Happy Monday!! I know that Monday’s tend to leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth but to me, I like to see it as an opportunity to start fresh each week. There’s really not a Monday that goes by that I don’t start off motivated to take on new goals for the week. Whether they always get accomplished, well, that’s a whole different story. Something I’ve been really working on lately is trying to maximize my days by being the most productive with each and every hour that I’m awake. So, I want to share a few of the productivity hacks that have made all the difference for me up to this point. I’m constantly adding to this list, so it’s growing by day–but these are 10 hacks that have jump started a new found productivity energy inside of me.
Start by waking up 30 minutes earlier each day. Increase this time by a few minutes each day until you have a solid hour to use as your “productivity power hour.” I use my productive power hour for my “Miracle Morning” routine which you can read about here. It’s been a total game changer for me in more ways than I can count. Create your own morning ritual that gets you excited to wake up earlier each day to get started. Once you sink into your new routine, it’ll start to become a habit that produces the most results for you throughout your days. You’ll be surprised by doing this one task, what a difference it makes in your entire day. I feel like I’ve doubled the 24 hours in my day just by waking up earlier each morning!
Turn off alerts on your phone or push notifications. There’s nothing more annoying to me than my phone dinging at me every 5 minutes for a notification here, and a notification there that just get me off track ALL day long. You can go to your settings on your phone and select which notifications you’d like and which ones you want to turn off. That way, if you turn off the notifications, you’ll just see them when you open the actual app to see what’s happened since you last left off. This adds so much underlying stress to me when my focus is all over the place because of emails, notifications, etc. I like to try to limit myself to checking my e-mail 3 times a day as well. This is easier some days and harder on others depending on life, but it’s definitely something I’m mindful of for sure. But trust me, those notifications and reminders will still be there even if you don’t check them 8,000 times per day.
One notification I absolutely don’t mind having though, is an alarm that I set a few times a day to remind me to take 3 deep breaths. This helps remind me to focus on my breathing and to clear my head, even just for a few seconds. It’s crazy to think some days that you get to bedtime and haven’t focused on taking a deep breath the entire day. You’d be surprised how much of a difference this makes in your overall wellbeing. Short, fast paced breathing is my go-to but also leaves me feeling tense throughout the day which is no good. I also have other reminders on my phone that go off for daily tasks that I don’t want to forget to do each day. Ex. I have an alarm that goes off each night at 8:55PM to remind me to meditate. Or you can set reminders on your phone to pop up with a motivational quote!
Set a timer for completing the task at hand. Stop multi-tasking and overwhelming your brain by overstimulating yourself and focus on ONE task at a time. I like to do this when I’m cleaning the house or writing a blog post. It works like a charm and gets the most out of my time spent working on the task in front of me. What I’ll do is, I’ll set a timer for an hour then get to power cleaning the whole house. I try to get as much done as possible within that hour which usually turns out to be a lot more work than I even expect to be able to get done. When you do this, you don’t get distracted by 50 other things going on, but you are solely focused on getting as much accomplished within that set time frame as possible.
Brain dump to clear your head of stress, worries and your never-ending to-do list. Brain dumps seriously save me from extra un-necessary anxiety. I can sometimes get so overwhelmed just trying to keep everything in my head organized but feeling doubt that there’s no way I can remember to get all of the things done. So, usually once a week (usually Sundays), I like to grab a journal and write out everything in my head, on my internal to-do list needing to be done for the week ahead. I write out my goals for the week, my “must-do’s”, plan my workouts for each day of the week, meal ideas, appointments, and anything else that’s keeping my brain swirling around in 10 different directions. It’s so calming for me to get everything out of my head and on paper. I even keep a notebook by my bed or use the notes app on my phone when things start popping up in my head that I know I can’t forget to do, get or accomplish. Use this hack to be your most productive self and get the most out of your week with a clear and focused mind.
