Did you know that the phrase “how to increase your productivity” was googled around 1,000 times in just the past 12 months and the phrase “how to be more productive” was searched around 2,000 times? obviously this is something that a lot of people are interested in.
Productivity is very important to a lot of people, in our daily lives and our professional ones. There’s only so many hours in the day and we want to make the most out of all those moments.
I have never been a very scheduled person, I used to hate the idea of schedules if I’m honest because they just felt super restrictive. But, as I’ve grown up I’ve realized that a schedule isn’t a restriction so much as a tool to help you achieve your best in any given day.
So I’ve put together a list of things that have helped me in my endeavor to boost productivity in my own life.
Plug your phone in across the room.
- A lot of us plug our phones in by our bed and we scroll through social media before falling asleep and first thing after we wake up. (If you don’t do this, then I applaud you for not falling into this habit) This is something I’m still trying to break. But the first step for me has been plugging my phone in across the room at my desk. That way I wake up, turn off my alarm clock and if I want to look at my phone, I have to get out of bed to do so. It’s actually been very helpful already, although I occasionally have mornings where I’ll grab my phone and go lay under the covers a little longer because its cold and I’m still breaking the habit, but in any case, I’ve seen a definite improvement in my productivity because many times when I wake up, I think about checking my phone and remember it is plugged in across the room at my desk which reminds me I want to get my day started with more purpose than my usual mindless scrolling for a half hour or more. There have been mornings where I completely forget to check my phone and I go about my morning routine and then check my social media and those days are always my more productive days. **Side note, I’m not saying checking your social media before falling asleep and first thing in the morning, just that this can tend to lead to a slower start to your day and having those few moments where you first wake up be all about you and your thoughts, maybe even the lingering memories of the dream you just had, is an important aspect of the morning and our modern technology can make us forget those little things that can be instrumental in developing our relationship with ourselves.**
Wake up Earlier.
- Okay, you may not like this one very much but bear with me. I’m not saying you have to become a morning person, BUT, a study by Christoph Randler (a biology professor at the University of Education in Heidelberg, Germany.) shows that morning people tend to be more proactive than evening types and thus, more productive. I have found that waking up earlier has made me much more productive. For one thing, it feels like there are way more hours in the day when I get up at 6 or 7am than when I was waking up at 9 or 10am which means I have more time for things that I enjoy as well as things that I need to get done. So, even if it’s just waking up an hour earlier than you usually do, you can add an extra hour to your day and it could help you increase your productivity.
Have an EVENING routine.
- A relaxing and thoughtful evening routine is the secret to being able to wake up effortlessly earlier. I’m very pro-morning routine as well, but the secret to having a productive morning (and subsequent day) rests on your evening routine. Your body and mind need time to relax and get ready for sleep. Many times, we over saturate ourselves with social media, staying out late with friends or binge watching our favorite show as we fall asleep and this can contribute to insomnia. I get it, I do this a lot. But I’ve recently decided to stop. Instead of watching a show as I fall asleep (like I’ve done for the last four years or so) I removed the tv from my bedroom and I have been reading instead. I’ll admit, this is also another thing I’m still currently working on so I do have nights (especially on weekends) where I watch a show on my kindle while falling asleep. Its a hard habit to break, but on the nights where I watch a show as I’m falling asleep I’ve noticed I will still wake up when my alarm goes off and I still get up but I feel 100% more groggy and sluggish than when I read before bed instead. Its amazing to notice the difference it makes in my day. So, think about your evening routine, watch a show, read a book, have a bath whatever it is for a few hours before you have to go to bed at a decent hour (without over-saturating your mind with technology) and then enjoy a less stressfull nights rest.
Plan your day the night before.
- This kind of goes hand in hand with your evening routine. One of the things that can slow a morning down is not having a plan, whether it’s what to wear, what to take for lunch or even what you’re doing that day. For your evening routine, before you start relaxing, it may be a good idea to figure out what outfit you’ll wear in the morning, what you’ll be taking for lunch and/or figure out a game plan for the day. This should help your morning go much smoother and you’ll have less rushing around and stress happening in your life. As with anything else in life, set yourself up for success.
I hope these suggestions are as useful to others as they have been for me. I’ve actually really been enjoying figuring out how to be a more organized and productive person lately. I have many ideas and lots of interests and it can be hard for someone with such eclectic interests to actually accomplish something so, this has been a big part of what I’m doing lately in the self-development department; because we never truly are finished refining ourselves or learning new ways to live, right?
Drop any useful productivity ideas in the comments if you feel the urge!
Be blessed friends.