Productive – what everyone wants to be but most feel they let slip away.
You always want to do so much but can’t quite get it all done – there’s never enough time in the day it seems like.
Truth be told, I used to find it so hard to be productive unless it was crunch time and I had some sort of deadline to meet.
In a world full of distractions, shiny objects, and immediate gratification, productivity seems to be something that’s easier said than done.
While that’s definitely true, there are ways you can become more productive!
I’m hesitant to call these hacks but rather a new way of doing things that’ll help make productivity a guarantee – instead of a hope.
Audit Your Environment
Have you ever heard of the saying:
“You’re the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with?”
There’s a lot of truth to that statement.
In fact, a Harvard study found that the greatest indicator of personal achievement was environment.
Environment extends well beyond who you hang out with though.
It’s about what you consume (mentally, physically, and emotionally), what’s around you, and what you allow to take up your time.
All of these are reflections of the type of person you will be.
The best way to picture this is to imagine the type of person you would like to become: someone productive for instance.
Would a productive person work in a room with a TV on, phone face up in front of them, and snacks an arms-length away?
I find it hard to believe you could get much done in that situation.
Now imagine you’re in a room with nothing but the task at hand.
Where completing what you need to do is the only option.
Your environment is primed to succeed now because you have no choice but to work on the task at hand!
This is one of the most difficult things to audit because it can hard to cut ties with the things you enjoy doing or the people you’ve built connections with; but if you don’t make the decision to change your environment you will be held down and your productivity limited.
I’m a huge believer, practitioner, and advocate for a morning routine.
Oddly enough, I never used to consider myself to be a morning person until I started making use of this practice. To tell you the truth, a solid morning routine is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself.
I’ve found that when I am consistent with my morning routine my day has more balance, greater purpose, I’m more motivated, and in a happier state overall.
Your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. If you take the time to care for yourself by creating a good headspace from the beginning – it’ll only snowball through the rest of the day!
Your morning routine should be your own thing – whatever helps get you in a good headspace is usually best but there are a few principles that I think every morning routine should incorporate:
Reflection: Either through journaling or meditation – how did yesterday go and how will that help make today better?
Education: Learn something new – get your brain working so you can stay alert and focus for the day.
Movement: MOVE YOUR BODY ANYWAY THAT YOU CAN!
Health: Once you’ve got your mind and body active it’s time to fuel them up with something nutritious. My go-to is a protein shake and Greens to get a heavy boost of micronutrients but you can do a veggie omelet, a smoothie, a full breakfast, anything you want!
Goal-Oriented To-Do List
Every night before you go to bed, you should have an idea for what you would like to accomplish the next day.
Getting a list of 2-4 things (don’t make it too long) that you want to accomplish the next day will have you waking up ready to go instead of lolly gagging around until you feel like choosing something to do.
I used to improve my day all the time and it got me nowhere for a long time. Having a solid list of things that you can check off is the first step in actually getting stuff done.
Get Up Earlier
If you got up an hour earlier each day you’d have 7 extra hours this week, 28 this month, and 336 hours for the year!
That’s about 15 extra days you added to working on yourself and your goals just because you decided to wake up an extra hour earlier.
The morning is the time where you’re able to be most productive, there are no distractions and your will power/motivation are at their highest earlier in the day – so start getting to bed on time so you can start your day moving!
Take Care Of Yourself
9 times out of 10 most people will view being productive as working hard 24/7 but it’s really not like that at all.
I fell for this illusion and it would have me feeling like I was never doing enough – so I would do more.
But when I did too much I would only burn out hard, and hit a huge mental stall leaving me unable to actually do anything of value.
It was after the third time that I burned out (I’m a little stubborn sometimes) that I realized I wasn’t actually helping myself by doing this.
If I needed to be productive I needed to take care of myself.
It’s just like getting a new car, it can take you anywhere you need it to, as fast as you need it to, and whenever you need it to but if you don’t do regular maintenance on it – it’ll give up on you pretty fast.
You’re no different.
You are the vehicle of productivity that gets you to accomplish your goals.
Get your sleep.
Take care of your body.
Enjoy time with your friends.
And don’t be too hard on yourself.