09 Mar 9 Tips on How To Be More Productive
We all get a little lazy sometimes, but how can we ensure we can be more productive? I often realize that after I have started a task it is easier to complete it (for example writing this blog post). I often wear various ‘hats’ throughout the week which include grad student, entrepreneur, development associate, friend…the list goes on. I am creating a lifestyle that will allow me to have more freedom in my future but while I am in the process of building my empire, I have to be able to find a balance and remain productive. I am sure you can list some of the various ‘hats’ you wear throughout the week, but how can you ensure that you remain consistent and productive?
I would like to provide you with 9 tips on becoming more productive:
- Determine what time of the day you are most productive.
So some people are morning people and others are afternoon and evening people. Personally, I can find a balance in both. Determine when your productive hours are. If you don’t enjoy waking up early in the morning then I’m sure we can dismiss mornings as your most productive time, but if in the early afternoons you are able to really get things done because you’re alert and the suns out, then this may be your most productive hour. If it is not transparent whether your productive hours are early or late, test it out and see how much you can get done at different times of the day.
- Determine where your most productive environment is.
For me, I enjoy a certain degree of distractions while I study because somehow it makes me more focused. So my usual productive locations include public areas like Starbucks and the library. I also enjoy listening to music and doing multiple things at one time, but that’s just me. When I have a playlist of great music while reading and completing assignments and tasks, I feel like I am on fire. What about you? Is your room a good place for you to be productive because you have everything at your disposable? Or do you need complete silence whenever you are completing tasks? Selecting your environment will help you be more productive.
For tasks that have deadlines associated with them you will need to become familiar with the skill of prioritizing. For example, if you have an assignment due in 3 days, you can create a list of all the things that need to be completed during the week and rank them on the list or rank them mentally based on how important they are. Which leads to a discussion on procrastination (which can be a post all on its own). If you develop your ability to prioritize, you will decrease your chances of procrastination. Be real about what you need to get done before-hand and think about how relaxed and free your schedule will be If you get it done in advance. I don’t know about you, but I used to hate the anxiety I felt when I procrastinated, not to mention my stress level. Prevent procrastination by prioritizing.
- Set to work on your goals in time increments.
How is your attention span? Once you get in the groove of things, how long can you stick with it before getting bored? I often find it useful to complete tasks in time increments that include 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, etc. You probably know yourself well enough to know how much time you should put aside to get things done and remain focused. Also, don’t forget to take breaks in between. You can spend, for example, 30 minutes writing a paper and then 10 minutes doing something not associated with school, work, etc. Make use of your time based on your unique characteristics.
- Turn off electronic devices to remain focused.
So I realized the importance of this when I decided to cut off my phone for a few hours. During my off-grid hours I subconsciously pick up my phone to check my notifications. Addicted to social media, notifications or…?!! And I know you do it too. Society has made it so that we believe that we need be aware of things at all times and post on some sort of social media account on a regular basis. Because God forbid I’m not on social media for a month and don’t get a notification that my friend has just got engaged! (rolls eyes) But that’s another post for another day about how social media ultimately isolates us. But back on the topic of discussion, you can spare an hour or so of being off grid to have the peace and focus to get things done. The notification will be there when you’re done.
- Determine what you can do immediately.
When creating your list of to-dos you can determine what can be done immediately at that moment or can wait a few hours or days. I often find that if I remember to do something I am more likely to get it done if I do it immediately than if I tell myself I will just do it later. Why? Because there is a chance I will forget and/or become lazy when I remember again. This goes back to prioritizing. If it is something at the top of your list and it will only take 10 minutes, then why not do it now. There’s an example I want to share with you that made me realize a few things: 1) I need to make more time for myself and 2) I can spare a few minutes. My sister shared a link through Instagram for a 15 second breathing exercise. I immediately thought, “I don’t have time for this, I’ll do it later.” Really? I didn’t have 15 seconds?! I immediately realized how ridiculous I was and did the exercise, and guess what, I was more relaxed, and I didn’t lose any time.
- Synchronize your goals with your calendar.
And this my favorite among all the tips I am sharing with you! Why? Because it makes me 10xs more productive, and perhaps because I am a planning, structure-oriented nerd. So if you saw my calendar it would appear that I have a full schedule ahead of me each day. My calendar reminders consist of 2 things: daily affirmations/motivation and daily goals/reminders. Not only am I speaking life into myself every day, but I am reminded of everything I set out to do. Phone calendars often allows you to set the alert time before events whether it is 15 minutes or 1 hour before. I often do this on various occasions to remind myself of events the day of but also the day before. I promise you this will make you the most productive, if you take the time to enter your weekly goals in your phone. Think about it, you’re on your phone probably more than half the day so why not use it as a way to make you more productive?
- Set multiple reminders -paper to-do lists, phone calendar reminders and sticky notes.
Apart from synchronizing my calendar you can also make paper to-do lists, and place sticky notes in areas that are consistently visible for you. These additional reminders will help you keep yourself accountable. You will have seen it more than once throughout the day, so it will appear in your mind even after seeing it twice. The fact that it is still there, for example on a highlighter yellow sticky note on your door will make you more inclined to complete the task, because you’re tired of seeing that dog-on sticky note. And there is something fulfilling about being able to check something off your list or finally toss that sticky note that has been staring at you for days. Hold yourself accountable and set more than one reminder.
- Keep your vision in front of you.
Finally and most importantly, keep your vision in front of you. Those small tasks and goals you have set over the days, the weeks and months are leading to something. They are all puzzles to a big picture whether it’s a college degree, structure of a business, savings plan, a community program to transform lives, etc. Always (always, always) keep your vision in front of you Queen/King, this is what will continue to catapult you to the next level.
Now you may be saying, “Wow Kia, this is too much girl!” I’m not saying you should adopt all of these tips all at onc,e but I do challenge you to consider trying out a few and seeing which work for you. If the first set don’t work for you, try another set, but at least try. I only encourage you to adopt a few of these tips because I am so set on you achieving your dreams! Develop your skills to be more productive at establishing your empire, because let’s be real, a 9-5 isn’t going to get you millions… but that’s a whole other post.
Thank you for being part of my journey. I would love to hear from you! Let’s talk. You can comment below, send me an email or we can connect on Instagram.
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