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Productivity: How to get more done in less time

Imagine feeling calm and productive every day and spending your time on the things that matter most to you.

We’ll help you find the best productivity method for your specific needs to help you be more productive and get more done in less time.

LEARN HOW TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE AND MAKE THE MOST OF EACH DAY

  • Are you overwhelmed?
  • Are you behind on your to-do list?
  • Do you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day?
  • Do you waste time on things that are not really important to you?
  • Do you set goals and never achieve them?

We can help you be more productive and focused! There are many productivity methods available today. We will help you find the one that best meets your needs so that you can get more done in less time!

How to be more focused and productivePin

There are many research backed productivity methods on the market today. The problem is that you don’t have the time to read tons of productivity books to find one that will help you. That’s where this site comes in to help you! We have read all the books to save you time. We will help you analyze your problems to find the solution that will benefit you most.

When you become more productive, you will see benefits in all aspects of your life. For example, when you get more done you will be more likely to achieve your goals and feel fulfilled. When you are more productive, you will need to spend less time working and you will have more time for your family and friends and to do the things you enjoy. This will lead to better relationships and more satisfaction in life. Our goal is to help you reap as many benefits as you can so that you can live your best life!

Free tools to boost your productivity

We offer many free productivity tools to help you overcome the challenges that are preventing you from reaching your potential. These free tools include planners, online courses, online challenges, trackers, and more. The tools that you need are specific to your unique circumstances. Use this online productivity quiz to find the tools that will help YOU become more productive.

See our free productivity planner

Boost your productivity to get more done in less time and spend your time on things that matter most to you.

How to be more productive

When you are not productive, you don’t get things done. That causes stress and prevents you from achieving your goals and living your best life.

Being unproductive doesn’t necessarily mean you are not working. You can put in the same number of hours as someone who is super productive and get nothing done.

The goal of productivity is to focus on the things that matter instead of wasting time on things that don’t matter.

We will help you implement productivity strategies to help you be more productive. Our free productivity quiz will help you find the strategies that will meet your unique needs.

Productivity Tips

The following productivity tips will help you get more done each day. If you click on the links below, you will find many free tools that will help you be more productive. However, the most effective productivity tool for your specific needs depends on the reason why you are not productive. Our free productivity quiz will help you determine which of our free productivity tools will help you get the most out of your day.

You don’t necessarily have to choose one productivity tool only. Many of the tools can be combined to help you with your unique needs.

Set your goals

The goal of productivity is to focus on the things that matter and are important to you. Therefore, you need to know what is important to you in order to know what to focus on. If you don’t know where you want to go then you will take longer to get there if you ever make it there. Imagine getting into the car to go for a long road trip and not knowing where you are heading and how to get there. The chances are you won’t make it to your destination and if you do, then you will take a longer route than if you know where you are going from the start. This applies to productivity as well. If you haven’t set goals for yourself, then you won’t know what to do each day. You’ll deal with the stuff that is urgent but not important.

Actionable Advice
Set short-term and long-term goals and make sure that each goal is SMART. It is important that your goals are in writing (see our SMART Goals Template). List your goals on a goal tracker to track them. This will greatly increase your chances of success.

Click on the button below to convert any goal into a SMART goal.

Create a SMART goal

Set a personal vision for each area of your life. Your Personal Mission Statement should evoke excitement. This is what will give you the motivation to get out of bed every morning and to do the tasks that would otherwise seem boring. Once you have set your personal vision for each area of your life, you will only do tasks that are in sync with these visions. Everything you do will now become related to the vision and not to the task. This will give you the motivation you need to get things done.

Actionable Advice
Use our free online Personal Mission Statement generator to create your mission statement.

Identify your priorities and focus on them

You can’t do everything. It simply isn’t possible. You need to identify your priorities and focus on them. You can be busy all day and work non-stop but that does not make you productive. In order to be productive you need to focus on the tasks that matter. These are the tasks that will bring you closer to your goals and to the things that are meaningful to you.

