If you’re a busy mom, blogger, entrepreneur, or ladyboss, productivity is key. However, I know how stressful it can be to have seemingly endless to-do lists. When I first started blogging, it took me some time to figure out how to optimize my workflow and get everything done. But lately, I’ve been killing the productivity game!
Today, I’m sharing 20 of my favorite tips for being productive, even if your schedule is chaotic. I hope you find these hacks helpful!
1. Complete smaller tasks first.
It can seem overwhelming when you have a ton of tasks on your to-do list, but chances are you can complete some of those things more quickly than others. If a task will take you fewer than 10 minutes to complete, go ahead and do it first so you won’t have to worry about it when you’re focusing on bigger projects.
2. Prioritize your to-do list using numbers.
After all your little tasks are done, number your to-do list by level of importance. The most pressing item on your list should be #1, then the next most important should be #2, and so on. This way, you can get organized and ensure that you complete crucial tasks first.
I don’t always make it all the way through my to-do list, so prioritizing important tasks is key. It saves me a lot of stress in the end.
3. Break large tasks into smaller steps.
Big projects can seem daunting at first. However, if you break each big project into smaller tasks, you can track your progress more efficiently. Smaller steps will be easier to complete and won’t intimidate you as much.
4. Finish each task completely before moving on to the next.
I used to be one of those people who didn’t ever finish any projects. Now, I make sure to finish every task I start. I’ve learned that if you don’t make sure to finish tasks completely, nothing ever gets done.
5. Use a mouse instead of a trackpad.
Especially if you are doing a lot of work on the computer, this is a must! You can click and scroll much more quickly if you use a mouse. To be honest, I don’t know why trackpads even exist. They are so inefficient!
6. Consume caffeine strategically. (Don’t overdo it!)
Trust me, I love caffeine just as much as you do. However, if you consume too much caffeine or drink coffee late in the day, it can really f-up your sleep schedule. I know from experience.
I actually don’t drink coffee, but I drink an amino energy nutrition supplement that has caffeine in it. Each serving is equivalent to one cup of coffee. What I like to do is consume one serving at 5:30 a.m. before my workout, and then one more serving in the afternoon at about 2 p.m. That schedule gives my body enough time to process the caffeine before I go to bed.
7. Mute your phone notifications when you’re working.
This is a game changer! Phones are SO DISTRACTING, but we don’t always realize it. Social media notifications and texts from friends can wait. I focus so much better when my phone notifications aren’t on. If you don’t turn them off while you work, I highly recommend that you start doing that! You will notice an instant increase in productivity.
8. Know when to say no.
I’m guilty of taking on too many responsibilities at times, especially when it comes to doing favors for other people. However, it’s OK to say no! If you already have too much on your plate, don’t overload yourself with unnecessary tasks. Focus on what’s important to you first.
9. Utilize time blocking.
Time blocking means scheduling out your whole day in advance and giving yourself mini-deadlines to complete certain tasks. This includes time for breaks, meals, and self-care. Try to stick to your schedule once you make it. Time blocking will help you ensure you have time to yourself in the midst of your chaotic day. The mini-deadlines will motivate you to complete everything on your to-do list in a timely manner.
10. Batch similar tasks together.
For example, if you have to send five emails, try to do them all at the same time. This works well because you’re already in email sending mode, and you don’t have to change your workflow at all to get the task done. Once you complete a batch, then you can switch gears and move on to the next task or batch of tasks.
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11. Track your goals using a habit tracker.
This tip is great for achieving long-term goals. A habit tracker is a chart that you can use to create a visual representation of how often you do certain things.
In the chart, there’s a row for each habit and a column for each day of the month. Whenever you complete a task, you simply mark the box in the chart that corresponds to the date you completed it. That way, you can see how many times per month you completed the task.
12. Have a notepad nearby to quickly write down ideas without getting distracted.
Inspiration is fleeting, and it pops up at the most random times for me. (Especially at 3 a.m.)
Whenever I’m working, I like to keep a notepad close by so I can write down ideas as they come to me without getting distracted from the task at hand. A physical notepad works well because I don’t have to exit out of the app or window I’m using on my laptop.
13. Stop multitasking!
Multitasking kills productivity by slowing you down. You are also more likely to make errors while you multitask because you’re focusing on more than one thing at once. By taking on on one task at a time, you will complete your work faster and with fewer errors.
14. Be more disciplined.
Being successful at anything in life requires discipline. Instead of watching TV or playing video games at night, do something productive. Cook yourself a healthy meal, organize your home, or make your to-do list for the next day. You will get more done and reduce your stress.
15. Wake up early.
This is a big one for me! Lately, I’ve been getting up at 5 a.m. every day. That might sound horrible to you, but I promise it’s not bad once you get used to it. In the first few hours of my day, I seriously get so much done. And then it’s only 8 or 9 a.m., which means I have the whole day ahead of me to get even more work done.
I understand some people are night owls, but not me. I am way more productive in the morning than any other time of day. If you don’t usually get up early, you should try it! My productivity has increased dramatically since I started waking up earlier.
16. Create an amazing morning routine to start your day with a bang.
My days can get kind of crazy, so it’s hard to make a full daily routine that stays consistent throughout the week. However, my morning routine is always the same. I would be so disorganized and lost if I didn’t have my current morning routine. If you don’t have one, I recommend that you create one so you can start every day off on the right foot.
17. Get enough sleep every night.
This is another super important productivity tip! I don’t function well at all if I don’t get proper rest. Since I get up so early, I try to be in bed by 9 or 10 p.m. every night. (I’m always tired by that time anyway!)
18. Eat right and exercise. Don’t neglect your health!
In my opinion, health should come before everything. That means making time to cook healthy meals and exercise regularly. The gym is the first place I go every day, and I always cook a nutritious breakfast right after my workout. Even just doing those two things consistently has made a huge difference in my lifestyle. I’m not perfect with my diet by any means, but I do my best, and that’s what counts!
19. Allow yourself to fail sometimes.
You and I are both human. We aren’t perfect, and we will screw up sometimes. I’m known for being a perfectionist, but I’ve started doing everything I can to combat negative self-talk. Everyone makes mistakes, but as long as we learn from them, it’s OK to fail sometimes!
Perfectionism can kill productivity, so be nice to yourself. Even if something doesn’t go your way, you’re still a rockstar!
20. Reward yourself at the end of each week!
Too often, I think we focus on the bad instead of the good. We tend to overlook our accomplishments, and instead we hone in on our failures. For me, it helps to keep a list of all the things I’ve accomplished throughout the week, no matter how big or small. Then, I can celebrate all my little wins at the end of the week.
Remember to reward yourself! You deserve it. (And it will motivate you to keep going!)
Thanks so much for reading! If you have favorite productivity hacks you’d like to share, let me know in the comments below.
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