You feel like your productivity is not at its best? Then I have 10 tips to help you be more productive. And it all starts with taking the right habits. Taking bad habits can influence so much the way you work and you might have not noticed it or just couldn’t identify the reasons for your demotivation and lack of productivity/organization. Reading this might help you realize what was stopping you from being productive and will help you start off on the right foot again.
Here are 10 tips on how to be more productive, which should help you get back on track.
How to be more productive?
1. Wake up early
This can sound silly, but it actually helps! Waking up early allows you to have more time to work on whatever you like. It’s generally easier and more motivating to wake up at the same time than someone else, so if you have a partner going to work, then try to wake up at the same time than him/her. Get ready and have breakfast straight away (you can find 10 ideas of breakfast here), so you are all ready to work on everything you want afterward without interrupting your workflow.
This is also a really good tip for parents: waking up early generally means waking up before your toddler and having some time for yourself and it also allows you to work on what you want without interruptions before taking care of your little one.
2. Create a daily to-do list
I would personally recommend creating a to-do list every morning before starting working. I always do so and I guarantee you that it helps me get a better overview of what my day will look like and what I absolutely want to achieve by the end of the day. If you can, set priorities and deadlines in your to-do list and make sure to work on your tasks in the priority order you’ve set them.
For instance, if you have a project in collaboration with a brand for 2 days later, a blog post to write for the following week and a freelance work for the next day, then make sure to start with the freelance work as it’s the most urgent, then the collab work as you still have 2 days for this and finally the blog post as it’s not urgent at this stage.
As you might have new tasks adding up every day, I would suggest to create a new list every day (or at least every 2 days) and update the priorities and deadlines if necessary to make sure everything is done on time.
Every time you finish a task, tick it off your list: DONE!
You can find some FREE printable to-do lists here, if you want some fancy designs.
3. Plan your day
If you’re not a list person, then maybe try to plan your week like Ruth is doing here. She created a weekly plan with all the types of tasks she wants to achieve and set reminders on her computer to let her know when to switch to the next task. In her example, she is using a 9 to 5 basis for her planning, but you can, of course, choose to modify it to suit your lifestyle.
I am personally working on my blog from 9 to 6 (and most of the evenings) because my boyfriend is working on a 9 to 6 basis as well. This way, we wake up at the same time (which motivates me to get up! Otherwise, I could easily stay lazy in bed! Oupssss!) and I stop at 6pm when I know he left from work. I generally start cooking so we can eat together when he comes back (or we finish cooking together).
4. Focus on 1 to 2 big projects maximum
If you have big projects on your to-do list, I would advise focus on no more than one or two projects at a time. By trying to do everything at the same time, you will end up starting everything, and not getting anything done.
When you start a project, make sure to finish it or go as far as you can without interruption. It’s really tricky to start something, go to search something, check your emails or go on your social media accounts and then come back to it. By the time you come back to your task, you might have forgotten what you wanted to do, or you might be persuaded that you have done something for this project but actually, you didn’t because you got distracted, etc.
Unless it’s a long project, like writing a book or a course, for instance, I would really recommend going through your tasks one by one.
It’s even easier when you know how long (approximately) you want to work on each task.
5. Avoid distractions
There is nothing worse than being distracted when you want to get things done. So when you’re working, make sure to hide your phone or put it far away from you (even in another room if it helps). No texting, no messaging, no calls!
The same way, don’t allow yourself to open your social media on your computer and if you’re like me, don’t open YouTube!! If I start watching videos on YouTube, I’m just lost forever… I simply can’t stop! It’s the worst thing ever for me: I could spend hours and hours watching music covers, funny videos or tutorials/DIYs.
6. Take breaks
Don’t underestimate the power of breaks! Your brain needs breaks, your body needs breaks, YOU need breaks. I would suggest taking 10 minutes break every 2 hours. Just move from your desk: go get a coffee, eat a snack, go get the mail, listen to one or two songs. Anything that could help you feel relaxed is good!
