Being productive is of utmost importance to me. Think about how differently you feel when you get lots of things done, versus days when you don’t. Speaking for myself, on those unproductive days, I feel frustrated, exhausted or grumpy. On extra-productive days, on the other hand, I feel on top of the world. It feels good to get stuff done! How does this relate to your health and overall well-being? Feeling good mentally and emotionally has a huge, positive impact on how you feel physically. Here are three tips that have helped to keep me productive.
Take Note of How You Are Spending Your Time
Do you find yourself rushing around and flustered often? Feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day? First, remember that, often when you are feeling like this, you end up in a state of overwhelmed paralysis, and you end up doing a lot of nothing. Stay calm, write down what needs to get done, and do one task at a time.
Secondly, take note of how much time you are spending on social media and watching TV. If it’s interfering with your productivity, work on setting limits for yourself. Perhaps limit yourself to 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunchtime and 10 minutes after dinner on social media. Set a timer!
Consider limiting yourself to one (or less) episodes on Netflix per day. We all have 24 hours in a day; it’s up to you how much you choose to get done within those 24 hours.
Keep a Specific To-Do List
This is the most important tip of them all. If you only remember one thing from this article, let it be this one. This to-do list need not be 50 items long. That will only overwhelm and stress you out. Keep a daily to-do list that has 4-6 realistic things that need to be accomplished throughout the day. I found a fabulous to-do list at a local store that has one sheet per week. Each day of the week has six blank lines with a ‘check off’ box beside each line. Writing down my daily to-do’s on this list has been extremely helpful for me. Some days I may have all six lines filled, and other days I may have less. I like to somewhat plan the whole week at one time. I’ll add in things as the day arrives, but this way, I have an idea of already set meetings and other important things that must be done on a specific day.
It’s not a crime to write something down on your to-do list that you’ve already done so that you can have the satisfaction of checking it off. In fact, studies show doing this can help motivate you to do more! It feels good to accomplish something, and we all love marking things off of our list, am I right?
The 2 Minute Rule
In the January issue of Forsyth Woman, Megan Taylor wrote an article called “The 2 Minute Rule.” You can read it online at ForsythWoman.com if you missed it! In the article, she goes into detail about David Allen’s 2-minute rule. Basically, if you can get something done in 2 minutes or less—stop putting it off and just DO it. Even if this task is only Step One towards a bigger task. The point? Action creates action. Sometimes the hardest part is getting started. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to stay on the couch and click ‘continue to next episode’ of Netflix for the 5th time in a row? You get used to that non-action and making an effort to get up is hard! On the flip side, action can create action. Have you ever started cleaning out a drawer and before you know it, you’ve moved on to cleaning out the whole closet? (OK, maybe that’s just me, but you get my drift!)
As always, try out one or all of these tips for a month and see how you feel. I hope your productivity levels skyrocket and that you feel on top of the world!