Productivity is crucial for business and personal success. But what exactly does it take to feel like you’ve achieved all. the. things. and in a decent amount of time? Keep reading to learn the 7 simple productivity tips that are guaranteed to plenty of success!
Do you remember a time when you weren’t busy?
Busyness has become a way of life for so many people. The epidemic of being busy has even led us to believe that any free time we have is being used unwisely, which leads to the mindset that we should always be doing something with our time.
It’s easy to live under the constant pressure that there are only 24 hours in a day. This, of course, leads to the feeling that we need to accomplish every single thing within those 24 hours. If not, then we spiral into this mindset that there is no way to catch up on the things we have not yet accomplished.
The truth is, being busy is something that will probably never go away.
We can’t change the fact that we have to go to work, take care of our family, do house chores, have a social life, pay bills, go to school, do homework, work overtime, and the list goes on and on. At times it seems impossible to beat the season of being busy.
Enter the word that everyone knows all too well: productivity.
We see the word productivity all over the internet every single day. It’s common to read things like “how to be productive,” “the ultimate guide to productivity,” “the reasons why you’re not productive,” and “tips for productivity.” The only reason you probably clicked on this article was because you hope to read the 7 simple productivity tips for ultimate success.
While I 100% believe that the 7 tips I’m about to provide you with will lead to your ultimate success, the truth is there is another important factor to productivity that no one talks stop. That is your mindset.
The only way to truly be productive is if you make up your mind that productivity is an important factor in your life. You can read all the tips in the world and it still won’t help you if you haven’t made up your mind that you want to live a life full of productivity and focus.
Once your mind is made up that you don’t want to live life constantly saying “if only there was more time in the day,” then you can truly utilize all those wonderful tips for productivity.
Now that you understand the importance of having the right mindset, let’s dive into the 7 simple productivity tips for the ultimate success and focus.
1. Write your to-do list at night
We all know that a to-do list is one of the top hacks for productivity. What you might not know is how to use a to-do list for your ultimate success.
It seems like there is a clear divide between people who love having a to-do list and people who hate to be told what to do by a list. I used to be one of those. I never felt like I was able to check everything off. My list always got bigger rather than smaller. I felt chained to my list and hunted by the unchecked items.
Now, I absolutely love my to-do list and have found so much success in using it. So, what changed?
Two major things changed with how I approach making my to-do list. The first one is the time of day I make my list. Before, I used to try to make my to-do list as a went throughout my day. My list, which is in my cell phone, would constantly grow as random things popped into my head.
This was extremely overwhelming. I could easily have 20 to 30 things on my to-do list. On top of the length of the list, I felt like I needed to get everything done in a single day. That is not productive at all.
I decided to make my to-do list at nights and what a difference it has made!
Since moving the creation of my to-do list at night, I no longer add anything to my list throughout the day. Right before I go to bed, I sit down for about 10 minutes and I write my to-do list for the next day. My mind is always more clear at night because I have a better overview of the type of time I will have for the next day and I am realistically able to put down the things I know I can get done.
The next big change I made for my to-do list is that I only list my top 3 to 4 tasks. Like I said before, my to-do list had around 20 to 30 items on it every single day.
No wonder I was always so overwhelmed and felt like I was underperforming in my duties.
Now, I only put the top 3 things I know I can accomplish the next day. Sometimes I know I can only realistically get to 1 of those tasks done so often my to-do list will only have 1 task on it.
Not only has my success rate in accomplishing tasks gone through the roof, but I now get more work done than I ever did before. By making my to-do list at night with a clear head, and by only adding my top 3 to 4 tasks to the list, I maximize my productivity rather than overwhelming my day.
If you’d rather make your to-do list on paper, try using this to-do list notepad for maximum success (and style!).
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2. Practice self-control with the internet
The internet is probably one of the biggest downfalls of productivity in the modern era. We have the internet at our fingertips every single day with our cell phones. On top of that we have laptops, desktop, tablets, iPads, and even TVs with Internet access.
No wonder there is such a push lately to monitor the amount of time someone spends on the Internet.
I would never suggest to give up the internet entirely for productivity. That is flat out unrealistic. Me, personally, if I did not have the internet I could not do my job. That’s why getting rid of the internet is not the option. The solution, however, is practicing self-control.
Remember earlier when I said that productivity only works if you have the right mindset? This is one of those areas were mindset plays a huge role. The reason why self-control is so difficult for most people is because it requires you to be in the correct mindset for it to be successful.
With that said, some basic self-control with your internet use is an extremely simple productivity tip that anyone can do. As someone who can easily get distracted by the internet on a daily basis, I know it is not enough to simply say “I will have self-control when using the Internet.”
That doesn’t work.
What does work are various apps. There are apps out there that are dedicated to helping control the amount of time you spend on the internet. I’ve given a few of these a shot and I know for a fact that my distractions with have gone way down since.
Here are a few of my favorite options to help you have self-control with the internet.
- Cold Turkey App
- Stay Focused App
- Screen Time: App Limits (in iPhone settings)
3. Listen to instrumentals
Believe it or not, lyrics are distracting. If you are someone like me who has to do homework, or who has to do a lot of writing for work, it is important not to get distracted by noise such as musical lyrics.
I’ve noticed that whenever I am trying to work and I listen to music that has an upbeat tempo with lyrics, I tend to dance around and let my mind wander off. This is not productive at all.
However, without music playing in the background, working can often feel lonely and full of silence.
To combat this feeling, listen to music with instruments.
There has actually been an entire study done about the best music to listen to when you need to focus. According to the study, which can be found in the article Music Effect on Productivity the best music to listen to is classical music and sounds of nature.
