Do you know someone who just gets sh*t done? They have 10,000 kids that each do 27 sports, they work 300 hours a week, and they still have time to grab a beer after work every few days? You find yourself constantly wondering how you can skyrocket your productivity like them.
How the hell do they do it?
In a world where everything and everyone moves at lightning speed and technological advancement is at an all-time high, it can be incredibly frustrating when our motivation and productivity lags.
You want to be a doer, but you also have tiredness, lack of motivation, frustration, burnout, bad hair days, adult acne, and a whole host of other obstacles to contend with. These things can cut straight into your success and have a huge impact on how well you perform in your daily life.
The good news is, there are a TON of easy tweaks you can make in your life (some of them are SO simple) that can absolutely skyrocket your productivity.
Warning: this is a pretty long post, but it’s very informative, so make sure to bookmark it if you don’t have the time to read it. Trust me, you’ll want to refer back to this post once you see how easy it is to become a productivity master.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using one of these links, The Bonafide Broad gets a small commission at no extra cost to you. We only link to what we love or would buy ourselves because we try not to be greedy jerkwads.
1. DO ONE THING AT A TIME
For some reason, we tend to think that multitasking will increase our productivity. We’re dead wrong.
Just the act of switching gears expends energy. When you multitask, you’re constantly switching gears. No wonder studies show that multitasking can reduce productivity by up to 40%.
“It has been scientifically demonstrated that the brain cannot effectively or efficiently switch between tasks, so you lose time. It takes four times longer to recognize new things so you’re not saving time; multitasking actually costs time. You also lose time because you often make mistakes. If you’re multitasking and you send an email and accidentally “reply all” and the person you were talking about is on the email, it’s a big mistake. In addition, studies have shown that we have a much lower retention rate of what we learn when multitasking, which means you could have to redo the work or you may not do the next task well because you forgot the information you learned. Everyone’s complaining of memory issues these days – they’re symptoms of this multitasking epidemic. Then, of course, there’s the rudeness factor, which doesn’t help develop strong relationships with others.” -Jessica Kleiman, Forbes
Yep. There’s nothing good in that entire statement about multitasking. What it comes down to is there is no benefit and all cost when it comes to multitasking. However, if we focusing on one thing at a time, our brain doesn’t have to go through the process of switching, and we can get projects done a lot faster.
Food for thought: The National Safety Council estimated in 2010 that 28% of highway accidents and deaths were due to the driver being on the phone. How’s that for being good at multitasking?
2. JUST SAY NO
Have you ever had someone ask you to do something for them that you have no time for/they always pass off on to others/ you just plain don’t want to do/insert whatever reason here? Your brain replies with a resounding “NO!” But then you watch yourself in horror as you nod and say “Sure thing!” even sounding excited? Yeah, it’s happened to all of us.
If you’re anything like me, you’re a people-pleaser. That can be a good thing sometimes, but it makes it really hard to say no. I often end up doing lots of favors, taking on way too much, and that’s a bad recipe for productivity.
What’s awesome is there are immediate benefits to saying no. For one, people will begin to expect what’s really achievable. Also, it gives you more time to do other tasks at a higher level, meaning you produce better quality results.
While you can see the value of saying no sometimes, it’s easier said than done. Often when a person says no, they tend to think they need to have an elaborate reason. The truth is, you don’t even need to give a reason at all, because you’re an adult.
If you do feel you need to give a reason for saying no, here are a few suggestions, straight from me to you:
- “I’m sorry, I’m already overloaded.”
- “Not to be rude, but it seems like you are asking for a lot of favors lately, and I’m starting to feel taken advantage of.”
- “I’m exhausted”
- “You know what? I just don’t want to.”
- “Darn, you just caught me in the middle of moving to China, and I’m getting rid of my cell phone along the way…”
For more ideas, check out this article.
Keep in mind, too, that if you say yes to things that you’re not able to deliver on, it can make you look very incompetent.
“Effective management and growth as an entrepreneur rely on the ability to delegate and do so effectively.” –Kathrine Farris.
Delegation can make or break your success.
While it sounds simple in theory (and it can be), until you have done it a few times, delegation can be difficult.
