Finding simple ways to be more productive is something I use to struggle very hard with when I started working from home in 2014. Over the years, I have perfected what works best for me so I hope some of these work great for you! I suffer from ADHD, anxiety, panic disorder, and some OCD tendencies so I know how important it is to find things that work great for your person as opposed to someone else.
And keep in mind, you don’t have to do ALL of these things. These are simply ways to be more productive every day that works for me, personally. Take what works for you and leave the rest!
Step 1: Prepare the night before
Preparing the night before makes your morning productive and helps it run smoother. Take 10-20 minutes at night and make and organize your to-do list for tomorrow. Depending on how you organize, this can be written down or done digitally on a note app.
Step 2: Develop a morning routine
This step goes hand in hand with step 1. Create a solid morning routine that gets you ready for a productive day and gives you the motivation you need to get going. Whether that means exercising in the morning or yoga with 10 minutes of meditation – your morning routine needs to suit you and no one else.
This habit will be the green light to your brain that when the morning routine is finished, it’s go time!
Step 3: Manage your energy not time
One of the things I learned from James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, is to do what works best for me as far as my energy goes. I crash every day in the afternoon. Not sure why, I’m sure it’s health-related, but I crash. My energy depletes and I need a cat nap or I become unproductive, unfocused, and just all-around lazy.
So I manage my energy, instead of my time. I know that I have the most energy early in the morning, and in the evening, so that’s when I do my hardest tasks to complete.
What time of day are you the most energized and motivated? Utilize your energy, not your time. This is one of my favorite simple ways to be more productive, because it’s not one size fits all.
Step 4: Time Blocking
Time blocking is a widely known and used productivity strategy to stay organized both in your work and personal life. Time blocking allows you to set aside time for specific tasks you need to complete. It also allows you to look back and see what you spend the most time on because it turns into a visual guide for each day.
I have a great picture of what this is at the top of this blog post. Stay tuned for posts and videos showing you how to time block effectively and what tools to use!
Step 5: Quit Multitasking
Multitasking makes you think that you’re accomplishing more, but in reality, you’re taking longer to accomplish anything. By focusing on each task separately, you will complete them quicker and with the best results.
Since losing my mom I have been working on myself, and self-help books is one of my favorite. I would highly suggest two books that helped me tremendously in this aspect, which are Master Your Focus and Strategic Mindset by Thibaut Meurisse (one of my favorite authors).
Click Here for Strategic Mindset
Click Here for Master Your Focus
Let me say though, he has an entire “Master Your” series, and I have read 4 of them so far and every one of them has been good. I would highly suggest checking them out.
At the time of my writing this, his ‘Master Your’ series is available with the Kindle Unlimited plan that I use so I would check there first if you are already paying for KU. Both of his books provide information on simple ways to be more productive and focused.
Step 6: Set small goals, multiple if needed
Instead of setting one large goal that doesn’t have an end date, or has an end date that’s far away, break it up into smaller, more manageable goals.
Setting small goals gives you more momentum to keep moving forward. For example: One of my goals is to make my website a full-time income by 2027. If I work to make that my only goal, I would never get there. I would have no discipline to focus and no momentum to keep going.
Instead, I break that larger goal into much smaller, bite-sized goals that I can achieve within 3 months. Doing so breaks my larger goal into let’s say 20 smaller goals. As I tackle each goal until my main goal, my momentum keeps building and my drive increases to finish each smaller goal, so I can get to my main goal.
This is another technique I learned from Thibaut Meurisse’s book, Strategic Mindset. I would highly suggest checking that book out.
Step 7: The 5-Second Rule
This one is from the ever-so-beautiful, Mel Robbins. The basic idea is that you count backward from 5 and when you hit 1, you get up and do whatever it is you needed to do.
I won’t go into too much detail, as you can read about it from her yourself, but she discovered that you have that 5-second window before you start thinking of another task to do. She uses it to get out of bed in the morning, even years later after developing this technique.
I use it to switch from my gaming laptop to my work laptop to transition to the start of my day. I listened to her audiobook in December 2022, and it changed so much for me. Check it out here: Mel Robbins – 5 Second Rule
Step 8: Reduce phone and digital distraction
Put your phone on silent and place it in a drawer or leave it in another room to keep you from being distracted. This helps you stay focused on the task at hand, without checking your phone every few minutes.
Next, install an extension that blocks websites. This allows you to add Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, or any other websites that you find yourself being distracted on while you focus on your work.
Step 9: Keep your workspace AC friendly
Studies show that most find a cooler temperature in the room to increase both focus and productivity. I personally find that when my work area is hot and stuffy, I can’t focus. I try to keep my temperature between 69 and 72 degrees for optimal focus.
And just in case I get a bit cold, I have a cardigan just a few feet away!
Step 10: Do the hardest task first
Accomplishing the hardest task on your to-do list each day/week will give you the momentum and push to keep going. Not only does your brain know the other tasks aren’t nearly as hard so you don’t have to stress over doing them, but you feel yourself on such a natural high that you WANT to keep going.
I hope you enjoyed these 10 simple ways to be more productive every day. Don’t forget to take what works for you, and leave the rest. Not everything is for everyone, and that’s perfectly okay.
I suggest trying two of these productivity tips at a time so that you don’t overwhelm yourself. Once you make those tips a part of your daily habits, introduce two more, and so on until you’ve adapted the changes you’d like.