What if I told you that you could learn how to be more productive right now?
We’ve all had days where we feel unproductive and time passes with little getting done. But when it comes to working online, running a blog or working from home, it takes dedicated discipline in order to stay productive.
After all, we don’t get paid unless we get stuff done.
But these strategies can be used for almost any area of work.
Productivity will allow you the freedom and control you need in your work in order to grow, to take ownership of your work and to spend more time with what matters.
Some days I feel super productive and yet others, I really struggle to get my butt in gear.
I’ve had to really hone in on what it takes to be productive with my time. Because not only does it help me to accomplish my goals, but it makes me feel happier, more successful and more inspired to keep going.
A lazy day on the couch makes us feel just the opposite. So as tempting as it is grab your phone and surf social media while your work waits or to take yet another Netflix “break”, I want to encourage you to try these 4 things first.
When you skyrocket your productivity you will have more time for what really matters.
1. Make a Plan
Because it is so easy to become overwhelmed with distractions, it is essential to make a plan in order to increase your productivity.
Although I can sit down and get a lot done without a plan, most of what gets accomplished isn’t actually that important.
Consider this. We sit down and open our browsers. We check our emails and find several that need responding to. In the meantime, we think of a few tasks that need to be done. We fumble through those tasks and before we know it, a significant amount of time has passed.
We got stuff done, but most of it was unessential busy work or tasks.
When you fail to make a plan, you’re often flying by the seat of your pants. You’re allowing your brain to be hijacked by your current perception and not by your true priorities.
Instead, if you are aware of your priorities and write down what you plan to do for the day, you can get organized and take control of your time and will allow for greater productivity.
I recommend starting your day with a list of things that need to be done including the order of importance.
Commit to getting the most important things done first and you will build the momentum you need to get going.
Your goals need to be achievable and measurable.
A goal that needs work: Get some writing done
Making the goal achievable and measurable: Write blog post on productivity for 30 minutes or write 1,000 words for blog post on productivity
I often start with the most important and yet difficult task so that I can get it out of the way. But another powerful strategy is to start with the smaller tasks and build momentum towards the bigger tasks.
Whatever you decide works for you, it is important to make a plan and write it down.
2. Create a Space for Work
The space where you work oftentimes determines how productive you will be.
There are a few important things to consider when creating a space to be productive.
- Eliminate distractions. Get rid of as many distractions as possible. Turn off desktop notifications. Put your phone on silent.
- Create a clean space. I cannot get anything done when my desk is cluttered. Your brain often takes in the visual cues around you as it processes your work. I like to think I’m giving my brain the best chance at productivity and success when my desk and work space is clear and clean.
- Make it pretty. Make your space appealing and comfortable. Take time to decorate it. Making your space your own helps you to take ownership and get productive.
- Leave your work space just for work. Don’t use this space as your spot for a break, your place to surf social media etc. Let your brain know that when you are in this space, you mean work.
Because my work requires both productivity and creativity, I often differentiate my spaces. My desk is where I do most of my work, but my laptop goes with me to a different chair or coffee shop when it’s time to get create and write. I literally feel the creative wheels turning in my mind when I sit down with my laptop.
Train your brain that your work space is for work alone. This will help you be more productive with your work.
3. Take Healthy Breaks
Breaks are important and we all need them. But there are a lot of breaks that we take that drain us of energy and motivation.
For example, taking a break by scrolling through Instagram or Facebook is only going to leave your mind more tired than when you began. This isn’t giving your mind a true break.
To gauge whether a break is healthy or not, consider how productive you can be after the break.
Here is a list of examples of healthy breaks that you need to be productive:
- Take a walk
- Take a nap
- Switch tasks - maybe run a load of laundry or get the dishes done
- Sit in the sun
- Talk to a friend
These are just a few of the most helpful healthy breaks that I have found. These healthy breaks refresh my mind and get me ready for more productive work.
Your mind and body will let you know when it’s time for a break. Taking breaks often will help you to stay productive.
I really encourage you to schedule small healthy breaks into your work schedule so that you can grow your productivity.
4. Don’t Just Celebrate Big Success, Celebrate Accomplishment & Small Success
This concept may seem a little backwards. We’ve grown up celebrating success when it comes to our jobs. After all an attempted interview gets us nowhere if we don’t get the job.
I’m not suggesting participation trophies when nothing is truly getting done.
But working for yourself is tough and it is going to take celebrating accomplishments and milestones before celebrating the success of a six-figure business.
Some of the things I’ve celebrated along the way are reaching milestones of subscribers and consistent content. I’ve celebrated my first affiliate sale and also when those sales became consistent. But I also celebrated when I completed the email course that included those affiliate links.
When you only celebrate the major successes, you train your brain that failure isn’t an option.
But failure is one of the most important factors in success. Most successful people have failed over and over again.
Allow yourself to fail. This means that you are trying new things and using creativity in your business. And these are the businesses and blogs that become truly successful.