Use the “5 Second Rule” to get yourself to do what you’ve been procrastinating. I’ve ALWAYS been the queen of procrastination. I can put things off until the very last minute, then work extremely well under pressure. But, I know good and well that’s not the best way to get things done. The past few months, I’ve been listening to Mel Robbin’s 5 Second Rule on Audible and have started applying it to my day, multiple times throughout my 24 hours. I use it to get myself up and out of bed to start my morning routine. I use it to get myself to work on laundry (my least favorite household task). I use it to get myself to clear out my inbox. I use it for literally EVERYTHING. If you haven’t read this book yet, I highly encourage you to do so. Also, check out Mel Robbin’s YouTube channel too because she has some great videos there too to help with using the 5 second rule in your life. Basically, you use the 5-second rule to count backwards, 5-4-3-2-1 and take action! Your brain can trick yourself to NOT do what you NEED to do in less than 5 seconds! Need to wake up earlier? Great! Count, 5-4-3-2-1 and get up out of bed! Need to start dinner, but have zero motivation to cook, no problem! Count, 5-4-3-2-1 and get in the kitchen! I promise, it’s so simple and works MAGIC!! I’ve found a new inner motivation that I had no idea I had just by applying this simple rule into my daily routines. Take action and just DO!! Do whatever it is that’s been weighing on your brain and you’ll feel so much more accomplished!
To go along with the above hack, I like to use my “downtime” to listen to motivating podcasts, or videos to maximize my motivation and productivity. (I know this goes against my above hack of avoiding multi-tasking, but this applies in a different way.) I’m listening to podcasts or audio books non-stop just because it’s so helpful to have in my ear to keep me going strong throughout the day. Whether it’s folding laundry, painting a new room in the house, driving across town, or any time in between–I’m listening to something that motivates me to be my best self. If I can zone out and listen to what these personal development books/podcasts are talking about and absorb it is easily, I feel like it’s just double the good use of time for me. We’ve been turning on the “Be Inspired” YouTube channel every single morning to get us extra motivated to start the day. There are tons of videos to choose from and they’re all amazing! Check this out ASAP!
Take 10-15 minutes to get outside or break up your day by getting some fresh air. I like to do this to get some Vitamin D and soak up some sunshine mid-day. I always feel so refreshed by just shaking up my work routine with a quick little break to move my body and get outside. I can always tell such a difference when I add this to my day and when I don’t and find myself sitting in front of the computer for hours on end. It’s become a non-negotiable for me. Fresh air does the mind and body so much good!
Write out your goals on a post-it and put them everywhere. Keep your goals visible to remind yourself WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. It’s easy to forget what you’re working for when it’s not in the front of your mind, right? Sweep it under the rug and pretend it’s not there. BUT, that’s just prolonging our progress when we do that! Put post-its or images on your bathroom mirror, on your desk at work, as your home screen on your phone–ANYWHERE to keep you focused on your goals.
Lastly, give yourself permission to unwind and relax each day. Productivity is balanced out by self-care. It’s a necessity to stay true to yourself and to stay on top of your game. You have to take care of YOU in order to be able to pour into others and fulfill your goals and dreams. My most productive self usually comes right after I’ve taken some time for myself to relax, recharge my batteries and go into a new day feeling focused and determined! Even if it’s 20 minutes a day for a hot bath, take the time to do it! Then, you can come out that time ready to take on your to-do lists and get to goal digging again! It’s refreshing, required and beneficial for your overall best self.
And that’s a wrap! I hope that these tips and hacks help you in some way or another to be your most productive self! I know they’ve all made such a huge difference for me in so many ways. I’ve loved seeing my to-do lists shrink earlier each day and feel the anxiety of my days lessen as each tasks gets marked off. Of course, some days don’t work out as I plan, but that’s just the fun of life–right? We can’t control everything, but it’s all about putting in our greatest effort and putting our best foot forward each day, all day! That’s exactly what I’m after, no doubt about it!
I hope you guys have an amazing Monday! Do something today that your future self will LOVE you for!
Questions for YOU: (Comment below with your thoughts!)
What’s your favorite productivity hack?
Are you a to-do list maker?
What’s your favorite way to unplug and re-charge your “batteries”?
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