Believe it or not, productivity can be learned.
Today, I’m going to teach you to maximize your time at your computer, dominate your email in-box, and spend less time on unimportant tasks to focus on what really matters. Once you have freed up your time, you’ll be surprised how you’re able to hang out with friends and family, pick up new skills or spend more time exercising.
1. Start your day with a green smoothie
There is no better way to feed our mind and bodies than consuming an alkalizing drink such as a green smoothie first thing in the morning. One of my favorite recipes is as follows: 8 ounces of water, 2 handfuls of organic spinach, 1 apple, 2 stalks of celery and a juiced lemon. This drink is high in fiber, which will help rid the body of toxins and provide us with the vitamins and minerals needed for world-class energy levels.
2. Prioritize your day
Often we are more efficient when we are the most busy. Take the holidays for example. We have a list as long as Santa’s and seemingly no time to get it done, yet we do. So let’s learn from that and prioritize tasks like it’s just before your holidays. Create a list containing everything that must be done that day. That will help you prioritize your day and not waste time on things that don’t matter.
3. Create a list every morning. Write it down. And stick to it.
Planning out your day and the steps that need to be taken for it to be successful is the quickest way to stop wasting time. You need a visual reminder of what needs to be done and how much has been completed. This can’t be done “in your head”. Be clear on what you need to do. It needs to go on a sheet of paper, in your phone, emailed to yourself, or placed on your desk each and every day. Most people don’t realize they are wasting time until it’s too late. Plan ahead and ensure you know exactly what you need done each and every day.
4. Value your time and learn to say no
Make sure you value all your available time. Helping others is a great thing, but stop pleasing people at the expense of your own productive time. Ensure that your lists and tasks get done before helping others. By focusing on staying productive in the tasks that you do, you will find you will have much more time to help others without cutting into your productivity.
5. Do not disturb
How many times throughout your day has someone come into your office and interrupted you just to talk about nonsense? Chances are you are getting interrupted via text, phone or email throughout your day. If you work in an office, set up a “Do Not Disturb” sign when it’s time to get important work done. If you work from home or outside of an office, set a policy so people know not to call or interrupt you during certain time blocks. If you are able, completely silence and stow your phone away so there is no distraction or urge to stray from the task at hand.
6. Take a walk or eat lunch away from the office
Instead of eating lunch at your office, find the nearest place where you can step away and enjoy yourself. A great way to rejuvenate and be prepared to attack the rest of the day is to take a lunchtime stroll. Eating lunch outside of your regular work place or going for a midday walk helps to clear your mind of clutter and distractions from earlier in the day. This should recharge you for an even more productive second half of the day.
To actually become the most productive person around, you must first decide to do so. Don’t beat yourself up over how unproductive you’ve been or relish over how productive someone else is. This will never get you to where you need to go. Making the decision is half the battle. Once you’ve made up your mind, you will begin to challenge yourself to see just how much you can accomplish any given day.
8. Turn off notifications
I can’t even express to you how freeing it is to turn these tiny little distractions off. They buzz, beep, blink, bounce, and every other annoying movement or noise you can think of. Notifications are meant to grab your attention, hence why they distract you. But no one really needs to know every time they get a new email, a new like on their latest Instagram post, or when their sister finally gets around to posting pictures of her new puppy. Turn these suckers off and then when you actually have time to dedicate to social media and email, you can look into them.
9. Know when you are most productive
Seems pretty simple, but I’ve been surprised by how many people ignore their own body’s signs of productivity. Some people are naturally more creative in the morning. Some people rock it at 2:00 a.m. I am not going to argue that one is better than the other. I want you to embrace your own body and utilize that time to conquer the most important parts of your day! Deal?
10. Reward yourself
When we reward ourselves after a job well done, it makes doing it the next time that much sweeter. Take the time to recognize milestones and relish in the present. You can’t always have your head 6 months ahead.