As humans, we like to have control. A lot of us have the mentality that if we want something done, well, we have to do it ourselves. But that isn’t the best way to do things. Effective delegation can greatly accelerate growth and productivity.
Think about it; it’s common sense. If you have more people working on something, you have more work done in less time. Not to mention that delegating gives managers the opportunity to test and enhance their employees’ skills. Best of all, delegating moves the weight from one person’s shoulders to many, making tasks easier on all.
A word of caution: Only delegate to those that you know will come through for you; those who will complete the task. The last thing you want is to be up a sh*t creek without a paddle because of someone else not finishing their work (and as a good manager, you WILL take responsibility for that, not blaming anyone but yourself).
4. TAKE MOVING BREAKS
We all know that taking breaks can refresh and rejuvenate us. You’ve probably also heard that exercise can improve productivity. So why not combine the two?
I challenge you to take your breaks a step further than the norm and turn them into moving breaks. Really, all that means is you do something on your breaks besides sit.
Research shows that there are numerous benefits to walking. For example, a short walk can energize you more than caffeine, and it doesn’t come with the nasty crash/headache later.
Scientists have shown that people who take regular walks are happier, more creative, and more focused.
I guess it’s not surprising that some companies have started holding walking meetings to increase employee productivity. One of the forerunners of this trend: Google (as you can see below).
5. TRY POWER NAPPING
I flipping LOVE me a three-hour nap in the afternoon. Sadly, these siestas are not conducive to being a more industrious person.
The good news is, done right, naps can actually increase productivity. The key is to take power naps.
What is a power nap?
In this case, I’m referring to catnaps that are 30 minutes or less. The reason you want to keep them under half an hour is that you don’t want to enter the deep sleep cycle. This can leave you groggy and disoriented, which defeats the entire purpose of a power nap.
So, keeping your nap under 30 minutes ensures that you stay in the light sleep cycle.
NASA conducted a study where pilots napped for 25 minutes a day, and they discovered that even this small amount resulted in increased alertness and productivity. Check out this article to see more of the benefits of power napping.
Try taking a 20-minute nap on your lunch. This is a simple way to increase your productivity at work, and you’ll notice the dreaded afternoon lag is easier to combat.
Just make sure you set an alarm on your phone because you don’t want to sleep too long and defeat the whole purpose of a power nap. Plus, you know, you might lose your job if you take a three-hour nap in the middle of the workday (unless you somehow have the best job in the world where you get paid to sleep, and if that’s the case, is your employer hiring?).
Cartoon taken from Off The Leash by Rupert Fawcett
6. USE YOUR COMMUTE
Every adult human on earth has thought at one time or another, “I wish I had an extra hour or two during the day.”
Guess what? If you work, you do. It’s your commute.
Whether you drive to work, use public transportation, carpool, walk, or bike, you can maximize your time and increase your productivity with a few small tweaks.
I have a 25-minute commute each way to work. That’s almost an hour a day. I used to listen to the news on the way to work. But then I discovered podcasts, and my whole world changed.
Now I have almost an hour a day to listen to podcasts that teach me about online business, SEO, affiliate marketing, how to write better, how to increase my potential and my profits, and a plethora of other skills that I want to improve on. It has seriously upped my business game.
So, there a few ways you can immediately begin to maximize your commute time. If you drive to work, you can listen to podcasts or audiobooks. I like podcasts that teach me about business and blogging, but there are a million different types of podcasts out there that might be better suited to you.
My favorites podcasts are:
I use the app Overcast to listen to podcasts on my iPhone, and it’s free! Woohoo!
What if you don’t drive, you carpool? Well, that’s even easier. You can read a book, check your work email, or do some simple social media marketing from your phone. If your carpool rotates who gets to control the radio, do your friends a favor and show them one of the podcasts that you love.
As for using public transportation, again, you can tackle small tasks from your phone, like answering emails or paying bills. Get yourself some headphones and listen to a podcast or audiobook. This is a perfect option if you walk or bike to work as well.
You’ll be shocked how much you can learn in just these few minutes every day. The best part is, you don’t have to carve extra time out of your day because the time is already there. You’re just using it more efficiently.
7. LISTEN TO MUSIC
You ever find yourself in the middle of an important brainstorming session and suddenly you’re thinking about what toppings you’re going to get on your pizza after work?
