Let’s face it: there are some days that we just want to lay in bed all day and binge-watch our favorite shows on Netflix. We know that being productive makes us happier at the end of the day, but sometimes we just don’t feel like making the effort.
Those lazy days are the reason why I am always looking for ways to make productivity a little simpler to achieve.
Here are some easy ways to be your most productive self:
1. Figure out when and how you work best.
Are you a morning person or a night person? Do you utilize the time of day that your brain is the most active to your advantage? If you know that you work best during the evening, make sure that you are working and getting as much done during that time. Whatever hours of the day that you are most alert and alive, get as much done as possible then.
I am not a morning person, so it makes the most sense for me to get a majority of my work during the afternoon and night. It’s when my brain functions the best and I am at my most creative. Leave the mundane, easy tasks for the times of day that you aren’t as focused and the complex tasks for when you’re most in the mood.
2. Utilize the 60 second rule.
You receive an email that will take you thirty seconds to reply to, but you say to yourself, “I’m so busy right now. I’ll get back to it later.” Suddenly your to-do list grows and continues to grow as these simple tasks keep piling up. Sound familiar? I have a simple solution for you.
Complete any task that will take you less than a minute right then. I can guarantee you that it will significantly increase your productivity. You’ll be amazed at how many little (less than 60 second) tasks you put off each day.
3. Lay out your workout clothes the night before.
I don’t know about you, but I will use just about any excuse to avoid working out. One simple tip to help you get to the gym is to lay out your workout clothes by the door before bed. That way when you leave your room in the morning, your workout clothes are staring at you and challenging you to make a healthy choice.
We always have the decision each day to choose to live healthier and more productive lives or to ignore it.
4. Plan for one big accomplishment a day.
GenTwenty contributor, Geralyn wrote about the importance of making a plan already here in this productivity post, but I cannot emphasize enough the importance of putting a plan together. If you go into each day without thinking about what you want to accomplish, you’re less likely to achieve anything.
You can start by writing down one big goal for each day and the steps you will need to do to accomplish it. To help motivate you to continue this each day, jot down how you felt when you accomplished that task. Re-read them on the days that you feel less motivated.
5. Stop multi-tasking.
When filling out job applications, you can expect the description of companies’ ideal candidate to include “the ability to multi-task.” It is a common desire that someone has the capability to focus on multiple projects, because there is a lot to get done within any position.
The problem is that multi-tasking isn’t the solution to this problem that we tend to believe it is.
Of course, we still need to complete a lot of tasks and we still can. But the best results come from focusing on one thing and checking off tasks one at a time. You are more prone to make mistakes and be more careless with your work when you are focusing on too many tasks. Not to mention, studies have shown that it can lower your IQ if you multi-task too much.
Now let’s get off our couches and live happier and more productive days by implementing these simple, easy changes.