Your daily tasks should lead you to achieving your long-term goals. The things you focus on are the things that grow so you should be focusing on the things that you want in life. However, it is important that you know what these things are.

Set your short term and the long term goals (see above), identify the things that will make these goals happen and focus only on them. Once you have written your goals it is time to set your priorities. These are the projects on which you will focus on.

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” Peter F. Drucker

Actionable Advice
Make a list of your priorities for the next year and the next month. Allocate your time according to your priorities. For example, if one of your priorities is to spend more time with your family, then schedule that time in your hourly planner. If another priority is to complete a specific project, then decide how much time you will need for that project and schedule that time in your planner as well. When you allocate your time according to your priorities ahead of time, you will spend your time on the things that are important to you.

Plan ahead so that you focus on what matters

Plan your week and your day in advance. When you don’t plan your time, you will not focus on the things that matter most to you. If you don’t plan your day, then someone else will. As Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” When you take the time to plan your week, you will have a roadmap to take you from where you are to where you want to be.

According to Brian Tracy, the ability to distinguish between high- and low-value tasks is a major difference between successful people and unsuccessful people. Successful people spend their time doing high-value tasks that will help them reach their goals. On the other hand, unsuccessful people waste time working on low-value tasks that do not promote their development.

Plan your week before it starts and plan your day the evening before:

  • Each week, plan your weekly goals and what you would like to achieve that week. Ideally you should do this before the week starts.
  • Each evening or night, plan the next day. Check your commitments for that day to see how much free time you will have. Determine the things you must get done the next day and the things you would like to do. Determine what your priorities will be and prioritize your daily tasks.

Actionable Advice
Print a free weekly planner and a daily planner and plan your weeks and days ahead of time. Write your goals for the week and for each day of the week. Write what you must get done and what you would like to get done. Add your meetings and other commitments. Make sure that all these things are in sync with your goals and priorities. Don’t waste time on things that are not important or meaningful to you.

Identify the things you are wasting time on

We all have things that distract or interrupt us. For some its social media for others the apps on our phones. Some people constantly check email and others spends hours chatting to colleagues during the day. Think about the things you waste time on and write them down. If you are not sure what they are, keep track during the next few days.

Track your work days and monitor how you spend your time. How you allocate your time is crucial to your productivity.

Actionable Advice
  1. Make a list of the things you waste time on each day.
  2. What will you do to prevent wasting time tomorrow?
  3. Set fixed times to check email and social media. Turn off the tone of incoming email and text message so that you are not distracted.

Take it one day at a time and look for ways to prevent these distractions. For example, if you check email or social media constantly then set times during the day to check and don’t check in between. If your phone distracts you, then put it in your bag or in a closet. Take it out during breaks.

Reflect each evening on what you did, if it helped and what you should do the next day. Keeping doing this until you find a system that works for you that you can keep using.

Set time blocks to work without interruptions

Set blocks of uninterrupted time in your day to work. These blocks could be 25 minutes, half an hour, one hour, or 90 minutes long. Set these blocks when you are most productive. For most people, this is in the morning. If it is in the morning, then start as early as you can. See time blocking.

One of the most popular methods is the Pomodoro technique which divides your work into small, manageable tasks of 20 to 45 minutes each. You then complete each task within this timeframe without any breaks or interruptions. See how to use the Pomodoro technique and print our free planner which helps you master this technique.

Actionable Advice
Print our free Pomodoro planner to help you use this technique efficiently or print our more comprehensive free time-blocking planner.

Take breaks

When you try to work for too long, you eventually become unproductive. You can only concentrate for a certain time and after that you just waste time trying to be productive and getting nothing done. One of the reasons I love the Pomodoro technique is because it forces me to take breaks. My best ideas come to me during breaks and not during work sessions.

Alternate focused work sessions with frequent short breaks to promote focus and concentration and prevent mental fatigue.

Schedule free time for relaxation, reading, meditation, rest, etc.