Of course you have! You’re human. Our minds are capable of wandering to some strange places. This can happen when we’re bored, tired, hungry, or pretty much any other time we feel a stressor or an emotion.
Listening to music can interrupt the wandering mind and help snap you back into the present. When you’re present, you’re naturally more productive.
This has been found to be true through research as well. A study was conducted on several technology specialists. The study found that those who listened to music while working were faster and more creative than those who didn’t.
There are two cautions to keep in mind. First, sometimes other people don’t want to hear your music. If you work near others, be polite and keep the volume low or use headphones. Second, do be careful with those headphones. Your supervisor may interpret you having headphones on as retreating or blocking out necessary parts of your job. Use discretion according to your particular situation and company culture. You don’t want to be like the lady in this scenario.
8. CREATE NEW HABITS
We live in a world where instant gratification is the status quo. Which explains why it’s so effing difficult to create a new habit; the gratification often comes later.
Whether we like it or not, creating a habit takes time.
In the meantime, how can you stay motivated and productive while you’re trying to create a new habit? Track it.
Tracking your habit gives you immediate feedback into how well you’re doing. It also gives you the ability to see results before you can actually see the results (if you know what I mean). And guess what? That creates a bit of instant gratification, which we already know is something us humans really like. In this instance, we can see instant gratification in a positive light, as in, we can use it to help the habit stick.
So what’s the easiest way to track your habits? All you need is a worksheet or a notebook.
Lucky for you, I’ve made one. It’s part of my Productivity Binder. Not to toot my own horn but….oh what the hell? I’m gonna go ahead and toot (because I REALLY believe in this product!). I’ve designed one of the best productivity planners you can get. I tested and tweaked until I got it right! My productivity planner includes a simple and effective habit tracker to assist you in forming and tracking that new habit. Here’s what it looks like:
9. GO AUTO
Automation rocks! There are several daily tasks that you can quickly set up to do their thing on their own, at the time of your choosing.
What does that mean? It means you free up time to be more productive in other areas.
Here are some things that you can put on auto to take the load off your shoulders when it’s needed.
- Your paycheck
- Shopping (Amazon Subscribe & Save)
- Vacuum (Roomba)
- Cooking (Crockpot, Grub Hub)
- Spyware renewal
- Pet care (self-cleaning litter box, PetMeds)
And don’t forget about Alexa! She will look things up for you, tell you random facts, order things for you, turn on your thermostat and lights, and so much more!
10. SET GOALS WITH PRACTICAL ACTION STEPS
Setting goals is a major step that must be taken in order to skyrocket your productivity. Goals go hand-in-hand with motivation. The problem is, we often get stuck in the goal-setting phase, and we don’t take the proper action to follow through.
How can we change this? Break our goals down and add practical action steps.
For every goal you set, try to break it down into a few smaller ones. Then break those smaller goals down into action steps. This may sound like a long process, but it’s not. You can literally do this in less than five minutes by using my goal-setting worksheet. It’s part of my Productivity Binder. Get it here.
Spend five minutes filling out the worksheet and you’ll end up with a list of action steps that you can begin to immediately implement.
Jenny wants to buy a $200 dress for a cruise next month but doesn’t have the extra money, so she will have to save it.
Here are three pieces of information about Jenny’s life that will help her to dissect this goal:
- Jenny buys a $5 latte every day.
- She and her boyfriend go out to eat every Saturday evening, and they spend around $25 on their meal.
- She also has A LOT of pretty clothes and nice books.
Jenny’s Focused Goal Outline looks like this:
As you can see, it’s pretty simple to break down a goal into smaller pieces and steps, making the whole thing much more achievable.
Think of it like this. Say someone gives you a 2-pound cheeseburger, but you aren’t allowed to chew it or break it up into pieces; you have to eat it WHOLE. Unless you have a mouth the size of a crocodile, that’s pretty much impossible. Now say you can eat the same cheeseburger any way you want. You are going to immediately start biting and chewing. By doing this, you’re breaking a big problem into smaller pieces that are easy to manage. Suddenly, eating that 2-pound burger is much more achievable. Also, now I’m hungry.
It’s the same with goals. Break them up into “bite-sized” pieces, and you’ll immediately see them as doable.
