This past year, I sent myself on a journey to figure out how to increase daily productivity. I struggled with balancing everything on my plate and getting things done in general.
Are you in the same boat? If so, keep reading to learn six practical ways to increase daily productivity.
2019 was a year of discovery for me. I am generally a pretty organized person, so imagine my surprise when I found myself missing deadlines and feeling too tired to get things done.
I love the work that I do, and it’s not very hard, but between my side hustles, working full-time, and wanting to enjoy life, I couldn’t seem to keep up.
You see, productivity isn’t just about making lists and keeping a schedule. It’s about being intentional with your time and getting things done efficiently.
Being organized and making lists can enhance productivity, but those things alone won’t make you productive.
Somehow, the lightbulb came on for me at the end of the year. I learned how to improve my productivity, and now I want to share these tips with you. Let’s jump right in.
1. Prioritize your top 3
The most important way to increase daily productivity is to prioritize your top 3. The top 3 is a simple concept, but it can make all the difference with daily productivity.
Your top 3 is a list of 3 things you must get done today. These things can be simple or require more time, but they must get done today.
I started keeping a brain dump notebook with me at all times and it is full of lists.
These lists include things I need to do, things I need to remember, and things that may interest me in the future.
Every morning, I take a look at these lists to determine my top 3 things that must get done that day.
The top 3 isn’t my complete to-do list for the day. It’s just three tasks that I know I will get done, even if something else comes up.
It gives me a sense of accomplishment to check off those three things each day, even if I don’t get anything else done.
2. Wear a watch
The next tip to increase daily productivity is to wear a watch. These days, we have the time on our phones, but there is something about wearing a watch that makes time real.
I had a problem with running late at the beginning of the year. The issue was me using the time on my phone. My phone wasn’t always around while I was getting dressed or cleaning, and it was easy to lose track of time.
Wearing a watch allows me to keep track of time without pressing buttons. I also don’t get tempted to check email or social media since I’m not picking up my phone to look at the time.
I like to use the Pomodoro technique, which means highly focused work for 25 minutes with a 5-minute break between each session. My watch helps me keep track of my sessions.
Now, you don’t need to go out and purchase a smartwatch to keep track of time. Any watch that tells time will work as long as it is increasing your productivity.
3. Use a planner
If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you know I love planners! I think planners are essential when trying to increase daily productivity.
I use a planner to write down everything, and I do mean everything: appointments, meetings, my work schedule, my blog editorial calendar, and anything in between.
Planners help prepare you for the things that are coming up. Don’t depend on your brain to remember the one thousand tasks you have to do this year. Add everything to your planner.
When someone asks if you’re free or you need to schedule an appointment, check your planner to make sure you’re available.
There are so many planners available now, so find one that you like. I’m currently using the Plum Paper Daily Planner. I love it.
My planner was fully customizable, so of course, I have a top 3 section printed right at the top of each page.
Choose a planner, either paper or digital, that works for you and start filling it up with your appointments. You will see an increase in your daily productivity when you use your planner.
4. Stop multitasking
Tip number four is to stop multitasking. I know it sounds counterproductive, but studies show that focusing on one task at a time is more productive than multitasking.
Trying to work on multiple things at once actually slows you down. Your brain has to think about switching back and forth between tasks, which causes you to lose focus.
Instead, focus on one thing, get it done, then move on to the next thing.
I love focusing on one task at a time because I can get it done without being distracted. I get the satisfaction of checking things off of my list faster and getting more things done.
If you have trouble with this, use a timer. Set the timer for 25 minutes and only work on one task until the time is up. After that, take a five-minute break then start again.
You will be surprised how much you get done with complete focus.
5. Create a weekly schedule
Another way to increase daily productivity is to create a weekly schedule.
A weekly schedule helps you stay organized and know what you will be doing each day of the week.
For example, I know that I work out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. I also have a Skype call on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Saturday afternoons are for me to relax and spend time with my husband.
This tip was hard for me initially because I’m not too fond of schedules, but it has made a difference in my productivity.
I have set aside days of the week work out, write blog posts, make important phone calls, and take time for myself.
It has been so much easier to manage my day to day activities since I’ve been using the schedule.
Take a couple of hours to think about the things you do every week. Create a schedule to maximize your efficiency and make the best use of your time each day.
6. Make time for rest
The last productivity tip is to make time for rest. There is no way to be productive when you’re tired.
I know it’s hard to set aside time, but rest is vital for our health and wellbeing. Working while you’re tired leaves room for mistakes and overlooked deadlines.
Plan your day in a way that either allows you to take an extended break during the day or go to bed at a decent hour.
Scheduling rest into your day means that you will be at peak productivity during work hours. Your body will also be looking forward to your scheduled rest sessions.
Instead of scheduling a long break during the day, I decided to plan a daily cut off time. My cutoff time is 8:00 pm every day.
Scheduling a cutoff time has been working well for me. I have plenty of time to watch tv, read, or listen to music and get in bed by 10:00 pm to do it all again the next day.
The bottom line
There are tons of ways to increase your daily productivity. You may have to try out a few daily routines, but eventually, you will find one that works for you.
When you have your routine down, you will notice a significant increase in your daily productivity.
You will be more organized and focused, and you will also feel accomplished and have more free time.
If you’re looking for more resources to increase your daily productivity, grab a copy of the Ultimate Productivity Bundle.
The bundle includes 73 eCourses to help you become more productive.
Give these tips a try and leave a comment to let me know how they work for you.