Wednesday, October 10, 2012

12 Ways To Be More Productive

Don't you sometimes wish that there were 30 hours in a day so that you can get it all done?  Unfortunately, we all have the same 24 hours and, when we are overwhelmed with the never-ending to-do list, it is easy to become distracted and procrastinate (I'm looking at you Facebook).  Here are 12 ways that you can work smarter, not harder and be more productive.

1. Get enough sleep.  Scientists recommend 7-9 hours of sleep each night for peak productivity during the day.  When you are tired it is much harder to concentrate and much easier to procrastinate. 

2. Make a daily to-do list.  Stay away from huge to-do lists.  They are overwhelming and can cause more stress.  Instead, create a list of realistic jobs that you can tackle in one day.  Break bigger jobs into smaller tasks like writing one page instead of a whole thesis.  These small things will soon add up.

3. Be sure to do your MITs.  MITs are your Most Important Tasks.  These are the things that absolutely must be done.  Either put them at the top of your list or highlight them in some way so that those things get done.

4. Eat the frog first.  Do the task you are least looking forward to doing first to get it out of the way.  You can read more on this here.

5. Make a to-don't list.  Some bad habits can be real time wasters (Pinterest for instance).  Make a list of your time wasters and either vow not to do them until your to-do list is done or set a timer and limit your amount of time on them.  I use my oven timer because I have to physically get up to shut it off.

6. Stay away from the inbox.  Checking your email several times a day can be a huge time waster.  Schedule one or two times a day to check your emails and respond accordingly.

7.  Get your inbox to zero.   Respond, draft, file or delete all your emails each time you open your inbox.  I use the 2-minute rule.  If an email can be responded to in 2 minutes or less then it is done right away.  If not, it is filed in my "To Respond" file which is always emptied by the end of the day.

8. Don't multitask.  Our brains simply are not designed to function that way.  Set a timer and work on a single task for that amount of time.  Research has shown that multitasking can cut productivity in half.

9. Track your time.  For one day track how much time you spend responding to emails, on the phone, on social media, etc.  You may be surprised at how much time you actually spend reading updates about what your friends ate for dinner on Facebook!

10. De-clutter.  The average person spends almost 25 minutes a day searching for lost items.  By getting rid of all your unused and unwanted items you will have places to keep everything left over and gain those 25 minutes back.

11. Look back.  Each week take a look back at how your week went.  Is there anything you could do to tweak your schedule to make things run more smoothly?

12. Take a break.  Taking a break a few times a day will help you recharge.  Getting in a little me-time will help bring balance to an otherwise hectic day.


  1. Thank you Linda! :) I truly appreciate that someone has taken the time out of their day to read it!