How can you improve your productivity?


Ever sitting with your computer open, thinking “I’m going to get SSSSOOOO much done only to find yourself distracted by something and three hours have gone by with like ZERO work done?? Yeah, me too! It’s a total buzz kill! I took stock of my own productivity and this is what I came up with:

There are about three elements that continually pop up that kill productivity and they’re are, perfectionism, our environment, and technology.

I’ve also included several other tips to help you be more productive!

Prepare yourself

I’m a firm believer in preparation! Am I always the best at it? Um, no! Just being honest but that doesn’t mean that I don’t continually work on improving that habit. So I apply that same attitude when it comes to making sure that I’m productive and why it’ll help you as well! 

When we fail to prepare or at least to not anticipate then we’re setting ourselves up to eventually fail and I’ve been there! For example, I know that I work better in the morning, 5 o’clock rolls around and I’m practically useless! I mean it’s a miracle that food makes it to the table lol 

See what I mean? So here are some areas that you should be looking at to make sure you’re prepared. 

When are you most productive? 

Are you like me and work really well in the morning? Or are you more like the midnight stalker? Are you able to start at 10p.m. and go strong till 2a.m.? (I am NOT way, kudos if you are!) 

This helps you to set your schedule around YOU, or at least to the best of your abilities. I mean we all know that life can get in the way sometimes but knowing still helps keep you prepared. 

Once, you determine when you’re productive, you are read to prepare your schedule!! 

Set your schedule to maximize your efficiency! Plan everything around your best time, so if you work better in the evening then do other mundane things in the morning or if you’re like me and have three dead hours (between 2-5, don’t get it! I practically fall over!) 

Compile a list of tasks that you need to have done and then set those tasks with dedicated deadlines. I usually go by month and then set which tasks need to be done by week and then each need by categorize in matter of which needs to get done per day and which can wait till the next day. 

Delegate your time!

This goes back to knowing your most productive self and then taking your most important task and delegated that task to that lot of time. So if you have a 3,000-word paper due in biology and you work really well say around 6a.m, don’t do the art assignment that you know you could do in your sleep. 

While we’re on the subject of making sure your productive, is to prepare your body! Especially if you work at home, it’s important to get your body ready to start working. Since most humans are creatures of habit, setting up a routine for yourself will get your body into work mode. 

Ah so we’ve gone over great ways to make sure your prepared to be productive now let’s talk about some things that kill your productiveness 

Productivity Killers

1. TECHNOLOGY   

TV

I will be the first to stand up and say that I used to work with the TV on and even so much as to sit in front of the TV and think that I’m good, I’m getting so much work done! PFFT!! Wrong!! It took me several months to figure out that I work SSSSSOOOO poorly in front of my TV because not only is it distracting and no matter how much we think that we can work while ignoring the flickering images, we’re wrong. 

Also, sitting on my couch! I said it before! Sitting in a relaxed position is setting yourself up for failure.

SOLUTION:

1 . I KNOW THAT I HATE WORKING IN SILENCE WHICH IS WHY I USED TO SIT IN FRONT OF THE TV. HOWEVER, I HAVE FOUND SOME GOOD REPLACEMENTS SO I CAN BE MORE PRODUCTIVE. 

2 .INSTEAD OF WORKING IN FRONT OF THE TV, YOU CAN TURN IT ON IN ANOTHER ROOM SO YOUR NOT TEMPTED TO LOOK UP AT IT ALL THE TIME. 

3 .TRY AN AUDIOBOOK! THIS IS MY FAVORITE! MOST OF THE VOICE ACTORS HAVE A VERY SOOTHING TONE THAT HELPS ME STAY ON TASK. CURRENT FAVS ARE HARRY POTTER, JUST LISTEN BY SARAH DESSEN, AND THE CASTLE IN THE ACTIC BY ELIZABETH WINTHROP. 

4 .ANOTHER FAVORITE IS HAVING MY ALEXA ECHO DOT PLAY NATURE SOUNDS! LATELY I’VE HAD HER PLAYING CRACKLING FIRE. 

Social media– It’s a black hole that sucks you in and before you know it, you’ve gone through Insta, facebook, and twitter about a hundred times and three hours have gone in the blink of eye! Don’t fool yourself! It happens to all of us and even the very best of us. 

SOLUTION:

HAVE SET BLOCKS OF TIME WHERE YOU PERMIT YOURSELF TO LOOK AT SOCIAL MEDIA. ALWAYS MAKE SURE THAT YOU SET A TIMER THOUGH SO YOU DON’T LOOSE TRACK OF TIME AND FALL INTO THE HOLE!

You can think of it as a sort of reward for working so hard with no interruptions.

Constantly checking your phone – Just like the two before, we don’t mean to but that simple text message that we check turns into some kind of rabbit hole that sucks all of our time into it’s dimension. I mean we really don’t mean to do it! But it happens constantly! 

SOLUTION: 

1 .SET YOUR PHONE ACROSS THE ROOM OR EVEN IN A DIFFERENT ROOM. THIS MAKES IT MORE DIFFICULT TO HAVE A “QUICK CHECK”. 

2 .ALSO, SENDING OUT A QUICK MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE YOU SPEAK WITH MOST TELLING THEM THAT YOUR WORKING AND WILL TEXT THEM LATER. THIS WILL KEEP THEM FROM GETTING BUTT HURT WHEN YOU DON’T ANSWER RIGHT AWAY AND KEEPS YOU ACCOUNTABLE TO YOUR WORK. KILL TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE!