Actionable Advice
Use the Pomodoro technique to do this. This is a popular time management method that limits your work sessions to 25 minutes only with a short break in between. The advantage is that you are very focused during work sessions and don’t allow distractions to jeopardize your productivity. You always know that you have a break coming up so you are not tempted to waste time during work sessions. Since your work sessions are limited you never work past the point of optimal productivity.

Self-Renewal

Stephen Covey discusses the importance of “sharpening the saw” in order to be more productive. The Sharpen the Saw technique is about preserving and enhancing your body and mind so that you can continue to be productive. It includes a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual. When you renew yourself in each of these areas, you promote your personal growth which enables you to achieve your goals.

Many people are so focused on productivity that they don’t get enough sleep, relax, exercise or eat well. When they neglect to do these things, they actually become less productive. When people don’t focus on self-renewal they become victims of burnout and land up being less productive in the long run.

If you want to be productive, you need to sleep enough, eat well, exercise, and recharge your batteries.

  • You cannot be productive without getting enough sleep. If you find that you are not sleeping enough then use our free sleep tracker to track your sleep.
  • If you are not eating well, then use our meal log to track your meals.
  • If you don’t exercise, then use our exercise tracker to motivate you to work out more and read our workout motivation tips.

Actionable Advice
Read about the importance of sharpening the saw and how to do that. You can also try our free self-care journal.

Prevent procrastinating on tasks

Procrastinating is avoiding something that should be done. We often put things off, hoping that they somehow get done or go away without actually doing anything about them. But unfortunately, this doesn’t happen. Usually the things that you procrastinated for days or weeks cause you anxiety when you could actually get them done really quickly and
then forget about them.

Sometimes, the cause of procrastination is some kind of fear. It could be fear of rejection, failure, or even fear of success. Often, the cause is feeling overwhelmed.

Actionable Advice
Make a list of the things you have been putting off for ages that are worrying you. Schedule one of these tasks each day in your weekly planner.

Do you postpone things you don’t want to do because you really don’t feel like doing them? Here are some ways to help you get them done:

Eat a frog first thing in the morning

Do you have things that you are constantly putting off? The Eat That Frog method suggests you do these things first thing in the morning. If you find yourself constantly pushing certain tasks off, then try the Eat That Frog system. It will help you get those tasks that you really don’t want to do over with first thing in the morning. It will give you a feeling of relief and after you have “eaten a frog” in the morning you day will only get better.

Another way to do this is with temptation bundling.

Temptation bundling is a great strategy presented in the book Atomic Habits. The idea is to pair a pleasurable activity with one you don’t enjoy as much but need to do. It is a great way to stop procrastinating. For example, if you have to prepare a report and can’t seem to get it done, then tell yourself that when you complete it, you will take a lunch break.

See how to create your temptation bundle

Actionable Advice
Think about what causes you to procrastinate and what you can do to prevent it.

Find your purpose and passion

When you find your passion you are more likely to be proactive since you will be doing things you enjoy. When you find your passion you will jump out of bed in the morning anxious to start your day and get things done. On the other hand, when you don’t enjoy what you are doing you will not be motivated to get it done.

Actionable Advice
See how to find your purpose. We offer a step-by-step plan to help you find it.

Don’t multitask

Focus only on your current task. Many people think that multitasking is efficient, but it isn’t. When you focus on one thing at a time, you will be a lot more productive and efficient. Use the Pomodoro Technique to help you divide your time and be more focused.

Always have a piece of paper or a notebook nearby to write down any thought that comes to your mind while working so that you are not distracted. As thoughts arise during your work, write them down and deal with them later.

“Most of the time multitasking is an illusion. You think you are multitasking, but in reality you’re actually wasting time switching from one task to another.” Bosco Tjan

In the book Goals! by Brian Tracy, the author explains that one of the most effective techniques for efficiency is single handling. Once you’ve decided to undertake a task, you give that task 100% of your attention until it’s completed. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted and don’t take a break until its done. Many famous people have used this technique. Thomas Edison, once wrote that more than anything else, his success came from his ability to work on one thing and one thing only, without stopping. The author suggests if you get distracted, then say to yourself: back to work, back to work, back to work.

