10 Best Tips To Be More Productive

Productivity is about getting more done in less time. When you increase your productivity, you increase your free time. You increase your profits if they’re tied to your productivity. And quite often, you increase your success and sense of satisfaction. Being more productive isn’t always intuitive. It helps to learn the tactics the most successful entrepreneurs use. 

1) Plan Tomorrow The Night Before

From the time you get up in the morning to when your head hits the pillow at night, there are millions of thoughts that cross your mind.

Remembering all the things you need to do can seem overwhelming and it’s easy for decision fatigue to creep in and kill your productivity.

Before you go to bed each night, make sure to sit down at your planner or calendar and write down your to-do list and tasks for the next day.

Identify the goals you want to achieve, the tasks you need to finish, and schedule your time.

This tactic is effective for two reasons.

  1. It supports you to get a good night’s sleep. It’s much easier to leave the day’s stress behind you when you have your day planned. It helps clear your mind so you can relax. 
  2. When you take time at night to plan your upcoming day, you’re able to start the day with a clear itinerary. You can hit the ground running and start making your day productive as soon as you wake up.

2) Identify Your Productivity Personality

When are you most energized, productive, and able to focus? For many the answer is “first thing in the morning,” but that isn’t always the case.

Some people don’t really hit full stride until after lunch and night owls are more productive when it’s dark.

It’s critical to know your own body clock and when you are most productive and combine this with your productivity personality to maximize results.

According to Productivity Coach and Consultant Carson Tate, there are 4 types of productivity personality:

  • The Prioritizer
    • An analytical, realistic and logical thinker who sticks to the facts. The like to plan their work days as efficiently as possible
  • The Planner
    • Excels in organizing, sequencing and detailing actions. Whereas the Prioritizer focuses on details that will get the project finished quickly, the planner will detail all aspects of the project
  • The Arranger
    • Emotional and intuitive, this personality is likely to bring a positive boost to the team and encourage other members. They don’t usually get on with Prioritizers.
  • The Visualiser
    • Creatitive and intuitive they enjoy generating their own solutions to problems by breaking down and combining different elements of a project. They work well under pressure and bore easily if under stimulated.

3) Use Planning Systems

There are many different types of planners.

It doesn’t matter if you use a notebook and embrace bullet journaling or if you love technology and use a mobile app to keep you on track.

Find a system you enjoy using that supports you to schedule your time and create task lists.

Google calendar is a simple, and free, technology that you can use from your computer, on your phone, and anywhere there is an internet connection. 

Using a planning system reduces your mental load as you no longer have the pressure of remembering all of your plans and tasks.

4) Schedule Admin Tasks For Your Least Productive Time

Just like you have a most productive time of day, you also have a time of day where you have less energy, are easily distracted, and don’t feel as productive.

This is when you should schedule administrative tasks, which aren’t directly connected to profits or a goal.

For most people, the best time of day for administrative work is in the afternoon when you may feel sluggish or tired after lunch.

Remember, you can’t be productive 100% of the time.

Using your non-productive time wisely can stop those little tasks from creeping into your personal life.

Focus on work when you’re at work and commit to focusing on fun, friends, and family when you’re not working. 

5) Prioritize Your Tasks

Failing to prioritize your tasks can have a real impact on your overall productivity.

Let’s say you’re more productive in the morning.

You get up, start working and spend an hour going through your emails.

Is that the best task for that time?

Chances are, no, going through your emails is not high-value work. You may need to spend 10 minutes at the start of the day replying to your most important emails, but shelve the rest for your admin time.

When you set priorities for your day think about what is most important for you to get done tomorrow? (Remember, you’re planning the night before.)

What tasks will have the biggest impact on your day’s success?

What tasks will help you achieve your goals?

Focus on those tasks during your most productive time of day.

6) Set Your Goals and Milestones

Goal setting is an essential habit for high productivity.

It helps keep you focused and allows you to break down your daily tasks into steps and milestones.

Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail without a destination

Fitzhugh Dodson

Think of a milestone as a mini-goal.

For example, if you are writing a book, a milestone might be to finish the outline, finish the first draft, and edit the book, and so on.

As milestones are smaller and easier to achieve they help keep your motivation high. Continually hitting milestones keeps you accountable and makes sure you hit your goal.

7) Keep Your Lists With You

Keep yourself accountable and on track by having your lists ready to hand for when your mind goes blank.

If you like pen and paper use some thing small like a notebook as your bullet journal so you are able to carry it around with you.

If you prefer digital then an application like Evernote or the simple Notepad that probably came installed on your phone will do.

This also works well if you remember something that’s missing from your list, or have a new idea. Intead of loosing focus on what your working on, quickly jot it down in your notebook so you can come back to it later.

8) Sort Out Your DND (Do Not Disturb)

One of the biggest productivity busters are those sneaky interruptions.

You know, when the phone rings, your child knocks on the office door, or you accidentally visit Facebook in the middle of a project.

Create protected time. Hang up your DND sign.

It can be so hard to carry on working when your child wants your attention, but protecting your work time will give you more free time overall.

It takes around 23 minutes to refocus after a distration. So three distractions in a day will keep you working for an hour longer than if you hadn’t been distracted.

Leverage technology to block distractions like phone calls and Facebook.

Stay Focused is a Chrome extension that’s completely free and helps you minimize distractions like social media and email.

9) Set the Clock

Set a specific amount of time to accomplish important tasks.

For example, if your first task of the day is to plan your schedule for the next month, give yourself an hour, or less, to get the job done.

Set an egg timer or use the alarm on your phone. Setting a timer helps you stay focused. And if you set the timer for less time, it forces you to move through the task with speed. 

For example, if you would like to block an hour for schedule planning, give yourself 45 minutes instead. You’ll work quickly and effectively to get done in time. And if you schedule something for right after, you won’t be able to run over you’ll have to get it done in your allotted time. 

10) Perfection Is A Productivity Killer

Don’t try to make it perfect, It’ll take ten times longer than it should.

Instead, focus on what is important and leverage the help of others to make it the best it can be.

Perfectionism is a dream killer, because it’s just fear disguised as trying to do your best.

Mastin Kipp

Continuing with the example of writing a book, write the book. Don’t worry about perfection, and then leverage feedback from beta readers and editors to make it the best it can be.

Your job is to first focus on getting the book (or task) done.

It’s also important to remember that while you can embrace these 10 tips to be more productive, one of the best ways to ensure consistent productivity is to take good care of yourself.

Exercise, get enough sleep, and fuel your body with nutritious foods. Then, you’ll have the mental and physical energy to integrate these tips into your day. 

Being more productive is about setting goals and priorities.

It’s about creating systems that support you to succeed and leveraging both technology and the skills of others to ease your burden. And it’s about recognizing your personal productivity style and needs. To your success and limitless productivity!

Let me know in the comments if there’s any additional productivity tips you use.