2. PERFECTIONISM

This one is difficult to deal with sometimes because we all have that desire that we put forth the best content, social media feed, Insta posts, whatever have you but striving for perfection is actually costing you more than you may know.

When my mom was in high school, she was very much a perfectionist (still kind of is) but she was determined so much to have the perfect paper that if there was a smudge or a letter askew, she refused to hand in her paper. She cost her grades to obtain perfection.

See what I mean? The cost can be very great and life affecting! So let me give you some real talk. If you’re waiting for it to be perfect, you’ll be waiting forever and it is better to get it done with mistakes than not done at all. You can ALWAYS go back and fix something but if you never hit publish you’ll never know how great it can be!

SOLUTION: 

1. RECGONIZE THAT TRYING TO BE PERFECT IS HURTING YOU.

 2. SET GOALS AND TIME RESTRAINTS. 

3. ONCE THE TIMER GOES OFF, CHANGE FOCUS, AND COME BACK TO YOUR PROJECT.

MY OWN PROCESS OF BEATING PERFECTIONISM: 

When preparing for publishing my work, I give myself three times to return to a project before releasing it unto the world. If I don’t limit myself than my folder will always continue to fill with “almost ready posts” and my site will be stuck being empty.

how to improve your productivity

3. ENVIRONMENT 

I know that for a while I was like I can totally work on the couch and get just as much done! Yeah, I was fooling myself lol did I get stuff done? Sure. Was it has good as it could have been? No not at all. Even if we’re not fully aware of it, our environment plays a big role in our lives and how we work.

I get super irritated if I’m working in a dirty space. I didn’t even put two and two together for a long time but Dustin would come home all the time and ask me why I was grouchy when the house was messy and I had been trying to blog all day.

Being that annoyed affected how my work was getting done I.E. hardly any at all. So there are two things that you can do. 1. Delegate a workspace and properly setting up those workspaces.

Continue reading!

Have a designated workspace. 

I love having an office! It symbolizes a space that is mine for work and when I’m done then I can shut my door and enjoy the rest of my home as my calm space with work properly locked away. 

A workspace gives you a sense of going to work, even though you’re still in your home. 

Like a routine, a workspace gives your body and mind a sense of time to work. 

This also gives your family a better understanding that you’re in work mode and I know that my own family gives me my space when I’m working when I’m in my office.

If you don’t have a spare room to designate to your workspace, don’t fret! You can still create your own workspace. I’ve found that a lot of people can transform a closet to fit a desk (if you can afford to lose the storage space though) however; most have to find a space for a desk in another room. Most popular places are kitchens, family rooms, and bedrooms.

This post goes over some really great ways to set up a workspace without having an office.

Set up your space.

Ever notice that you seem to work better in one place than another? 

When I was in college, I had a class that spent an entire week going over best ways to set up your work area in order to perform the best. In this class, we went over everything from posture, knick-knacks, to the color of the room! Now when I was in school I thought that it was a bit of BS.

“I can work anywhere so long as I set my mind to it!” 

“The TV is not distracting!” 

“I can so work in bed with the same results”

…No I cannot lol Where you work will say a lot about your results. This post from the University of Minnesota sums up quite nicely how out environment affects us, check it out. Here are my best recommendations for your working environment:

1.     Have your space clear of clutter. This eliminates distractions and keeps your mind clear. 

2.     Make sure you work in an up right position at a desk or your dining table. When your body is in a more relaxed position, you are less likely to get more done because your brain starts to shut down. 

3.     Set up an inspiration board. It can be difficult to keep working steadily when you’re in your own house and chores and the TV keep coming into your head. Sticking with work can be very difficult. 

4.     The color of your space does have an effect. Keep this in mind when choosing your workspace! Reds can be disarming and make you uncomfortable. Blues and greens are very calming. Too much white is never a good thing! Personally I chose a pale gray color. It’s not loud in your face but also not super dark. 

If you need some more tips on being productive, check out this post!

More tips to stay on top of your productivity!

Give yourself a break. 

It is easy to work ourselves ragged! I’m guilty of doing this! I work straight for a few days and then I crash! Then not only do I not do any work for several days but also I let my self-care slip. No working out, eating junk food, and extra drinks…I think you get it

Skip multitasking. 

There are so many studies coming out stating that multitasking is actually one of the worst things you can do! You’re splitting focus and taking twice as long to do anything!

Pay attention to your nutrition and water intake. 

Notice how sluggish you get when all you’ve had is junk food? Or how foggy your brain is without getting plenty of water? It’s because you’re not properly taking care of your brain! You’re brain needs good food like salmon, avocados, berries, or bananas! These power foods each have different proprieties to help boost your brain’s capacity! And don’t forget about your water intake! 70% of our bodies are made up of water and as the day goes on without more water, our brain and other organs suffer. 

HEY HEY!!!

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Take a few of these tips and apply them to your routine and let me know which ones work best for you!

Like how can you apply the ways to prevent technology from interupting you?

Or how about what foods do you want to add to your diet to improve all that brain activity! You smart cookie! (If only cookies were brain food 😉 )

Think about your environment and what you should change to ensure your most productive??

Remember to comment below!

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2 Comments

  1. Those three categories of distractions are definite productivity killers. It’s so important to create an environment that supports our efforts. For me, social media is a real time suck – one tip I found that helps is to not allow myself to check my feeds until AFTER I’ve finished my high priority tasks. That keeps me motivated plus gives me more motivation to get them done quickly 🙂

    • TLMblog131
      Author
      January 5, 2019 / 5:59 pm

      That is a great way to keep yourself on track, Susan!

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