It is easily assumed that productivity is only for those who are always busy and/or need to get work done. But that isn’t entirely true.
Being productive also accounts to self-care, growth and development. And for those of us who are lazy (ahem!), being productive can be a daunting task.
Being productive helps you get your life on track and achieve all those goals you’ve envisioned. Nothing too drastic, but basic organizational skills and time management can help you have a productive daily routine.
There is no full-proof way or routine to get your productive freak on. As you start and go about your schedule every day, you tend to reshape your routine very organically on your own – all based on what suits you.
We have combined a few ways here to help you get started.
• Create a morning routine
No, you don’t necessarily need to wake up at 4 or 5am. You just need to wake up with enough time to fit in a morning routine that works for you, and that can be at 7am or even 8.
How you start the day can have a big impact on your mood and productivity levels throughout the day, so having a routine that works for you can help you get started on the right foot.
Take some time to think about what a good morning routine would look like for you. Think about the things that make you feel good, and combine them with the tasks you need to get done in the morning.
Choose activities that will help you personally and use them to add structure to your mornings.
Don’t focus too much on doing the things that people often say you’re supposed to do as part of a morning routine – things like meditation or drinking tea. If you’ve never meditated a day in your life or don’t enjoy tea, you probably aren’t going to be helped by those things.
• Set and prioritize goals for the day
Sometimes we can’t have a productive day because we just don’t know where to start. Setting goals specific to the day puts everything into motion.
The simplest solution is to list everything you need to get accomplished, then prioritize these tasks based on importance and urgency.
Once you get the most pressing and important items done first, you will be able to be more productive while keeping stress levels down.
• Don’t try to do many things altogether
Understand that multi-tasking —when you have lots to do, tons of energy, and it feels like you can do two or three things at once—is tempting, but it sets your whole day back.
Multitasking is actually bad for your focus and lowers your overall productivity. It in-turn reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus adequately on one thing at a time.
When you try to do two or more things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.
• Keep your room and workspace clean
Research proves that having an organized and clean room can improve your mood and lower your stress levels. You should always make sure you’re keeping your space at least somewhat clean.
Whatever work you do, ensure that the area you work in is neat – whether it’s your couch at home or your desk at work.
Making the space really feel like your own, will help you get excited about working, so you don’t end up being easily distracted.
Studies have shown that work performances have been consistently higher by better time management and improved mental sharpness, after exercising. It improves alertness, focus and ultimately ones productivity.
Exercising also improves the brain function. It marks an improvement in your mood, lowers your stress levels and helps you make better decisions.
The spike in hormones through a good workout – be it a 5 minute walk or a 30 min heavy workout – stimulates your energy levels, thus structuring your ability to accomplish your goals.
• Have proper meals on time
You are what you eat. And what we feed our bodies, impacts our day-to-day life including our productivity.
It’s very easy to skip meals with the excuse of trying to get a task done. But it is highly important to prioritize your meals, and the quality of your meals too. Eating meals at the right time keeps your blood sugar steady and your energy levels high throughout the day. Don’t ignore hunger.
If you’re body wants food, give it food (just make sure it’s the right kind of stuff). Do not snack on junk food or carbonated drinks, as that will only make you feel sluggish.
• Keep yourself hydrated
While eating good and healthy food is important, taking the right amount of water is also very important to keep the body hydrated. Making sure you’re drinking enough water can have a big effect on your productivity.
Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue and a lack of concentration.
Not only does drinking enough water keep your body healthy, it also aids the transport of energy providing nutrients throughout the body.
Hence, always keep a water bottle with you and ensure that you finish it by a given time frame.
• Do something you love
Apart from aiming to fulfil your goals for the day, take some time out to do something you love.
Look at it as a reward that you give yourself for accomplishing a big task, or simply for trying to be productive.
Allot some time for yourself, where you have no obligation to do anything. Carve out some time and do whatever makes you happy.
It could either be watching your favourite show, painting, reading a book or just playing a game on your phone.
This also stimulates the creative side of your brain, thus elevating your productive levels.
• Take breaks
Focusing, can drain a lot of energy and too much of it at once can quickly turn your productive day into an unproductive one.
To reduce mental fatigue while staying on your tasks, take a few breaks to relax and recharge.
Try working on a task for 25 minutes, then taking a short break, about 5 minutes, before another 25 minute session.
This keeps you motivated and disciplined. However, you can change it as per your need and comfort.