Productivity isn’t a skill that can be taught. It’s something we’re born with or we’re not.
I’ve tried a million different productivity techniques and found the ones that work the best.
STEP 1: Start With A Clear Vision Of Where You Want To Go
It sounds like common sense, but this is where most people fail. They start by trying to do too much, or they don’t take the time to set goals for themselves.
Start by defining what your vision is. What would make you the happiest? What would you love to do?
You can then break down that goal into smaller steps and create actionable goals.
STEP 2: Set Aside Time For Yourself Each Day
This is the single most important step. Without dedicated time to yourself, you’ll never be able to accomplish anything.
Don’t let your days go by without taking some time for yourself. This doesn’t mean you have to sit alone in your room and stare at your screen. It simply means you need to give yourself some quiet time so that you can get things done.
STEP 3: Find A Work Environment That Works For You
We all want to be surrounded by people who inspire us. But if that’s not possible, try to find a place that inspires you.
Do you like to spend your time in a noisy coffee shop? Or do you prefer being in a quiet library? Maybe you need to work from home, or maybe you prefer going into the office. Whatever it is, find a place that works for you and stick with it.
STEP 4: Eliminate Distractions
It’s easy to get distracted when we have a lot on our plate. We see all kinds of notifications come in and start taking things in.
To avoid getting overwhelmed, block out time to focus on your task at hand. Try using a calendar app like Google Calendar or a to-do list app like Wunderlist.
STEP 5: Give Yourself Some R & R Time
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you might need to take a step back. Instead of trying to do everything at once, start by doing one thing.
Maybe you’ve been working on a project for too long and need a break. Or maybe you need to give yourself a mental break before tackling the next thing.
Whatever it is, give yourself time to unwind and relax. You’ll feel refreshed after a day off.
STEP 6: Take Care Of Yourself First
When I was starting out, I remember making this mistake. I would work myself to the bone and never take care of myself.
It’s easy to become obsessed with work when you’re new, but if you want to be successful, you need to take care of yourself.
Give yourself some time to eat well, sleep well, and exercise regularly.
STEP 7: Get Some Exercise
I’m not talking about cardio here, although it’s good to get some exercise. I’m talking about doing something that gets your heart rate up.
Find a hobby that you love. If you like playing sports, you could join a team or play video games. If you enjoy gardening, you could volunteer at your local community garden.
Whatever it is, find something you really love to do and do it often.
STEP 8: Put Your Phone Away
If you can’t put your phone away, at least turn off your notifications.
I know this sounds crazy, but I’ve noticed that having my phone on me is the reason I get distracted.
When I’m at a conference or a restaurant, I try to put my phone away. If you’re in a meeting, don’t bring your phone into the room.
STEP 9: Be Organized
If you want to be productive, you need to have your work organized.
Make sure you have a folder for every project you work on. Keep it simple with only a few folders.
If you’re working on a long-term project, make sure you have a folder for each phase of the project.
STEP 10: Keep A Journal
A journal is an excellent way to keep track of your progress.
Make sure you write down the date you started working on a project and when you finished.
STEP 11: Keep A Todo List
If you’re like me, you have a million things on your mind. You get so caught up in thinking about all the things you need to do that it’s easy to forget to do them.
It’s better to do them now than to forget them later.
To make sure you don’t forget, create a to-do list.
STEP 12: Be Realistic About How Much You Can Do
There’s nothing wrong with setting a goal. But you also need to be realistic about how much you can actually accomplish.
Set your expectations, and then make sure you stay true to them.
STEP 13: Give Yourself Some R & R
It’s easy to get into a rhythm where you work hard all day, every day.
You might get a few days off, but it’s usually just enough to feel refreshed.
STEP 14: Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
The last thing you need is to compare yourself to others.
Don’t look at what other people are doing.
STEP 15: Keep An Eye On What’s Going On Around You
There are plenty of ways you can be distracted by what’s happening around you.
It’s easy to get caught up in reading Twitter or checking your email.
Don’t get distracted by this.
STEP 16: Find Something That Excites You
You may think that work is the only thing that excites you, but it’s not. There are other things that can make you excited.
Maybe you’re a creative type, and you enjoy creating art. Or maybe you’re a foodie, and cooking is an enjoyable pastime.