If you can’t tell from its frequent presence on this blog, productivity has always been very important to me. Like a lot of people in the blogging community, I’m the type of person who wants to constantly be doing something useful. I live for the days when I’m able to muster enough motivation to write multiple blog posts or shoot a bunch of flatlays. Having a productive day is ultimately what makes me feel my best.
That being said, I try to have as many productive days as possible. It’s very critical to me that I make the most of my day and get done everything I can. As an amateur blogger, having a productive day is what allows me to get content up as often as I can without forcing me to abandon other life obligations. It’s the trick to balancing everything without getting too overwhelmed.
Today I wanted to share some of the steps I take to have a productive day. These tactics have made it possible for me to not just be more productive, but more efficient. Doing these things has allowed me to get what I need done typically in shorter stints of time. Since these techniques have been so helpful for me, I thought I’d put them up on the blog. Hopefully they can be of some help to you as well!
Pumping yourself up
Something that I think we forget from time to time is that we have to be our own motivators. You can pin inspirational quotes on your walls, listen to a hundred TED Talks, and pump your body with all the caffeine in the world, but when it comes down to it, you are your best motivator. Doing those things may help you get going, but you have to be the one to motivate yourself. When the quotes lose their charm, the TED talks are over, and the caffeine runs out, the only source of inspiration left will be you. (Sounds super cheesy, I know. But please bear with me!)
For me, being my own motivators means getting excited about whatever activity or goal I have in front of me, even if it isn’t particularly exciting. I guess you could call this a fake it till you make it strategy. Instead of how dwelling on how much you don’t want to do something, try and convince yourself to focus on the positives of doing it. A thought that has helped me get through tasks I’m dreading is remembering the only way to get something out of the way is to get it done. Thinking about how much I don’t want to do it won’t change that I have to do it. It’ll only make it harder for me to get started.
Motivating yourself is all about your mindset. If you go into something with a positive outlook, there’s a better chance you finish it feeling productive and inspired than if you go in with a negative outlook. I think this can be a really difficult thing to remember, especially if you’re trying to amp yourself for something that you really hate. But it’s important for us to be our own sources of motivation. If we’re not projecting positivity, we’re projecting negativity. And negativity won’t accomplish anything.
Fake it till you make it. Tell yourself you’ve got it even if you don’t feel that way. Be your own TED Talk. Don’t allow a bad attitude to stop you from getting done what you need to get done.
I swear to you all that eventually I’m going to write a full-length post about the magic that is time-blocking, but for now I’ll just say that picking up the habit has drastically changed my work behavior and overall productivity. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of time-blocking, which was me up until a few weeks ago, I highly suggest doing a quick google search. You’ll find a lot of articles from really successful and productive people talking about how life-changing it is.
Essentially, time-blocking is a strategy where you establish your goals for a specific day and then set time barriers for achieving them. Let’s say on a particular day you really need to get a blog post written. Instead of just putting write blog post on your to-do list, you pick a certain time of day to work on it. Once that time expires, you stop working on the post and move on to your next goal.
Time-blocking is even helpful for mundane rituals, such as doing your makeup or cleaning your bedroom. By putting those time constraints on yourself (being sure they’re realistic), you’re able to just knock out your goals. It’s a really simple strategy, but if you’re the planner/to-do list type, you’ll be amazed what it does for your productivity. When I time-block, I find that it’s a lot easier for me to get what I need to get done in a reasonable amount of time. I seriously swear by this strategy.
Casting away distractions
Have you ever had one of those moments where you go on your phone for what you think is a minute only to look at the clock and realize it’s been three hours? I think I can speak on behalf of just about everyone when I saw that social media is the kryptonite of productivity. It’s so easy to get sidetracked when you’re scrolling through your Twitter or Instagram feed and not even realize how much time has passed you by. There’s nothing more irritating than a productive day that suddenly becomes tainted by what was supposed to be a short break.
For me, one of the best ways to make the most out of your day is to cast aside things that you know are bound to distract you. Whether that’s your phone or your music, or a particularly gripping novel, put it somewhere it can’t cause you trouble. We all have different things that overtake our attention, so it’s important to identify your own. Music is something that I know a lot of people like to enjoy while they’re working, but for me, personally, it’s just another needless distraction. I know myself well enough to know that if I have my earbuds in while I’m working and a song comes on that I don’t want to hear, I’ll go on my phone for what I swear will just be a quick song change and then find myself sitting at my desk thirty minutes later looking up movie trailers on YouTube.
Keeping yourself away from distractions is quite honestly the best way you can increase your productivity. It makes it impossible for you to focus on anything but the task in front of you. Without distractions, you’re able to get things done when you need to.
Anyways, those are some techniques that have tremendously improved my productivity! I’m off to start planning my schedule for tomorrow and possibly write another post.
What do you do to make the most out of your day?