Getting stuff done and having more time to spend it in the form of quality time with my loved ones is definitely one of my motivations to find ways to be more efficient and productive each and every day.
Your motivation to be more productive might be similar.
I wasn’t always the best when it came to productivity but I’d say over time I found a pretty good way to have strategies in place that help me to just get stuff done and things off my plate very easily and quickly.
Especially since I’m a mother having free time where I have time for myself became a rarity.
In this post, I introduce you to 19 ways you can use to increase your productivity in your online business or for your household chores.
These are the favorites I personally love to use in my business.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- Batch work
- Set time limits
- Use this planner
- Plan ahead
- Avoid distractions
- Drink water
- Good lightning
- Create first
- Clear space
- Know your why
- Be a high performer
- Fresh air
- Good food
- 80/20 rule
- Energy management
- Keep your goals in mind
- Time block
19 STRATEGIES TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE
1. BATCH WORK
My productivity tip no.1 is batching.
This means to group similar tasks and complete all these tasks in one step.
As a blogger, this could be scheduling time in your calendar where you are only focusing on brainstorming content ideas and setting up your editorial calendar for the next 6 months or even for the entire year.
It could be also scheduling time for updating all your posts at once or for creating new pins for all of your published blog posts.
In case you have a podcast this could mean recording several episodes in one go.
Self-made millionaire Jenna Kutcher, for example, recorded 60 podcast episodes just in a matter of a couple of days.
She did this so she could enjoy her time after her baby was born and still could serve her audience while she was on maternity leave.
Not only Jenna Kutcher loves to batch her content at work.
Other successful entrepreneurs like Amy Porterfield, Tim Ferriss, and Kate Northrup do the same too.
2. SET TIME LIMITS
Schedule the tasks and the length of time you think you need to get your task done in your calendar.
For example schedule “update all blog posts” for Wednesday from 1 pm to 6 pm.
Set a realistic but still less time as you think you need and you’ll be more focused and productive to get your task done.
As Parkinson’s Law says the more time you give yourself to finish a task, the longer it will take to finish it.
Meaning it’s better to have a tight schedule and be focused to get stuff done than to schedule in plenty of time for a little task because you’ll find a way to fill it by being less productive.
You’ll be more productive and not just busy.
Produce at the level of a B- and don’t try to be perfect.
Perfectionism is the killer of creativity and productivity.
3. PLAN YOUR TASKS
Plan your tasks in advance.
Define your most important for the day + the 2. and 3. tasks that should be done that day and estimate how much time you’ll need to get each of the tasks done.
Then use the Pomodoro method, where you have 25min time slots to work with full focus and without any distraction on your task.
After the 25min you take a 5 minute break and then start with the second time slot.
You repeat as often the process as until you’re done with your scheduled task.
In the end, you see how long you really needed to get your work done.
Seriously, I would never have imagined that a simple exercise can increase my productivity this much.
It’s probably even needless to say because you already know, but still, I want you to remember the importance to unplug while you are working.
With unplug I mean to silence your phone and to switch off all distractions in your working place.
I even like to go a step further and use earplugs while I work.
Not necessarily when I design something but more when I write or work on a business strategy.
This way I won’t even hear the neighbors talking in the garden or how they drill holes in the wall or whatever these folks start doing whenever I sit down with the intention to be focused and get my work done.
5. PLAN AHEAD
Planning is vital for every business’s success.
Plan out a week or at least the night before what you’re exactly going to do the next day.
Life and business coach Marie Forleo likes to plan out every single hour of her next day.
I personally don’t go that much into detail, because I have a small child at home and my daily schedule is a bit more unpredictable this way.
However, what I do is scheduling my tasks for work the night before and estimate how much time it will take to get my work done.
The next day I can take my laptop and start working on the task whenever I have a few hours of time I can use for work.
6. AVOID DISTRACTIONS
Did you know that it takes around 20min to refocus our attention on the task we were working on whenever we get distracted by something?
When it comes to your productivity distractions are a pure waste of time and energy and cost your focus and productivity.
Therefore close all your social media tabs on your laptop deinstall annoying apps from your phone.
If you are used to and tempted to check your social media accounts while you’re working installing the Freedom App can be your true savior.
7. DRINK WATER
According to a study conducted by the University of London drinking water can increase our productivity by 14%.
We need water for our bodies to function.
Staying hydrated increases our productivity and makes our body and brain function more easily.
Dehydration, on the contrary, creates tiredness.
This means having a bottle of water on your desk while working and remember to drink plenty of water while you’re working.
8. GOOD LIGHTNING
Harvard business review mentions a survey and a study in which researchers found out the importance of daylight for working spaces.
The researchers reveal that good lighting and an outdoor view into nature increase our overall well-being.
Our overall well being, on the other hand, is linked to fewer headaches, less tiredness, and higher performance.
Another study reports that the reason for our desire for nature and natural lighting may be linked to the increased usage of our technological mobile devices.
9. CREATE FIRST
This productivity tip just may rock your world.
My productivity tip no 9 is to create before you consume.