Want to see more simple tips to help you save money? Check out this post!
11. EDUCATE YOURSELF
Creativity happens when a person combines the knowledge of those who came before them, with current or new research and insights. That’s why it’s so important to always be learning. This can be as easy as reading every day, or as in-depth as getting a masters degree at a prestigious college.
We cannot grow our minds without taking in knowledge. The more we educate ourselves, the more productive and creative we allow our minds to be.
My favorite ways to expand my knowledge are:
- Ted talks
- Online courses
- Books and e-books
” Everything in life and business, you only earn more if you become more valuable. Because if you can do more for people than anybody else does, you can prosper. But you can’t do that unless you’re constantly educating yourself with the cutting edge. My whole life, even when I had no money, I would invest in education.” –Tony Robbins
A great way to view this is to think as Tony Robbins does. View education as investing in yourself. We invest in businesses, kids, stocks, and so many other things. Why wouldn’t we want to invest in educating ourselves?
12. PLAN YOUR MEALS
You may not immediately think of meal planning as a way to be more productive, but it’s actually one of the very best ways. Why?
- It helps you to see what you need in the fridge for the week, so you won’t need to make extra grocery store trips
- You can plan easy, quick meals, and make them in large batches to have leftovers for the next day, which means making fewer meals altogether
- Planning ahead makes it possible to prep your ingredients on the weekends, reducing time spent cooking during the week.
You can easily use a notebook or create yourself a worksheet to help you plan your meals. Or if you want to save a little time, grab yourself a copy of my Productivity Binder. This is the meal planning worksheet that is included:
This meal planning worksheet is simple and SO effective. Get it here!
By the way, if you want to save even MORE time and be more productive, why not try a meal service like Home Chef or HelloFresh? The curate beautiful meals according to your preferences that are super quick and easy to get on the table, leaving you time to other things.
13. ASK FOR FEEDBACK
When I say feedback, I’m not talking about criticism. Criticism doesn’t breed productivity.
However, well-thought-out feedback that has the goal of encouraging improvement is essential to growth. Noticed I italicized essential. Getting feedback isn’t just a good idea, it’s IMPERATIVE to your success. Without feedback, my blog and business would probably not exist today.
The key is to keep feedback as positive as possible.
That’s not to say we don’t need some constructive feedback once in a while. But the delivery must be positive.
If you’re trying to increase your productivity, speak to a mentor/supervisor/coworker. Choose a person you trust, and that you know has your best interests in mind. Make sure they aren’t just going to tell you what you want to hear. Explain to them that you’re seeking feedback to help you become more productive. If you’re willing to put yourself out there in this way, you’ll be SO surprised at the valuable insights you’ll end up with.
Of course, these kinds of conversations can be really uncomfortable, not only for you but for the person giving the feedback. So make sure you handle it maturely, not getting worked up, argumentative, or angry. Listen intently to the feedback, thank the person, and then spend some time meditating on it. You’ll notice that the more you do this, the easier it becomes.
Interestingly, companies that don’t have these uncomfortable and somewhat challenging conversations with their employees are two times as likely to have poor productivity than employers who do. Businesses that make positive feedback a regular part of their culture tend to become top-performing entities.
14. USE TO-DO LISTS WITH PRIORITIZED TASKS
Writing to do list can really help in increasing productivity, simply because our brains tend to forget things when we get busy. Plus, great satisfaction comes from checking off items on your to-do list and seeing your undone tasks decrease.
To supercharge productivity, list your tasks in order of priority. Again, a notebook is all you need for this. Or, for your convenience, my Productivity Binder includes an easy-to-use Prioritized Task List that will help you to do this quickly.
I want to make sure you understand that I’m not saying you NEED to buy my binder to be more productive. While it does save you a lot of time, I’m not going to pretend it’s the only solution for you. Like I said, even a good old 99 cent notebook will work.
However you choose to do it, using prioritized to-do lists is a fairly simple way to increase your productivity. It takes a little bit of planning, but the time you end up saving is well worth it.
“The good news is that every minute spent planning saves as many as ten minutes in execution. It only takes about ten or twelve minutes for you to prioritize tasks by planning out your day and create a to-do list. This small investment of time will save you at least two hours (100-120 minutes) in wasted time and diffused effort throughout the day.” Brian Tracy international.
