It can be tough to always stay on your game.
From constant distractions to unexpected interruptions, sometimes you just need a little nudge or sensible tip to help you get back on track.
If you're having "one of those days," here are 31 tips to boost your productivity.
01. Keep track of your activities today and see how long each of them take
This is a good first step towards your journey to being more productive. Which activities are you spending the most time on? Is that amount of time what you were aiming for and essential to reaching your goals? It's time to evaluate.
02. Write down your goals and priorities
There are several benefits of writing anything down but even more powerful advantages when you write down your goals and priorities. Bonus points: keep them visible to remind you what you're working for and moving toward.
+ Related post: 8 Powerful Benefits of Writing Things Down
03. Drink water as soon as you wake up
Not only will you rehydrate after several hours of sleeping, but you'll be more likely to get up already and not hit the snooze button.
04. Identify your single most important task today and do it
No more going to bed feeling unfulfilled — make sure your top priorities aren't left on the backburner. As Tim Ferriss said, "focus on being productive instead of busy."
If that still doesn't help, think of SMITN which stands for Single Most Important Task Now. I came up with this acronym as a reminder to myself to focus and avoid multi-tasking. Catchy, eh? ;)
05. Organize your workspace
Looking for things unorganized take up so much more time than you expect. Keep everything in order to keep your mind at ease.
+ Related post: 31 days of Organization Challenge + Free Checklist
06. Set your morning alarm 15 minutes earlier
You'll be surprised what you can do with an extra 15 minutes in the morning. Once you get the hang of it, move it back another 15 again and again.
07. Identify the top five tasks last week that produced 80% of your results
This is related to the Pareto principle or 80-20 rule which dictates 20% of your effort results in 80% of your outcome. Once you identify which activities move the needle, focus on it.
08. Check your emails only two times today
Email can be such a huge time suck. Schedule checking your inbox to be proactive, instead of reactive.
+ Related post: 30+ Gmail Tips and Tools That Can Boost Productivity
09. Schedule a “no-distractions” rest period in the middle of the day
Rest is often the most neglected part of one's day but it is the most helpful in preventing burnout.
+ Related post: FREE 5-day Optimize Your To-do List Challenge
10. Make a productivity playlist
Whether it's classical, rock, hip hop, or even beach sounds, take note of what kind of music helps you focus or gets you pumped up then utilize it.
Want to follow along with a FREE checklist?
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11. Talk to someone you look up to and ask them their #1 productivity tip
Who better to learn from than from someone you admire? Ask them their #1 productivity tip, tool, or time-waster.
12. Get an accountability partner or join a support group
You don't have to do everything on your own. Most times, it helps to have someone support and motivate you to keep going.
13. Meditate for 10 minutes
Whether done in the morning, afternoon, or before going to bed, meditation has tremendous benefits when it comes to productivity. There are several forms too, in case you're not sold on the idea just yet.
14. Think of a small win from last week and celebrate it
Small steps are the key to reaching your goals. As Tony Robbins said, "It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently."
+ Related post: How to Set and Accomplish Goals, the SMARTER Way
15. Make your bed in the morning
This may be the most underrated productivity tip on this list but imagine it for a second — you get up and make your bed. Just like that, you get that quick win you need to hit the ground running the rest of the day.
16. Browse the internet with only one tab (or phone app) open at once
As the digital age's #1 example for multi-tasking, switching between tabs and apps is a constant time-waster. Just stop doing it.
17. Choose one task and automate it
If you think really hard, there may be one or two tasks that you can get off your plate. Why not try it?
18. Choose one task and delegate it
If it can't be automated, can you delegate it instead? Think of a task you're not particularly good at or don't quite like doing.
19. Choose one habit you’d like to develop and commit to doing it
Is it exercise? Healthy eating? Planning your day? If there ever was a time to commit to developing a good habit, it's now.
+ Related post: How to Finally Develop and Change Your Habits
20. Choose one habit you’d like to eliminate and commit to changing it
Why are you procrastinating? Your bad habit may be costing you time, your health, peace of mind, money, your relationships, and even your success.
21. Review the past week and cut down on your biggest time-waster
Remember #1? Which activity wasted the most of your time from last week? Try to change that this week.
22. Make a “stop doing” list
Sometimes being productive is about what we don't do. A few examples are: stop saying "yes" to everything and everyone, stop multi-tasking, stop selling yourself short, stop making XYZ as an excuse, etc.
23. Eat the healthiest meal you’ve had in a week
You may not like it, but your body will thank you.
24. Plan your day the night before
Not a fan of this one? You only need to try it a couple of times to realize its benefits. You get to hit the ground running as soon as you wake up and get to work!
+ Related post: 12 Evening Habits Worth Developing
25. Walk or jog outside for 20 minutes
It's not enough to say "start a good habit." I made this an actual part of the challenge to encourage physical activity + going out for a change.
+ Related post: 12 Morning Habits Worth Developing
26. Make a “go over later” list
If some tasks aren't urgent or important, make sure you capture it in paper so it won't bother you while you do the stuff that are currently urgent and important.
27. Sleep eight hours tonight
This too needed its own spot in the challenge. Enough good sleep helps your mind and body recover and allows you to perform at your optimum level.
28. Change your desktop or phone wallpaper to a motivational quote
Sometimes all it takes is a motivational quote that resonates with you. Find one and let it inspire you.
+ Related post: 101 Quotes to Boost Your Productivity Right Now
29. Learn something new via books, podcasts, or TED Talks
When was the last time you learned something helpful? This blog post? Why, thank you! But seriously, so many inspiring people, books, and resources are out there. It's never boring if your mind is open.
+ Related posts: Takeaways from Thought-Provoking Books and Leaders
30. Hug someone who supports you (could be your pet)
There are significant and scientifically-proven benefits of having physical contact especially from someone you have a connection with. And yes, hugging your pet at the end of a very long day counts.
31. Reward yourself for your biggest accomplishment this month
Hooray! Since you've reached this far, you definitely deserve to give yourself a prize — a weekend trip, a movie, glass of wine, shopping spree, whatever you think will keep you motivated to keep being productive.
Want to learn how to optimize your to-do list?
Thank you for dropping by and reading the very first post from Productive and Free — a blog dedicated to helping you live a full and creative life by providing actionable tips, resources, and inspiration.
Share in the comments below: How do you stay productive? What tips do you recommend?