“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
This quote is one that really stuck with me when I felt like I wasn’t able to accomplish everything I wanted to in a day. It’s so important to know your goals and plan actionable ways to achieve them. Making your plan for the next day the night before will make you so much much more productive. Make a habit of it.
Knowing what you need to accomplish before the day comes is crucial in being productive. It limits all of the time you spend trying to figure out what to do with your time and your day. Take it one step further and plan out things you know you need to accomplish weeks and even months in advance. If you give yourself an amount of time to accomplish it, you will be so much more likely to succeed.
Know your plan, and read it and reread it throughout the day to keep yourself on track. I don’t know about you but crossing things off of my to-do list is extremely gratifying and makes me feel so much more productive. Organizing the steps you need to take to reach your goals is crucial in actually reaching them. Plan a few goals each day that you know you’ll be able to accomplish and then execute.
WAKE UP EARLIER (JUST DO IT)
For some people waking up early is just natural. For the rest of us (myself included), it’s not and we have to make a genuine effort to have a full morning before we start the day. Once you start waking up earlier, it will become easier. Start with waking up 15 or 30 minutes earlier and use that extra time to do something good for yourself. Gradually you won’t be able to sleep later and you’ll value your mornings.
The hardest part is just getting out of bed, it’s so easy to keep hitting snooze. But do yourself a favor and just do it. Do it for you. Productive people make the most of their time and don’t make excuses for themselves. This sounds like tough love but you owe it to yourself to have the extra time to start your morning off right. It will put you on track to have a productive and fulfilling day.
That being said, how you start your morning is going to set the tone for the rest of the day. Don’t wake up and look at your phone first thing. Give your email, social media, and text messages a break. Instead, use your time in the morning to focus on you! What do you need to do for you to help accomplish your goals today? If you start early and follow your plan, you’ll find yourself feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
TAKE TIME TO MEDITATE / REFLECT / CLEAR YOUR MIND
This one seriously made such a huge difference for me. Instead of spending the first 5-10 minutes of your morning scrolling through your phone, take that time to meditate. This can be different for everyone. How you take the time to reflect is totally up to you. Some people may prefer yoga or meditation. Others may benefit more from prayer and thinking about all the of things they’re grateful for. Either way, the goal is to be positive and to appreciate where you’re at.
This is something that is easily forgotten in the hustle and bustle of trying to strive for your goals and the things you want. Don’t forget to appreciate where you are in your life right now, even if it’s not perfect or where you want to be forever. Trust me you won’t be there forever and you’ll wish you would have really taken in the moment when you had it.
This is such good practice for being grateful and intentional throughout your day. It’s so easy to think of all the things you don’t have and compare yourself to everyone else. Do yourself a favor and stay in your own lane. The only person you should be trying to be better than is the person that you were yesterday! It’s hard to have a productive day if you’re busy trying to match up to someone else’s accomplishments. If you start your day with a clear mind and a grateful attitude, you can conquer anything you want to.
WRITE. EVERYTHING. DOWN.
This one goes with step one. Along with planning and knowing your goals for the day, make sure that you’re keeping a journal/planner (or both). This way you can capture your great ideas and hold yourself accountable. No one’s perfect and sometimes it’s easy to get off track a little bit. But if you’re writing everything down you can keep yourself in check and make sure you’re doing everything you need to.\
Keeping a planner and checklist is key in productivity, but journaling and taking notes can be just as beneficial. Ever had a brilliant idea or revelation that you totally forgot to act on? Keeping all of your ideas and thoughts in one place will allow you to take action on all of your great plans! We have hundreds of thoughts every day and it’s impossible to remember everything and execute it unless you write it down.
Suddenly remember that bill you have coming up? Write it down. Thought of a question you’ve been meaning to ask your boss? Write it down. Thought of a new healthy recipe you’ve been meaning to try out? You get the picture. This can be from small things to really big things you need to accomplish. If you’re writing it down you’re so much closer to actually making it happen. This will make you so much more productive.
If you don’t take a break and reward yourself for all of your hard work you’re going to get burnt out. This might seem like some kind of mind game and kind of reminds me of Pavlov’s Dog experiment (does anyone else remember that?). But seriously a big part of being productive is knowing when it’s time to take a break. The biggest hindrance of productivity is all of the distraction available around us. Instead of taking continuous breaks and mindlessly scrolling through Facebook try finishing a task and rewarding yourself with a break.
Keep your time under control by rewarding yourself with things like social media, bad television, and other distractions that are keeping you away from what you need to get done. Once you’ve designated a task and completed it allow yourself 15 minutes to get on Instagram and catch up on the day’s happenings. It’s so easy to be on the internet and get lost. It leads to a lot of wasted time (something I’ve definitely struggled with). So rewarding yourself is crucial. Whatever your reward may be, don’t forget to give yourself some credit for all of your hard work!
ACCOMPLISH SMALL STEPS ONE AT A TIME
This is the best advice I’ve been given when it comes to becoming more productive. It’s easy to think that productivity means finishing 50 things in one day. That’s definitely not that case. Being productive can mean accomplishing one big thing or a series of really small steps that are going to lead you to something bigger. Think quality over quantity and don’t be unrealistic with yourself. Know what’s reasonable to accomplish in a single day.
Success comes when you take a bunch of small steps every single day. Consistency is the only way to reach your larger goals and increase your productivity. Don’t get stressed out or discouraged about the millions of things you need to do (I’ve been there). Instead, make an actionable plan and show up every day to work towards it.
It’s easy to get lost and feel like you’re so far away from where you feel like you should be. It’s not until you look back that you realize how far you’ve really come. Be present for the journey! I know you’ve probably heard the quote “It’s not the destination but the journey” and as cheesy as this may seem it’s SO true. You will fall short sometimes and you may feel like you have so much on your plate. But you will get through it if you’re consistent and you put forth the effort every day.
Start your day with this attitude and be grateful for what you learn from your failures and your successes! Even if you can’t get to everything all at once know that you will get there one step at a time.
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I hope these 6 Keys to Being More Productive have helped you. These things don’t happen overnight so just do your best to implement them gradually and eventually they’ll be second nature. Remember one step at a time and you’ll be on your way to accomplishing all of your goals. I’d love to hear your feedback! If you have any questions at all or need any advice please let me know!