15. GET QUALITY SLEEP
We talked earlier about the benefits of power napping. While catnapping is a great way to combat late-afternoon lag, you really need to get regular, good- quality sleep for your productivity to increase over the long-term.
Have you ever stayed up all night before a test trying to cram as much information into your brain as you can, and hoping all that information will stay in there just long enough for you to regurgitate it on to the test page? You probably didn’t realize this, but the act of staying up all night may have damaged your abilities more than helping them.
Sleep, or lack thereof, has a huge impact on almost every second of our day.
Studies show that high-quality sleep impacts you positively in several ways:
- You can focus after distractions more quickly
- Sleep prevents burnout paragraph you can make better and quicker decisions
- Your memories better
- Make fewer mistakes
Without enough sleep though, things can get bad. Your energy decreases, as well as your motivation. It’s difficult to remain focused, memory lapses are commonplace, and your decision-making abilities are compromised. In fact, studies have shown that lack of sleep can put us on par with being drunk. Whaaat? This is partly because not getting enough sleep means you don’t get into the deep sleep phase as often as needed. This deep sleep phase is essential to muscle and body tissue repair and restoration.
So get some sleep! Your body and overall productivity will thank you.
Did you know you can use an app on your phone for sleep? Not only can you track the quality and stages of your sleep, but you can get help to fall and stay asleep. Check out this article to see some great options!
16. TRY BATCHING TASKS
We already established that multitasking is a productivity killer. Since we are looking to skyrocket your productivity, let’s look at a fairly recent concept that runs almost opposite to multitasking: batching.
What is batching?
Batching is basically combining like tasks into work sessions. It gives you the ability to accomplish several tasks at once without your brain needing to switch back and forth between subjects.
Batching saves you time and energy. It’s much easier to get into a good workflow when you don’t have to be constantly switching your gears. The idea behind batching is that you can increase your concentration, reduce distractions, and thus streamline your productivity.
I’ve included an awesome Task Batching Blueprint in my Productivity Binder. This will help you to make a blueprint for several batching sessions in the snap of your finger.
Of course, you can just do this on a notebook too!
As mentioned earlier, task switching can cost you 40% of your productivity. Think about what that means. If you batch tasks, you can finish ten tasks in the same amount of time you would have finished only six tasks! That’s almost twice as many!
Task batching creates an equation I quite like:
more finished tasks = more time = more money
17. DECLUTTER YOUR LIFE
It’s so easy to collect things to the point of having clutter, especially if you’re a somewhat frugal person. I tend to want to save everything, juuuust in case I might need it that ONE crazy time in that ONE crazy situation.
Whether you like it or not, or whether you think so or not, clutter often has a negative impact on productivity. This is because clutter is distracting and overwhelming, and those two things go completely against success.
Distracting clutter may not just be in your home. It can be in your car, in your office at work, on your computer’s digital desktop, on your smartphone, in your email accounts, etc.
If you take a few moments to put some systems into place, you can greatly reduce the amount of clutter in your life.
Here are some quick things you can do right now that will instantly give a boost to your productivity:
- Tidy your desk
- Add a filing system. Here’s a system I recently added to my desk at work: I have three trays on my desk. The first is labeled, “To do,” the second is labeled, “In progress,” and the third is labeled “Done.”
- File papers immediately
- Keep cords and cables organized. (here is an awesome and inexpensive product to help you quickly organize cables)
PRO TIP: Clutter causes you to spend more time looking for things that you need to finish your tasks. Use things like baskets, bowls or cups as catchalls in your home and at work. These will greatly reduce the time it takes to find the tools you need.
18. SET UP A MORNING ROUTINE…STARTING AT NIGHT
This may seem like a small thing, but prepping at night saves me so much time and energy in the morning before work. I don’t know about you, but I don’t function very well in the early morning the first place. Anything I can do to make that startup process easier is a win for me.
Here’s what I do at night:
- Set out my clothes, shoes, purse, keys, sunglasses
- Prep my lunch and have it ready in the fridge, along with my breakfast drink
- Set out the pet food and bowls so I can quickly get the animals their breakfast
Just these three simple tasks, done the night before, help me to shave off a pretty good amount of time in the morning.