Personally, I’m not a fan of listening to nature sounds when I’m working. And, while classical music is sometimes nice, it doesn’t always fit the mood of my days.
This is where Spotify comes in. Since signing up for Spotify premium, I’ve made a few different playlists full of beautiful instrumental music that I like to listen to when I’m working. Not only does this music help me get into the zone, but it fills the empty silence and it allows me to get a lot of work done.
The best part is my brain is now trained to focus when I put on my instrumental playlist. Again, there is a science behind the repetition of doing an activity consistently.
For me, that consistency is putting on my instrumental playlist every time I sit down to write. My brain immediately knows that it’s time to be productive.
4. Spend time automating and batching tasks
Do you do the same things every single day and even multiple times a day?
This one might be a little harder to grasp, but let me explain what I mean. Before I began automating my tasks my day used to look something like this:
I’d wake up and check my email, check my social media, get ready for work, check my email again, go to work, go to school, check my email a couple more times, come home, clean the kitchen, do homework, work on my blog, check my email, watch TV, and check my email one more time before bed.
Clearly, I was checking my email way too much. But, I was also doing some other things way too often. I realized I was cleaning my house a lot and wasting time on the dishes and sweeping the floor. I was also spending too much time figuring out what I was going to wear for work and what I was going to eat for dinner.
This is where automating and batching task comes in.
I now try to check my email only once or twice a day and only at times that I am prepared to respond to all the emails I received. It was such a waste of my time to check my email 10+ times a day and then have to go back through and try to remember which ones I needed to respond to.
I now have automated templates created to respond to emails that often ask the same type of questions. This is something that can be set up in Gmail and probably any email provider. Trust me, this saves plenty of time.
The same went for cleaning my kitchen. I don’t have a dishwasher, so if I didn’t clean my dishes right away they would pile up in the sink. This meant that if a few days went by without cleaning my kitchen properly, I’d have to spend double the time cleaning.
Now I have a very strict rule that I do not go to bed with dishes in the sink. This means that I take an extra few minutes to wash my dish immediately after eating which saved me hours in the long run.
Task batching is something I do this mainly with my blog. I spend certain days just writing, certain days creating my images, and certain days working on marketing.
Instead of trying to do a little bit of everything every single day and not getting as much done, task batching means I get more done in a shorter amount of time. Task batching and automating tasks really are simple and productive tips for ultimate success.
5. Clean up your email inbox
I know I just talked about emails, but let’s go a little bit deeper. How many people are you subscribed to you that you have no idea who they are or you are not interested in their products at all?
It is so common for people to have thousands of emails sitting in their inbox every single day. This is not productive. In fact, this is distracting and a waste of your time.
Do your self and your productivity a favor by going to your inbox and unsubscribing any emails that you don’t read. You do not need to have an inbox that is cluttered.
This task might take you a few days to do but once you get down to 0 unread emails you’ll be able to easily monitor every email to get. I’ll even go as far as to say that if you’re on my email list and you don’t open my emails, then unsubscribe! I would not want to be one of those people adding junk to your inbox.
With that said, my emails are definitely not junk and I would love for you to be on my list. I promise I offer nothing but helpful information these three primary categories: starting a business, working full-time, and financial freedom!
6. Ignore your phone in the morning
If you’re looking for simple productivity tips, you’re going to have to put your phone down a lot more. Specifically, ignore your phone in the morning.
How often do you roll over and grab your phone immediately after waking up. There’s so much to check including email, social media, text messages, videos, weather, and the list goes on and on and on.
What if instead of reaching for your phone and allowing yourself all that distraction, you got up and focused on having a productive morning.
Obviously, this is way easier said than done. After all, how many of us actually want to jump up out of our warm beds and get started with the day when we can lounge around and look at our phone?
Trust me on this.
You will feel so much better when you take your time to get ready and focus on you in the mornings rather than rushing around because you spent too much time on your phone.
I now have a simple and strict rule that I do not touch my phone in the morning until I have left my house. My productivity has seriously gone through the roof just with this one simple hack.
I honestly think that we are so blessed to live in the modern era of technology, but if we are not careful our phones that can be the very thing that destroys our days.
Don’t let that happen to you. Choose a day of productivity. Remember, mindset is key when it comes to being productive!
7. Prep for each day the night before
This simple productivity tips for ultimate success goes hand-in-hand with making your to-do list at night.
There are so many things that you can do at night to help you have a more productive following day. Think about it. When you wake up in the morning, if you are completely unprepared there are so many things to get done.
You have to decide what you’re going to wear, get ready for the day, pack a lunch, help your family get ready, eat breakfast, and hopefully make your bed. That’s a lot to do in a short amount of time.
Not to mention that most people spend the mornings rushing around and being stressed out and unorganized. The best way to avoid all of this stress is to prep as much as you can the night before.
Decide at night exactly what you’re going to wear and set your clothes out. I have a command hook on my closet that I hang my entire outfit for the morning I can just get up and get dressed.
Also, make your lunch at night. If you’re into meal prepping like I am then you can actually make your lunch over the weekend and have it already in the refrigerator ready for you to go. All you need are some containers and a good lunch pail to kickstart your meal prepping success.
Next is to clean up anything that’s out of place. Just like I have the rule that I don’t go to bed with dishes in the sink, maybe you need to set some rules where are you tidy up a little bit every single night. This way you don’t end up spending hours at a time cleaning a giant mess.
And, of course, like I started this post off talking about, make your to-do list the night before. This will seriously help you set yourself up for a day of success.