Meaning that you don’t check your phone anymore right after you wake up and won’t read the newspaper but start creating before you are consuming.
All the information we consume leaves its trace in our minds.
When you consume first and create afterward you probably have a thought here and there going on in your mind linked to the things you consumed right before you started to create.
With a fresh relaxed mind, you’ll be more focused and more productive and it’s less likely that your thoughts distract you from the things you want to get done.
Learn to say no to unimportant things/tasks and to prioritize in your private life as well as in your business.
In case you have a lot of things to do and don’t really know where to start, the Eisenhower Matrix can help you find direction.
It’s a simple 4 quadrant matrix designed to help you determine the most urgent and most important of your tasks.
This is the task you start to tackle first.
11. CLEAR SPACE
Clear your environment to avoid distractions and clear your head to increase your focus and to boost your productivity.
The best way you can clear your head, meaning to become more aware of your thoughts and mindful about your actions is through meditation.
If you are considering giving meditation a try I’d recommend starting with the easy yet effective 5-week Meditation For Beginners course lead by the experienced meditation teacher Giovanni Dienstmann.
Get access to this powerful online course here!
12. KNOW YOUR WHY
Why are you doing what you are doing?
What’s the greater purpose behind your work?
What is the desired result you are working for?
Knowing your “why” helps you to align with your greater purpose and to keep you focused on your end result while you are working.
This not only keeps you motivated to work, but you’ll also experience joy while doing so.
With knowing your why you’ll ultimately be more focused and productive while working.
13. GO FOR YOUR DREAMS
Without knowing what we want and where we are heading we’ll likely not arrive at the destination we wish to be.
Use the templates from the printable Go For Your Dreams Planner to get clear on your greater future vision.
Then use the templates to turn this vision into achievable goals.
14. FRESH AIR
Harvard business review has a great article on the importance of fresh air when it comes to our productivity.
Several studies had shown the negative effects of stale office air on health and mental performance.
Researchers at Harvard University went one step further and proved that higher ventilation rates and improved air quality in your office affect the cognitive function of your brain.
Better air helps you to make better strategic decisions, to plan better, to process information more quickly, and improves how you respond to crises.
15. GOOD FOOD
There is a direct relation between the food we are eating and the level of our cognitive performance.
Our body converts the food we are eating into glucose which is needed for our brains to stay focused.
Our attention drifts more quickly and we have trouble staying focused on our work whenever we are running low on glucose.
However, our body isn’t processing all kinds of foods in the same way.
Some foods give us immediate glucose and we get a boost of energy followed by a slump.
While others, like high-fat meals, give us more constant energy but our digestive tract needs to work harder and we overall feel drained.
When we are mentally drained we tend towards the high-fat foods which aren’t the best choice when we want to be productive.
To combat poor food choices the best way is to plan your meals ahead of time.
Eat more little healthy bites throughout the day and have healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables on hand.
Not only your body but also your mind will benefit from your healthier food choices.
16. 80/20 RULE
Follow the 80/20 rule, also called the Pareto principle.
This rule states that 80% of your results come from only 20% of your efforts/actions.
Or to put it in another way this means that only 20% of your tasks move the needle forward towards your goal, while the other 80% will just keep you busy.
How to implement the 80/20 rule to be more productive in your biz?
In case you have 10 things on your to-do list for today, your task should be to determine the no. 1 goal and the 2. goal from your list.
These are probably not the easiest tasks on your list, but the ones that will likely move the needle forward in your business.
Focus on accomplishing those goals first.
17. ENERGY MANAGEMENT
Use proper energy management to increase your productivity.
Look within yourself and do the most important tasks when you are most alert and full of energy.
Are you a night owl or an early bird?
I for example like to create content right after I wake up with a clear mind and prefer to do all the creative work in the evening and at night.
Test out what suits you best and schedule your tasks according to your energy level.
18. KEEP YOUR GOALS IN MIND
Keep your long term and short term goals in mind whenever you work on your daily task.
Have a solid 1-year plan in place and break these down into quarterly and monthly goals.
Then take these monthly goals and turn them into weekly and daily tasks.
If you want to learn how to take your big goals and turn them into actionable mini-steps I’d recommend getting the printable Go For Your Dreams Planner
19. TIME BLOCK
Time blocking is a method I learned from Elon Musk the guy who invented Paypal and who owns Space X, Tesla, The Boring Company, and Open AI.
He is a true genius when it comes to productivity and time management and knows exactly how to allocate his hours each day.
He works around 80 to 90 hours a week and manages still to spend time with his 6 kids.
Elon plans with the method called time blocking (or as he calls it time boxing) which means that he plans his day in 5-minute slots.
This means he takes his tasks and assigns those to a premade time frame (in his case 5-minute slots) which then he schedules in his calendar.
How can you do it?
You can write down your daily tasks and estimate the amount of time you’ll need to finish each task.
Then take your calendar and schedule all your time slots in your calendar.
Download the free Go For Your Dreams Guide and learn about the steps you have to take to achieve your goals.
Use the templates from the printable Go For Your Dreams Planner and turn your dream into an actionable plan.