Productivity isn’t something that just magically happens. In order to be productive every day, getting into a consistent routine and knowing yourself well enough to avoid distractions is key. You can’t expect to hop out of bed in the morning ready to be productive – you need to make sure you’re working with your own strengths, and aiming to understand your weaknesses. Below, you’ll find 15 crucial things you should know about productivity:
1 – Your Personality Type Matters
Knowing your personality type is very important. However, you don’t need an in-depth look – although that could help you to learn even more about yourself and the environments you thrive in, which can only be a good thing.
Just start by asking yourself one simple question: are you an introvert or an extrovert? Extroverts get their energy from interacting with others, while introverts get their energy from their own inner worlds, and interacting with others actually drains them.
If you’re an introvert, it’s especially important to protect your energy. You have a limited number of interactions each day until you feel drained, so keep this in mind as you get things done.
2 – A Small Distraction Could Cost You More Time Than You Think
When you’re focused on a task, stay focused for as long as you can. This may be 30 minutes or more, so avoid letting little things distract you. Make the most of it when you feel ‘in the zone’, as it can take over 20 minutes to get back into ‘the zone’ once you have been distracted. If the phone rings, ignore it.
Be very consistent with your boundaries and precious with your time. If you constantly make yourself available by putting out every little fire, you’ll feel like you never get anything done.
3 – Caffeine And Supplements Can Be Used To Extend Productivity
If you want to extend your productivity, there are a number of supplements that could help you. Just make sure you’re supporting your body and mind by staying hydrated and eating a balanced diet too – no amount of supplements will help you to feel good if you’re eating junk day in, day out.
Remember, try one supplement at a time, and get your doctor’s advice if you’re not sure. It’s always worth doing your own research to be sure that nothing is going to contraindicate any condition you already have. You can try:
- Yerba mate
- Lion’s Mane/Reishi/Ashwagandha and other mushroom supplements
Remember, try one at a time and see which works for you. You’ll likely need to wait a few weeks to get a feel for the results. If you try more than one method at once, you may not know which is working best for you.
4- Nothing Beats A Good Night’s Sleep
Although you can eat a healthy diet and take supplements, nothing quite beats a good night’s sleep when you need to get more done. Getting less than 6 hours a night can be as bad as having no sleep at all, according to studies.
Aim for 8 hours, but make sure you pay close attention to when you feel your best. Depending on your natural energy levels, how you exert yourself each day and individual needs, you will need different amounts of sleep.
Remember that sleeping too much can be as bad as not sleeping enough.
5 – Exercise In The Morning And See How Much More You Get Done
Exercise is so important for a healthy body and mind, but if you want a productive day, the best time to do it is before anything else. When you exercise first, everything else you do will be so much more enjoyable.
Not only will you have treated yourself to a huge endorphin boost for the rest of the day, you will have already accomplished a great thing. This gets you into a brilliant mindset for the rest of the day. There are so many reasons to exercise, even if you just go for a walk or do some yoga.
6 – Great Software Is Always Worth The Investment
Certain pieces of software could help you to save a lot of time and money in the long run, so they are worth the expense. Something like production scheduling software will allow you to optimize production throughout your entire business.
7 – A Consistent Routine Will Help To Ground You For The Day and Get You Into The Right Mindset
As we mentioned in the intro, you won’t just wake up in the morning and feel productive. By getting into a consistent routine, you can get ready for the day. Using your morning routine as an almost ‘ritual’ will help you to get into a great mindset each day and ready to do some work. Below are some ideas:
- Drink a pint of water as soon as you get up to hydrate your body and mind.
- Take your vitamins/supplements.
- Do a 30 minute workout.
- Eat breakfast and listen to an audiobook, or read a chapter of a personal development book.
- Block out 30 minutes to an hour for work.
- Take a short break.
- Block out more time for work.
Scheduling your breaks is just as important as scheduling your work times. This will help you to stay motivated, as you know you have a break coming soon. People often find they do better with shorter working blocks and shorter, more regular breaks than a couple of long breaks and longer working blocks.
8 – Eating The Frog Can Revolutionize Your Day
You don’t actually have to force down a frog as a sort of medicine to get more done. ‘The Frog’ is the hardest task. The one you’re dreading. Do it first, no excuses, and you could revolutionize your entire day.
Doing the hardest task first will give you a sense of accomplishment that will make the rest of the day seem easy in comparison. Not only that, you’ll be making the most of your energy levels early on in the day, and can save less mentally and physically taxing tasks for later on, when you have less energy.
9 – The People You Spend Time With Matters
The people you spend time with will rub off on you. If you’re spending time with people who are not productive, and do not wish to be, you could be doing yourself a disservice. You become the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Would you be ok with that?
10 – Downtime Well Spent Can Have A Positive Effect On Productivity
Everybody needs downtime – even when you’re trying to be as productive as possible. Rewarding yourself with something you love can be a great motivator when you want to be productive. Promise yourself you’ll have that fancy hot bath and nice wine later providing you get the two most important tasks of the day done.
It’s also essential to note that self care is important, and you don’t need to ‘earn’ it to allow yourself some of it. Using it as a motivator is fantastic, but take care of yourself regardless. Really utilize your downtime so you can get back to work refreshed and raring to go.
11 – Time Blocking Is Great For Natural Procrastinators
Block out your time in the evening for the next day. Block out every little thing you are going to do, from showering, to having breakfast, to eating that frog. Estimate how long it will take, and block it out. Then all you have to do is stick to your schedule. When you’re on schedule and can see the end in sight, you’ll be less likely to procrastinate.
12 – Multitasking Will Slow You Down
Don’t multitask, no matter how great you think you are at it. Focus on one task at a time, and you’ll be left with a better quality of work.
13 – Having Priorities Set For The Day Matters
You don’t need to make a fully fledged to-do list. In fact, this can be a negative thing if you’re always piling so many tasks on there that they don’t all get done. Then you become disheartened, and you feel like a failure.
Instead, have a list of the tasks you must absolutely do for the day. If something doesn’t really need to be done, don’t add it to the list. A list of less than 5 things is usually realistic. You can celebrate when you have everything ticked off, and anything you get done on top of the essential tasks will be a bonus. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many to-do list tasks!
14 – Limit Things You Know Will Distract You
Knowing yourself means knowing the things that distract you. Is it social media? Your phone? Online shopping? Emails? Have set times for checking them and avoid them when you really need to get things done.
15 – You Should Aim To Handle Things Only Once
If you’re struggling to eat the frog, then do a few small tasks (they should take less than 10 minutes) first. This will help you to get into the zone, and you can then move onto more important, deep work. Just don’t procrastinate by doing tasks that can wait, or you will never get the most important tasks done.