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.
+ Related: How to Set Goals and Master Them
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 towards.
+ Related post: How to Set and Accomplish Goals, the SMARTER Way
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? ;)
+ Related post: Identifying SMITN, the #1 Quality of Productive People
05. Organize your workspace
Looking for missing items 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, keep moving it back as much as possible for your lifestyle.
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. Also with rest, you'll be able to keep performing at your optimum level.
+ 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?
Just let me know what email to send it to.
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.
+ Related post: How to Start Being Productive, the Right Way
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.
+ Related post: 25 Things to do During Downtime
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."
+ Join: Productive, Purposeful You
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. And 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
A typical example of 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 automate. Whether it's posting on social media, paying your bills, or buying groceries, why not look into it once and finally get it off your plate?
+ Related post: 12 Habits of Highly Productive People
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. Try hiring a virtual assistant or outsourcing from an online staffing platform.
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
Your bad habit may be costing you time, your health, peace of mind, money, your relationships, and even your success. Why keep procrastinating?
+ Related post: Why You Should Ask Why Three Times
Want to really be productive?
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.
+ Related post: 31 Time-Wasters You Should Avoid and What To Do Instead
22. Make a “stop doing” list
Sometimes being productive isn't about what we do; it can also be 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
Reaching your body's optimum energy level will be much easier and faster once you fuel it with nutritious food and drink. Start with one meal today and try to carry it over on a regular basis.
24. Plan your day the night before
Not a fan of this one? You only need to try it a few times to realize its benefits. You get to hit the ground running as soon as you wake up in the morning 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 and 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 activities that are currently urgent and important.
27. Sleep eight hours tonight
This, too, needed its own spot in the challenge. Enough restful sleep helps your mind and body recover and allows you to be a high performer.
+ Related post: Why You Really Need to Rest
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.
Feeling overwhelmed by all of your tasks?
Here are 15 practical ways to prioritize. >>