1. Become an Early bird
Try starting your working day an hour earlier. If you’re not someone who is normally a morning person, this can be a little tricky at first! But soon enough you will start to notice the benefits of waking up a little earlier, without anyone to disrupt you. And if you’re worried about sticking to this habit, remember consistency is key. Try waking up at the same time every day for two weeks ~ soon enough your body will wake up without your alarm clock.
2. Maximize your Power hour
In the digital age we live in, the first thing we do is usually to check out emails or social media accounts. But it probably won’t surprise you to read that this is a trap! Soon enough you will lose your first hour, the most productive of the day due to your mind being clearest. So be sure to avoid distractions in the first hour and use this time to pursue creativity ~ writing, reading, goal setting, etc.
3. Learn the power of getting dressed
Many of the world’s leading CEO’s swear by having a work uniform. This doesn’t mean you have to roll out of the bed and get dressed in a power suit every day ~ this could be as simple as a t-shirt and jeans every day. The point is, once your work uniform is on, so is your work ethic. It signals to your mind that it is time to get things done!
4. Always Make a list
No matter how many productivity apps come and go through the golden age of technology, there’s no app that works quite as well as making a list. Plain and simple. The best way to utilise lists is to use both high level and low-level lists. At the start of each week, write a list of high-level jobs you would like to complete that week. Start ticking them off one by one. At the start of each day, have a separate list for low-level activities or ‘quick tasks’ like washing your bed sheets or meal prepping.
5. Stick to doing one thing at a time
Jumping from one project to another is a major time waster. Although it can be tempting to multitask and have multiple things on the go at once, it is not only exhausting but also a severe misuse of time. When you jump from one project to another, you waste valuable time switching from one mind space to another. The best way to stay on track is to finish one thing at a time, before moving onto the next.
Read more: The 15 Best Productivity Apps
6. Learn to Compartmentalize
None of us ever wake up without a worry in the world. There is always something or someone pulling at our strings for attention, which can easily lead to procrastination. The best skill to master sooner rather than later is learning to compartmentalize. And if you find it difficult to switch off from distractions, mitigate them! A few years ago I turned off all notifications on my phone. This includes receiving no social media notifications, no email notifications and no alerts. The only way to reach me is to call me, and only a handful of people have my number.
7. Stay inspired
Whether you’re working from an office space or the comfort of your unmade bed, a little inspirational quote, mantra or object never goes astray. I like to stay motivated with a framed quote (I change them often), a few of my favourite business books nearby and a pinboard full of current inspiration.
8. Find your Peak Productivity Times
Everyone has different peak productivity times. Some of my friends work best late in the evening, whereas I like to rise early and use the first few hours of the day to write. No two people are the same – so be sure to identify which time of day you are most productive and use that time wisely.
9. Set yourself Deadlines
If everything seems impossible until it is done, then the only way to get there is to get started! Setting yourself deadlines is a great way to stay on track and you’ll be surprised by how much more you can accomplish when you put a time frame on a task. Just be sure to set realistic goals so you can celebrate the small wins, rather than leave yourself feeling defeated day after day. And don’t forget – if you’re a freelancer then your time is, quite literally, money! So be sure to make consistent deadlines that keep you on task daily.
10. Remember that Done is better than Perfect
Last but not least, we can’t finish this list without mention of productivity’s number one enemy: perfection. Being a perfectionist is the biggest downfall in working hard to get things done. Remember that done is better than perfect and each time you complete a task, you are improving your skills. Over time you will get better naturally and work towards your goals.