The lunch break is also super important! Don’t forget it! If you’re making your body and brain work full time, they need to regenerate with food (and a good night sleep)! I generally take 30 minutes to 1 hour for my lunch break and make sure not to be in a rush. I cook my lunch, get my phone back, put some music on, do my laundry, do a SHORT nap if necessary.
7. Keep some free time/Take some time off
As a blogger, it’s easy to feel like you have to be working on your blog 100% of your time. But you know what?! You don’t have to! You should always keep some free time to take care of your beloved ones and yourself. Yes, you need some “me time”!.
When you’re working for a company and come home after work, you stop working, right? Well, it’s the same with blogging! After a day working (blogging), take the evening off for instance.
It’s completely fine if you keep an evening to watch a movie with your love or to have dinner with friends! It’s fine if you keep a few hours of freedom to help your child on his new school project, it’s also completely ok to keep some time to do exercise, go for a walk or practice an instrument!
You need some time off of your blog as well, otherwise, you’ll end up having a burnout…
For instance, as a dance teacher, I generally take some time off to prepare my class with my boyfriend (who is also my dance partner) or to practice together on the weekend.
8. Work in a clean and tidy environment
This is generally not something people think about, but it’s really influencing your productivity and mood. Imagine working on a desk where you can’t move your mouse because of a pile of books standing in the way. Where you can’t find the paper you need because it’s lost in the middle of hundreds of others. Or where you can barely find space on your desk to put your computer, due to the massive mess spreading on it… How would this feel?
Personally, it drives me crazy! I can’t work if I don’t have space and a clean and tidy environment. I would be exasperated of not finding what I need, I would get annoyed of not having enough space to work properly and feel comfortable, I would get upset of seeing stuff falling from my desk every 10 minutes.
Having a clean and tidy space to work will help you relax and you’ll focus more on what you’re trying to do, rather than getting distracted by the mess and what’s upsetting you.
9. Declutter regularly
As a blogger/influencer, I’m sure you take a LOT of pictures. Do you really need 100 pictures of this dish you made or this outfit you were wearing for your latest blog post? Most probably not. When decluttering, delete the pictures you know you won’t use and maybe keep 10 out of the 100 to repurpose in the future.
You can also check all the printed documents you are storing. Are they all useful and still relevant? If you keep them, make sure to tidy them up and classify them, so you can find them easily whenever you need them. BUT if you don’t need them, then just throw them away (in the recycling of course!) and make some space for more important papers.
As a blogger, I’m sure you also have tonnes of pens and notebooks! When decluttering, it’s a good idea to double check that all your pens are working. You can then throw away the ones that are no longer working. It’s the same for notebooks (are they still usable? Do you still have space in it? Etc.)
You can also look into all your to-do lists. Check the ones from the previous days or weeks and thrown them away if everything has been ticked off the list or if they are not up-to-date anymore.
It’s also the right moment to tidy up books that have been bothering you on your desk for a little while: it’s time to maybe give them a more appropriate location. You can also sell them if you don’t want to keep them (or give them away).
It’s all about making sure that you keep the right thing at the right place for the right purposes. This will help you keep your “office” clean and tidy (this completes point 8 above).
10. Avoid procrastination
Funny you’ll tell me, but it’s true! All the tips above are here to help you get organized and more productive. However, if you take the time to prepare a to-do list, set priorities and deadlines, but then decide that you don’t want to work on this project now (or the famous “I’ll do it tomorrow”), etc. Then it was a complete waste of time and you might end up missing deadlines! (which would affect your reputation)
Just stick to your to-do list and the priorities you set. You created this list for a reason and according to specific criteria to make sure that nothing gets lost, delayed or forgotten. You don’t really want to waste all of this time and energy to go back to your old habit, do you?
Don’t forget about self-discipline: All of the above points are just tips, but don’t forget to stay strong, work hard and focus! Your success will depend on your hard work, dedication and consistency.
I hope the above tips helped you be more productive or helped you identify what you could do differently to gain in productivity!
And you, what are your favorite tips to stay productive?!
Related topic: FREE printable to-do list