While we can’t actually create more time in our day, there are plenty of ways to make the most of your existing time so that you’re able to accomplish a lot more with the resources you’ve already been given.
I’m sharing some simple “time hacks” that can help you increase your productivity so that you are able to spend less time working, and more time just enjoying life! 🙂
Here are 9 ways to be insanely productive:
1. Batch similar tasks
Jumping around from responding to emails, working on a project, calling a client, and brainstorming new ideas can leave you feeling like you’re being super productive. But in reality, you really aren’t getting much done at all. It just feels like it.
Try batching similar tasks, like doing all of your calls for the day at once, or responding to all of your emails in a single email session instead of bouncing in and out of your inbox all day. Once you get into the mindset needed to accomplish one task, it will be easier to just stay in that mindset by getting similar tasks done at the same time. This can be a great time saver, because you aren’t constantly forcing your brain to shift gears.
2. Use a planner you love
I’m a big fan of making the process of planning for productivity fun. When you are excited about pulling out your planner and getting things done, it makes being productive so much easier and something to actually look forward to! Some awesome planners I’ve found that are functional yet absolutely beautiful are this one from Ban.Do and this one from Lilly Pulitzer. Sometimes using some good old fashioned paper and pen to check off your to-do list can be a welcome break from screen time!
3. Get a better picture of how you are actually using your time
Sometimes while we are on our computers, we really have no idea how much time we are wasting on things like social media or YouTube. RescueTime is a great free resource to use to get a better picture of your habits while on your computer, and how much of your time is actually being spent doing productive tasks. It’s a cool app that tracks your time spent on applications and various websites and then sends you a report to give you a more accurate version of how your computer time was spent.
4. Stop engaging in time sucks
It can be so easy to mindlessly watch hours of TV every night, or to fall into the black hole that browsing the internet can be. While it’s okay to indulge in these activities every once in awhile, it’s important to be aware of how much time you actually spend doing them. Being aware of your potential time sucks is crucial so that you can purposefully avoid them when you really want to focus on being productive. If you know that sitting down for 10 minutes of TV time is likely going to turn into a two hour TV binge session, you’ll probably choose to avoid engaging in TV time at all if you have other things you really need to get done.
5. Take advantage of your peak times of alertness
If you are a natural morning person, take advantage of those early morning hours to do your most creative work first when your brain is at its peak. If you are a night owl, then perhaps you will complete some easier tasks during the morning and save your work that requires a bit more thought for later in the afternoon or at night. I think that we all work more efficiently and productively when we listen to our body’s natural times of alertness and take advantage of those times to do the work that requires the most brain power from us.
6. Plan for relaxation
You deserve to have some relaxation time planned in your schedule every week! It’s impossible to go-go-go without burning yourself out or losing some serious motivation. I recommend making time for some fun and relaxation every single week. It helps to know that if you have a crazy busy week and need to get a lot done, you will have some awesome R+R time on the weekend to look forward to. It can help to power through your tough week and work a bit harder knowing that you’ll have some downtime to rejuvenate in the near future.
7. Have an accountability partner
If you have a huge goal you are working towards, having an ability partner is key for success. The last few months, my friend Sarah and I have been keeping each other accountable. We’ve both been waking up at the crack of dawn to work on our businesses and like to send each other texts of encouragement early in the morning and throughout our day. It’s seriously so nice knowing that someone else is up at 5AM cranking out work and makes it a lot easier for me to get out of bed too. We help each other figure out what we need to work on in those early morning hours so we have a plan of attack in place and it is so motivating!
I highly recommend finding an accountability partner, regardless of what your productivity goals are. For me, it also helps that Sarah is in the same season of life as I am with a husband, young kids, a freelance business, and a blog. She “gets” me and my life right now in a way that not many others do and as a result, I find it a lot more difficult to come up with excuses to her. If you don’t already have an accountability buddy – leave a comment down below and let everyone know you’re looking for one. Let’s do some accountability buddy matching! 🙂
8. Don’t keep your email open all day
This alone can be a huge detriment to your productivity. Remember what we talked about above with batching similar tasks to complete in blocks of time?
Well, if you are receiving alerts from new emails coming in all throughout the day, I bet it’s going to be pretty difficult for you to only respond to them at your designated email time. If you think you need to check your email more than once a day, then try to create 2-3 different points throughout the day that you are allowed to check and respond (say 9a, 12:30p, and 4p for instance).
Then close your inbox out the remainder of the day so that you aren’t becoming distracted by all of the emails piling up in your inbox. If you are constantly on alert for responding to what others need from you the entire day, you are allocating all of your time and energy towards that rather than working on your own priorities and tasks.
9. Set time limits for each task
This is a great strategy for powering through every task you have in a more efficient and purposeful way. It can be so easy to spend hours upon hours “perfecting” something you’re working on if you know that you have unlimited time to complete it. I encourage you to try to set time limits for each task you need to complete. Not only will it force you to hunker down and stop dilly-dallying, but you’ll likely find that you ended up needing only a fraction of the time you originally thought you would to finish that task and do a great job too!
What are your favorite ways to be insanely productive?
[Photo source: Ashley Ella Design]
There are affiliate links in this post. If you choose to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I love myself and that I think would benefit you too. Thank you for helping to support Embracing Simple in this way!