My other favorite nighttime prep is a shower. My hair is really long, and a nighttime shower saves major time in the morning. It takes forever to blow dry my hair, so I let it air dry while I’m sleeping (side point: this is also better for my hair).
Lastly, make sure chores like doing the dishes, scooping the cat litter (I guess I assume everyone has animals like me) and taking out the trash are done before bed. If you’re looking to skyrocket your productivity, the last thing you need is yesterday’s clutter bogging you down today.
My Productivity Binder has a fantastic worksheet that helps you design a nighttime and morning routine. This way you can maximize your effectiveness and productivity while streamlining your processes.
19. REDUCE DISTRACTIONS
Moms are the Queens of drowning out noises and distractions. It seems like the more kids a woman has, the better she is at not hearing them.
Unfortunately, even if you ARE good at ignoring obnoxious sounds, those distractions still affect your productivity. It’s been shown that even very small distractions can have an impact on not only the quantity but the quality of what a person accomplishes.
Reducing interruptions will immediately skyrocket your productivity. When you can carve yourself out a chunk of time in a distraction-free environment, you can double, triple, even quadruple (whaaaaat??) your productivity.
Here are some painless things you can do to eliminate some of the distractions you might be facing:
- Schedule out work time for yourself, letting your kids and partner know ahead of time so they won’t interrupt you
- Find a space to work that isn’t frequented by others, at least for the time you’ll be using it
- Turn off the TV
- Turn off your phone
Doing just those things can eliminate the bulk of the distractions you encounter on the daily.
20. USE VISUAL CUES
There are a couple of reasons why visuals can really help us to become more productive
First, well-placed visuals ensure that you repeatedly see your goal, which keeps it in the forefront of your mind
Second, the actual act of creating a visual helps you to remember and increase the likelihood of achieving your goals. Using your thoughts, eyes, and hands all at once will make a more lasting impact on your brain.
So what kind of visual aids can you use?
Well, I have a Post-it note on my bathroom mirror and on my fridge with the number 25,000 written on it. That’s the number of sessions required to qualify for Mediavine, which is a huge goal of mine.
Some people get very elaborate with their visuals, creating things like vision boards or bullet journals. The only caution I see with this is to watch that you don’t put more emphasis on creating the visual than on taking the action needed to accomplish the goal.
This is probably the most common sense item ion my list. Which is why it MUST be mentioned.
The benefits of calendaring are never-ending. Keeping track of your time is one of the most essential parts of managing a busy life and not getting consumed and overwhelmed.
It’s important to understand that regardless of whether you prefer calendars that are paper, digital, or a mix of both, the key to successful calendaring is consistency.
My life is run on calendars. I have a binder with a printable calendar which I used to plan my daily life. Things like vacations, appointments, etc. I also have an electronic calendar on my phone where I set alarms for appointments the day before and an hour before, to help me not forget. Then there’s the calendar I use to plan all of my blog posts and social media marketing. My kitchen has a wall calendar so I can get a quick overview of what’s up for the month. Lastly, I have a budgeting calendar to ensure that I always know the state of my business finances.
This may sound crazy to you, but it works for me. However, when I don’t stick to my calendars, I feel lost, and I lose SO MUCH productivity. Conversely, when I consistently stick to my schedule I feel accomplished.
You won’t find any successful business owner out there who says calendaring reduced their productivity. It’s just one of those things that makes your whole life run better.
22. EAT A SNACK
Studies show that maintaining our glucose levels throughout the day is what’s best for our brain and our productivity.
There are two caveats with this:
One, you should keep it to a small snack, not a full-blown meal. A large lunch inevitably leads to an afternoon slump, or what I call the afternoon food coma. Food comas are terrible for productivity.
Second, you should choose a healthy snack if possible. Greasy fries are only going to make you feel heavy, tired, and guilty. Try a snack that will give you an energy boost, or something that includes a little bit of protein to get you to dinner.
Here are some of my favorite snacks for productivity:
- English muffin with mixed nut butter
- Granola bars
- Hummus and pita chips
- Avocado toast
- Chia squeeze
- Tuna and crackers
23. USE A PRODUCTIVITY PLANNER
Could you have guessed this would be a suggestion? I’ve only mentioned my productivity planner 27 times! But the fact remains, using a planner is a great way to skyrocket your productivity.
