5 Ways to Increase Productivity

Have a lot on your to do list and have no clue where to start?  Here are five ways you can increase your productivity and help with your time management skills.  Plus, we've attached a free daily planner for you to download.

1. Do your ABC's

The ABC method is a popular method in the business world.  Essentially,you to write down all the tasks or goals you have to accomplish be it that day, the next day, that week, or whenever.  Then prioritize them by marking items "A" if they are urgent and important and therefore need to be done first, "B" if they are important but not necessarily urgent, and "C" tasks as things that just would be really nice to get done soon.  

  • You can further prioritize by adding numbers, eg A1 and B3.  According to BrianTracy.com, organize according to what tasks will have the greatest to least (or none) amount of consequences should you not complete them.
  • My husband says he does the ABC method before he leaves work but he does it for the day ahead.  That way he writes down everything he needs to do the next day so he's not bringing it home and he's better prepared.
  • If you like to do things electronically, there are task management apps on the phone that can do both priority categorization and color coding as well as send you scheduled reminders.

2. Get Your Sleep

Go to bed and wake up at same time and only get your recommended hours -- if you're exhausted midday then power nap but don't overdo it at the ends

It's important to do this not only because your body is on a routine so it eventually learns the rhythm and helps you not feel so tired all day long, but also because then you're not wasting hours if you have a particularly hectic schedule.  On the other hand, a healthy sleep routine is also vital to help you better achieve your schedule.  Our bodies require sleep in order to do functions, like repairing itself, that it cannot do during the day because we're too busy doing other things.  This will help increase our immunity and our overall energy so that we can tackle our hectic schedules.

3. Drink Water and Replenish

Not only are you getting what your cells need to metabolize and hydrate your body and all the yummy health stuff, but you're also filling your stomach as you drink.  This has a twofold purpose:

  1. this can offset hunger so you don't eat more than you need to, which can slow you down both physically and mentally (and emotionally if your trying to lose weight);
  2. hunger itself can slow you down because if you're hungry you won't work as quickly and mindfully. And if you're waiting to eat until a dedicated break it can be a less productive time. In which case, drink water, have a healthy snack, or just go eat!

4. Set Goals and Start Early

I always would start an assignment/paper/project in school the day I got it because I knew life happens. If something happened and I couldn't work on it for awhile I'd feel okay because at least I started and I'd pick back up as soon as I could. Or maybe I just was really in the mood to procrastinate. Sometimes we need a mental health break and if you've already started and have set goals on how to finish, why not take a day off in the middle to regroup and rejuvenate your mind and energies?

5. Being Productive is (kind of) a Sprint, Not a Marathon

What works really well for me is to be really dedicated and work hard for a set amount of time and then have "off" time (or a break from the those tasks).  I will work for an hour then maybe take five minutes to just do nothing productive.  It helps me have the mental energy to go strong for another hour right after that.  Sometimes, I'll even be productive!  I like to check emails and social media in my mini breaks.  But it's just nice to just focus on something else for 5, 10, or even 30 minutes sometimes.

What tips and tricks do you have for time management?
We'd love to hear your advice for how you stay productive,
so let us know in the comments and we will feature our favorites
on Twitter using our hashtag #ssbiztips!

How about a daily planner for your free time management tool?

These help us enormously to increase our own productivity.  We hope our day planner will help you conquer your day as well.  Just sign up below to claim your freebie!

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