Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Be Insanely Productive

I don’t want to toot my own horn or anything, but I’m pretty darn good at mastering productivity & time management.

There are a lot of areas of my life where I need to be productive. I’m a stay at home mom.  In addition, throw maintaining physical fitness, eating well, and creating some time for my personal well-being all in the mix. My life can be pretty hectic, but I try to do my best to balance it all.

Not to say that I’m perfect in all of these areas, because I’m most definitely not. Productivity is a skill, and it requires patience (which I don't really have), practice, and compassion towards oneself.

I would like to share with you ways that I am able to stay productive even on days where I’m feeling tired, cranky, and not motivated. Sometimes, you just have to buckle down and tell yourself to quit making excuses. There are lots of things to accomplish. But believe me- it can be SO hard to train your mind this way when you just aren’t feelin’ it.

I’m compiled a list of 10 of my tricks to help you become an insanely more productive person. Whether you need to be productive for work, school, or just life in general, these tips will help you hold yourself accountable for what you need to accomplish.

Be excited about the final outcome

Productivity is all about self-motivation. What are you looking to achieve? Think about the big picture. Writing that lab report for school will put you one step closer to finishing the semester, which in turn ensures a college degree. Finishing that 3-mile run will count as your third workout this week, which means you’ve hit your goal.

See where I’m coming from? FIND REASONS to get you through this hurdle. Think about the final goal. Envision yourself there, and make it happen. Mind over matter. Positive thinking does wonders.
Get in the zone

What in the heck is going to make you feel motivated? For me, I need to have a clean house. I can’t do a darn thing if I’m in a messy work environment. It also helps if have music on and a candle burning. Whatever puts you in your “happy place,” make it work. Surround yourself in an environment that will ultimately boost your productivity. It’s hard to get things done if you have other distractions getting in your way.
Give yourself timed increments and breaks

I might sound like a drill sergeant here, but these timed increments with breaks works wonders. You can’t power through and be productive for 4 hours straight without taking a break. I feel like that’s almost physically impossible. Remember- often the hardest part about starting a project is simply STARTING it. And you can DO this.

Caffeine = Life

Maybe I shouldn’t be promoting caffeine because too much of it isn’t a good thing, but I’m not going to lie…. I’m a deadbeat without my coffee. Nothing is going to happen without it! There is just something soothing about sipping on a coffee while working. If you’re not a coffee drinker, try tea. Tea has amazing health benefits, is packed with antioxidants, and will still give you that little buzz that you need.

Workout in the morning

Whenever I work out in the morning, I’m usually insanely productive the rest of the day. Working out totally energizes me. Not to mention the endorphin rush fuels my positive vibes because I feel like I already accomplished a huge thing on my To-do list. Speaking of which…

Make a To-Do List

I’m a huge fan of To-Do lists. However– notice there is a difference here– REALISTIC to-do lists. Because nothing feels worse than when the day is over and you only accomplished half of the things on your list. That’s a GREAT way to cut yourself down. I like to only put things that I KNOW I have time to accomplish on my list. I’ll write down what I’m going to do and in that exact order, so I keep myself accountable.

For example:

Sample list:

1.) open/sort mail
2.) put dinner in the Crock-pot

3.) bring laundry upstairs

4.) finish blog post

5.) sort fridge

6.) wash sheets
7.) wipe down cabinets

This list isn’t super long or overwhelming. I know that I can accomplish everything on this list in one day. And if I DO, I treat myself.

Have a friend hold you accountable

It is so easy to fall off the wagon, but if you have someone there to personally cheer you on, you keep pushing through.  Tell your husband, tell your mom, tell your kids!!!!

Bottom line: Tell someone your goals. Have someone monitor your progress. MAKE THEM keep you accountable!

Keep a routine

Routines, routines, ROUTINES!!! Routines are everything. Nothing ruins productivity more than a sporadic day without a plan. Make a routine and be consistent with it! Work out at the same time every day. Respond to emails every morning when you wake up. Go for a walk after dinner every night. Routines become habits, and habits become Productivity Juice.  We all know that kids thrive on productivity.  We as parents thrive on their schedule of sleep/nap/play... so why not incorporate that routine schedule as part of your life.  

Manage your time well

This can be a tricky one. Managing your time is a skill that requires practice. The key is to chunk up your day and work on things bit by bit so you avoid procrastination.

Post motivational quotes

This sounds super cheesy, but I’m a lot more motivated when I read motivating literature and quotes. Sometimes all you need is that little boost to lift you up when you’re feeling down.

I hope you have a super productive Tuesday.  

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