Of course, I’d love you to use my Productivity Binder, but guess what? What works for one person might not work for another. There are some great digital and paper options out there.
I much prefer a paper planner, and here’s why: Writing things down adds another element to the process of storing things in your brain. As mentioned earlier, using more than one sense, such as a combination of visual, audio, and touch, is just upping your chances of remembering the things you need to do and getting them done.
If you decide to try my planner, here’s a bit more info about it. Otherwise, skip on to the next section! The binder is chock-full of worksheets, motivational mantras, coloring sheets, and more. It’s one of the best productivity planners out there, and it’s super affordable. Plus, you can have it in your hands in minutes, because it’s an instant download. Get it here.
24. REWARD YOURSELF
“By rewarding yourself in the moment, your brain elicits positive emotions, leading to the realization that your efforts result in a positive reward. By doing this continuously, your brain will start to link pleasure to accomplishing the task or objective and move towards it in the future.” –Tony Robbins
Having a reward to look forward to (a carrot on a stick) gives us added motivation to accomplish our task, which will skyrocket your productivity.
However, it’s essential to pick the right reward. It needs to be something that will be highly motivating to you personally. The reward can be as big as or small as you want.
Here are some ideas for ways to reward yourself:
Weight loss: a new bathing suit, a tropical vacation, a new dress, a family photo session
Get a raise at work: a new purse/briefcase, a spa day just for yourself, a night out with friends
As Tony Robbins says, rewarding yourself, even in a small way, has a huge ROI (return on investment). And you know how us online business people like a high ROI!
25. PLAY IT FORWARD
I think we all have big ideas of what our goals are, or what life will be like when we reach those goals. But there is amazing power in visualizing your success in detail. I think of this is playing it forward.
Close your eyes and picture yourself in the future, when you have accomplished the most important goal that you’re working toward right now. The key is to get as specific and detailed as you can.
Ask yourself questions. What does it look like? What does it smell like? What sounds you hear? What is your partner doing? What are your kids doing? You can even go further and write this down, like a diary. Write out what a day in your life will look like when you’ve made your most important goal a reality. There is so much power in visualizing your success this way.
Let’s do an example:
Jenny has a blog. She wants to monetize her blog and eventually make enough income to quit her day job and work full time from home.
We are going to play it forward with Jenny:
Jenny wakes up around 6:30 to help her kids get ready. She doesn’t feel rushed, because she isn’t dashing out the door to get to work at the same time the kids are running to the bus. Instead, Jenny has a cup of coffee and a nice conversation with her 16-year-old daughter while her daughter puts on her makeup. The smell and taste of an easy cup of coffee while chatting with her daughter is one of her favorite parts of the day. She even has time to make scrambled eggs and toast for the kids, instead of just throwing a granola bar at them.
Jenny walks the kids to the bus and returns home to answer some emails. She spends a couple of hours writing, but she’s also able to get the laundry started. Her house is so much cleaner because she can get chores done in between work projects. Which is great, because it helps her to step away from the computer and clear her head once in a while. Jenny also has time for a garden, which is something she hasn’t done since she was little with her mom. She’s always wanted to do one with her kids, and now she finally is! Because of the fresh veggies, Jenny is feeling more energy and she’s lost some weight.
You see how this works?
It doesn’t matter what your play it forward is, so long as it’s yours. And honestly, if you can’t picture yourself in your own dream future, you probably aren’t working towards the right goal.
Wanna see something cool? The worksheet below is part of my Productivity Binder, and it helps you play it forward.
You don’t need this worksheet. Of course, it will make it easier for you, but you can just use paper and pen.
You can even do this exercise in your head. This visualization technique makes your goal SO much more real, almost tangible. It makes your dream future feel not just possible, but probable.
There you have it! 25 ways you can start increasing your productivity immediately. Each of these options are things I have personally tried and found great success with, and I know you will, too.
Some of them may seem really obvious or small, but if you implement a few, most, or even ALL of these suggestions, you will not be able to help but skyrocket your productivity. It’s a natural side effect.
What are some things you do in your life that help to increase your productivity?