4 Tricks to Help You Kick Ass and Be Super Productive!

photo credit: Ales Krivec

photo credit: Ales Krivec

Ok, so you should know upfront that I’m somewhat obsessed with productivity. I’m a total sucker for productivity books, articles and research. I live life in what seems like a never-ending quest to better lifehack my day-to-day routine. Over the years I’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t, what sounds good on paper and what’s totally impractical. So I thought I’d share what I now know for sure will help you ramp up your productivity.

  1. If you only take one thing away from this article, it should be this. Plan your day the night before! Really. And I don’t mean a quick list of to do’s (though that’s better than nothing). My advice to you is to take a few minutes and start by looking at your calendar to see what meeting and/or appointments you have scheduled for the next day. Then, list the projects and tasks that you want to accomplish and take a moment to consider how long each will take to complete. Now, look over the day’s schedule to see where each of these things might fit in between your appointments. And remember to be flexible! Invariably meetings will run longer than anticipated, projects take longer than we thought etc. so you need to be adaptable. Adapting might mean finding ways to better utilize a “time pocket.” Time pockets, if you’re not familiar is essentially a block of down time we have while we’re in between meetings, like the time we spend commuting or sitting in a waiting room or walking from one place to another and so on. (For me, a typical time pocket is waiting in my car to pick up a kid from practice etc.) You can maximize this time by doing things like reading, returning phone calls and emails. In fact, you’d be amazed how much you can probably get done during these small blocks.
  1. Establish a morning routine and make it non-negotiable. Are you someone who truly needs a cup of coffee and time to read the news to get going in the morning? Well then make that your morning routine. Or maybe you like to start your day with exercise or meditation? Well then book it. If you don’t plan for it, it won’t happen. You’ll be in a better frame of mind for the rest of your day if you get off to the right start.
  1. Work out. There is SO MUCH research to prove that exercise improves our mood, focus, creativity and energy all of which help us to be more productive in our daily lives. Do you feel like you don’t have enough time to work out? Keep in mind it can be short. 30 minutes of daily exercise is better than not exercising. So, do what you can. Walk the dog. Walk to work. Walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator. But keep moving!
  1. Put up barriers to entry. Life today can be something of a blessing and a curse. On the one hand it’s filled with so much wonderful technology and convenience. We can reach out to anyone anywhere at a moments notice with text, email or a phone call. We can listen to music, while we surf online and have a TV show play in the background. However, the down side in all this is that it has also become a very distracting world in which to live. With that in mind, when we want to get important work done, when we need to be really productive we’ve got to set up barriers to keep others from reaching us and perhaps also to keep us from wandering off task. For me, this has been critical. It means turning off my phone, switching off email, text notifications and social media pings. It also means working alone! (Can you tell that I’m easily distracted?) At first that can be hard. You may even feel guilty that you’re not available to others, but they’ll get used to it and will learn to respect your boundaries.

Hope this was helpful. After all, my aim is simple. I just want to give you more ways to kick ass in life and work!


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