I have had an incredibly productive week, which is especially convenient when you're launching a blog ;)
I've found a few tricks that really help me stay productive and I thought I'd share them with you today so we can all be productive together!
1. Take Breaks
I've started setting an alarm on my computer or phone: I work for 55 minutes, and then I take a break for 5 minutes. I use the break to go to the bathroom, grab food or water, and switch the laundry on laundry day. If you stare at a computer while you work like I do, getting up and walking around will keep you from getting tired. And if you get to your break time and you're in the middle of something, don't skip the break. Snooze the alarm and use the snooze time to get to a stopping point.
2. Let in Natural Light
Open your curtains. Move your desk closer to the window. Start working outside. Whatever you have to do, expose yourself to more natural light. Even in cloudy Ohio, just having the curtains open has upped my productivity game by a ton because I'm not ready to fall asleep every minute of the day.
3. Listen to (the right) Music
I'm very distractable and listening to music puts that background noise in without the emotional investment of listening to a TV show in the background. However, you can choose the wrong music to listen to. I don't recommend music with words; lyrics require more of your attention.
I prefer listening to music curated for study, such as the amazing YouTube videos put out by Quiet Quest. Sometimes I'm feeling a bit too sleepy to listen to something that calming, in which case I opt for something like Gravity Music's electronic music.
4. Write a To-Do List
We all have to-do lists. But at the beginning of your workday, you need to make the right to-do list. Write out all of the things you would like to get done today, or would like to start working on. Then, choose one for the first hour of your day (this will be easy if you have a timer set to work 55 minutes, anyways) and write a 1 (for first hour) next to that task.
If you get done with the first hour and you still need to work on that task, keep doing it during the second hour (and write a 2 next to that 1). And if you finish a task mid-hour, pick another one. Writing down what you're working on each hour will help you get back on track if you find yourself suddenly distracted.
Use the last five minutes of your day to go over your list and write a new list for the next day.
5. Put Down Your Phone
Does anyone else forget what they were going to do the second they pick up their phone? Whether it's setting an alarm or checking my social media profile, once I unlock my phone, I've already forgotten what I was trying to do. My phone may be convenient, but it's definitely not productive.
Try to do as much work as possible off of your phone. I set alarms and check my email on my computer so my phone isn't as tempting. You can also put your phone on Do Not Disturb.
6. Determine Ahead of Time How Much You Will Work
If you're on a clock and have to work specific hours, this is pretty much determined for you. But if you're on your own time, or have control over when you work those hours, decide ahead of time how many hours you'll work and when. Give yourself some leeway for emergencies, but try to stick to your schedule as much as possible.
This will especially help you work on that To-Do List from Tip #4: remind yourself you have so many hours to work and you have plenty of tasks to fill that hour. So stay focused, and be productive!
What tricks do you use to keep yourself productive? Do you work from home, in an office, or somewhere completely different? Comment below!