manage my time better and get more done. Some have worked amazingly. Others, not so much. Here, I’m sharing the top 15 productivity tips that I swear by. When they all come together, it’s magic. Work flows and at the end of the day, I feel like a badass rather than an overwhelmed hot mess.
When you have a million things to do, it might seem counterintuitive to take some time off to practice self-care, but it’s actually exactly what you need to skyrocket your productivity. The more time you give to yourself, the more you can show up fully for your work. Self-care energizes you and refuels you so that when you are working you’re actually working at your most efficient level.
Get A Good Night’s Sleep
This one ties in really nicely with the first tip. A productive day actually begins the night before. Think about how you feel at work after staying up late drinking one too many margaritas versus how you feel at work when you get some quality sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. It makes a world of a difference. When you feel like crap, your work and productivity will reflect it. Rather than waking up and slaying the day, you’ll drag yourself through the day without getting much of anything done. Not fun.
Reality check: there’s no such thing as multitasking. You’re basically just switching back and forth between tasks very quickly and that actually slows you down. It takes way longer to get something done when you’re not giving the task your undivided attention. Plus, producing high-quality work requires you to be fully engaged with the task and that task only.
Drop The Perfectionism
Perfectionism was something I struggled with so much at the beginning of my career. I prided myself in being ridiculously thorough with everything I did. The result? It took me forever to get anything done. I started knocking out tasks in a fraction of the time once I let go of the need for perfectionism and devoted myself to getting things done. Basically, perfectionism equals hours of wasted time and energy.
Write Down Your Distractions For Later
Even though you can put everything on airplane mode, you can’t stop random thoughts from popping into your head and distracting you. When they do, I like to just quickly jot them down so I won’t forget and I can come back to them later. These little thoughts can be literally anything from ordering more dog food to following up with an email.
Keep A Master List Of Tasks
Even if you’re Superwoman, it’s impossible to get everything done in one day. Putting a million tasks on your daily to-do list will only stress you out and at the end of the day you’ll feel like you didn’t get anything done. That’s no bueno. Instead, I suggest keeping a master list of tasks either in your planner or in Evernote (which, I seriously can’t live without) and then pull only a few tasks at a time onto your daily to do list. A short, realistic to do list sets you up for success and leaves you feeling accomplished at the end of the day.
Only Work When You’re Most Productive
To really take your productivity to the next level, it’s crucial that you figure out when you’re your most productive. My most productive time is in the morning. I really protect that time because I know I can get a lot done really quickly. It’s also important to know when to walk away and take a break. My energy usually dips after lunch. Instead of forcing myself to stay at my desk not really getting much done, I’ll go outside and read, go for a walk, or just take a nap. Even just a few minutes of me-time will re-energize me so I can get back to work and slay the rest of the day.
Make No Your Mantra
Time is not a renewable resource, babe. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. We only get 24 hours in a day and we get to decide how we spend those 24 hours. In order to increase your productivity, you have to start saying no to things that don’t align with your goals. The more you say no to those things, the more time and space you’ll have in your life to do the things that really matter to you. Your productivity will be out of this world when you focus only on things that you actually want to do.
Plan Your Day The Night Before
Like I said, a productive day begins the night before. Taking just a few minutes before bed to look at your calendar and write out your to-do list in your planner allows you to hit the ground running in the morning.
Have An Empowering Morning Routine
The energy with which you start your day is the energy that you carry with you the rest of the day. For maximum productivity, set up a morning routine that sets you up for success. Wake up slowly, meditate, drink some green juice, or do whatever makes you feel good. If you need some morning routine inspiration, check out my morning routine!
Set An Intention For The Day
Not setting an intention for the day is like walking into your day without deciding how you want to feel or how you want to experience the day. Set an intention to move through your day with ease and efficiency. Or intend to give your full attention to whatever is in front of you. Setting an intention is super simple but it will have a massive impact on your day.
Make Time Your Friend
The biggest productivity tip I can share with you is to become BFFs with time. Stop complaining about not having enough of it. Stop making yourself the victim. Look at time with love and it will expand for you. Move slowly throughout your day knowing that there is always enough of it available to you. Changing your perspective on time will do wonders for your productivity. You’ll feel like you’re working with time not against it.
Do Your Creative Work First
Every task you complete and every decision you make drains your energy little by little as the day goes on. If you focus on all the little things first, by the time you get to your most important creative work, you have no energy left. Make sure to do your creative work first thing in the morning when your energy is at its highest. Everything else can wait until later in the day.
Just Touch It Once
This productivity tip is super simple but effective. Just touch a task one time and one time only. If you open an email, respond on the spot. If you take the laundry out of the dryer, put it away. You get the gist. Having to come back to a task again wastes your precious time. It’s way more efficient to just get these little tasks out of the way on the spot rather than have them weigh on you as they pile up.
Batch And Time Block
Batching and time blocking are productivity strategies in and of themselves. But, when you bring them together, they are magic. Batching simply means doing a bunch of similar tasks in one fell swoop. Time blocking is designating a block of time for one task and giving it your full attention. So instead of answering emails throughout the day, schedule a block of time to clear your inbox. And finally, be sure to time your time blocks. Estimate how long you think it’ll take you to complete a task and set a timer. I’m obsessed with this little cube! It’s been a real game-changer in helping me stay fiercely focused on the task at hand.