Trying to figure out how to be more productive? Use these five tips to help you get more things done every day.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of King Digital Entertainment. All opinions are 100% mine. This post also contains affiliate links.
Before I quit my job to be a stay-at-home mom, I was a full-time project manager for a large technology company. Being a project manager meant that I had to basically figure out how to get everything done for a project within the allotted timeline and budget. When I was working, I never struggled with being productive and getting a ton during the day. I had to, there just wasn’t another choice.
Fast forward to my life now. I have a to-do list but it’s things like wash the dishes, go to the park, photograph a craft, and other things that just don’t seem as time sensitive. I mean, the dishes will still be there tomorrow for me to wash. I’ve really had to make an effort to be productive with my days so that when I’m talking to my husband at night, I can look back and see that I’ve actually accomplished something that day. And watching ten episodes of Dinosaur Train isn’t an accomplishment. These five tips have helped me learn how be more productive each day and hopefully they’ll help you as well.
How to Be More Productive Ever Day – Five Simple Tips
Tip #1 – Write it down.
When it comes to my life, I have to write things down with pen and paper. You can use Google docs, an app on your phone, or whatever you want to keep track of everything, but if you don’t write it down, you’re going to forget it. How are you ever going to get things done if you don’t even know what you’re supposed to be doing? I have my Erin Condren planner for deadlines, appointments, etc. and then two running to-do lists of things I need to do – one list of short-term/deadline projects and one of long-term, would like to do projects. Writing things down also means that you can check them off once they’re done. I personally love pretty notebooks like these ones!
Tip #2 – Pick your top 5 for each day.
This is something that I heard from Heidi Swapp at SNAP, and I’ve been using the idea ever since. Pick five things from your to-do list that you want to focus on for that day. And then focus on those five things first. If you finish those five things, go back to the list and pick something else to work on or give yourself a pat on the bat and take a break. It’s way too easy to look at your entire to-do list in the morning and get overwhelmed with all of the things you have to do; pick your five and finish those five.
Tip #3 – Don’t get distracted.
I am the queen of multi-tasking. When I’m writing a blog post, I’m almost always also watching TV. When I’m washing dishes, I’m typically feeding my son at the same time. For some reason, I feel like I’m wasting time somehow if I’m only doing one thing. This is a habit that I’m trying to break, and I highly recommend you do the same. It is so much easier to get something done if you just let your brain focus on that one thing and not have to jump back and forth from multiple things. So close your extra tabs, turn off the TV, hide your phone, and focus. Not only will you get things done much faster, they’ll probably get done much better than if you’d done them while distracted.
Tip #4 – Set a timer and take breaks. I know it sounds a little counterintuitive to take breaks while you’re trying to get things done, but it works. Set a timer and tell yourself that you have to answer emails for 30 minutes straight and then you can take a break. Or set a 15 minute clean-up timer and clean straight for those 15 minutes before you look at your phone. But the secret is, you have to set a timer for your breaks too. 15 minutes to clean up then a five minute break.
After a long stretch of working, I’ll typically set a five minute timer and either sit on the couch and catch up on Facebook or play my newest game, AlphaBetty Saga, the newest game from the creator of Candy Crush and Farm Heroes Saga, King Digital. It’s the first word-based saga game and now available for download for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play. I only keep games on my phone that are somewhat educational and AlphaBetty Saga made the cut.
And best of all because there is no timer, it’s perfect for that quick five-minute break between writing blog posts or answering emails. It keeps my brain thinking without the pressure of oh I have to beat the timer to pass this level. I typically play a level or two and when the timer goes off, close my game, knowing that when I open it again, I’ll be right where I left off.
Tip #5 – Reward yourself for a job well done.
We talked about taking breaks throughout the day. Take that one step further and after a productive day or a productive week, give yourself a small reward or if you finished a really big project, a big reward.
Small Reward Ideas:
- Taking time to play games like AlphaBetty Saga
- Dinner out with my family
- Watching an episode or two of my favorite TV shows (hello Gilmore Girls, Friends, and The Office)
- Going to a class at the gym
- Watching a chick flick like The Notebook
- Reading a book at night. Here are 15 books on my to-read list.
- Picking up my favorite magazine at the grocery store to enjoy
- Making my favorite mocktail and drinking it outside
- Going for a walk
Big Reward Ideas
- A massage
- New outfit
- Girl’s night out with friends
- Getting a baby-sitter and going on a date night
And last but not least, my favorite big reward for being super productive is to plan a vacation with my family. We’ve got all sorts of trips planned for this summer including one to Ketchikan, Alaska (a cruise for my mom’s 50th birthday).
Some of My Favorite Tools for Being More Productive
Mechanical Pencils (for writing in your planner!)
Gel Pens (so much more fun to write your t0-do list)
Planner Stickers (to make things more colorful)
Decorative Spiral Notebooks
7 Habits of Highly Effective People (good book to read on prioritizing)
Digital Timer (for keeping you on task!)
And if you thought these tips were helpful, you’re going to love this new post on ways to create a weekly schedule that actually helps you get more done! No more trying to fit it all in, you can make it fit with these fun ideas!