Actionable Advice
  1. Put a notebook or piece of paper next to you when you work. When a thought pops into your mind or you find yourself anxious to check or deal with something not related to your current task, then write it down and deal with it during your break. This will free your mind and help you focus.
  2. If you get distracted, then say to yourself: back to work, back to work, back to work.

Focus on the tasks with the biggest impact

Focus on the actions with the biggest impact. The Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule (discovered by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto) states that 80% of the results of any achievement will come from 20% of the efforts. To become more productive, you need to identify the 20% of your work that will bring 80% of the results and focus on that section.

Actionable Advice
If you have numbers you can analyze (such as your revenue or your outcomes) then analyze this data to determine what brings 80% of your results. Are there things you have been focusing on from the 20%? Are there things in the 80% that you haven’t been focusing on and should be?

Don’t store information in your head

There are many reasons why people procrastinate, but one of the most important is that their to-do list is too overwhelming and they have too much on their mind.

The Getting Things Done (GTD) method can help with this. It gets things off your mind which clears your mind and prevents overwhelm. This enables you to focus on the work that actually matters.

The GTD method will help you attain reliable, stress-free productivity. This will help you organize your work and life and focus more on your purpose in life. When you use this system, you will find yourself being more productive, reducing your stress levels and taking control of your life. In order to get things done well you need an efficient method that you actually implement and that’s where the GTD method comes in.

Actionable Advice
We offer a free Getting Things Done course to introduce you to the GTD system and free planners to help you use it on a daily basis.

Always define your next action item

Another way the GTD method (see above) helps productivity is by training you to always define your next action. If you always define the next action, you will always know what to do without even thinking about it.

Many people are not productive because they often don’t even know where to start.

Always define your next action step. Don’t just add tasks to your to do list. Make sure they are actionable. Don’t write “grocery store”. Instead, write buy bread and milk from the grocery store. Your action items must be clear. Your next action must be understood instantly and you shouldn’t have to think about what you need to do.

Actionable Advice
Take the free Getting Things Done course to learn how to use this system or just read the GTD book summary to see how it can help you.

Ask yourself WHY things are not getting done

It goes without saying that any good productivity system will scan all unfinished tasks and move them over to the next day, week, month or year. The Bullet Journal Method calls this process migration. The migration process ensures that tasks are migrated until they are complete. Nothing falls between the cracks.

Many productivity systems encourage you to create lists but they don’t show you how to use them until they are complete. Instead, you eventually forget about them and move on to your next list. The Bullet Journal system explains how to migrate incomplete tasks and how to examine them to understand why you are not getting them done. If you don’t get a task done you are encouraged to ask yourself WHY not. Does it still matter? Is this task still vital or meaningful? What is holding you back? If a task is still vital or meaningful then migrate it. If not, cross it out. The goal of the system is to power your productivity with purpose.

For a detailed explanation regarding the migration process, see How to Bullet Journal.

Actionable Advice
You need to regularly scan through your notes to find unfinished tasks or else they will fall between the cracks and your productivity system will be worthless. Don’t blindly migrate tasks. Instead, stop to ask yourself if it is still vital and meaningful. If a task is still vital or meaningful then migrate it. If not, cross it out.

Take your energy and productive state into account

Everyone feels more alert during certain parts of the day and has lower energy level at others. This is a result of your “chronotype,” or personal circadian rhythm (WebMD).

As a result, people are more productive at certain times of the day. Determine when you are in your most productive state and schedule your more difficult tasks for this time. If you can concentrate more in the morning, then schedule tasks that require concentration in the morning. If you are a night owl, then schedule them at night. Don’t try to change your body’s rhythm. Instead, work with it.

There are times when you don’t feel like being productive and you don’t have the energy to do specific tasks. David Allen, the author of Getting Things Done suggests you have a specific list of tasks for days when you don’t have much energy.

Say no more often

Once you have determined your goals, priorities and vision for each of your roles in life (see above) don’t waste time on things that do not promote those goals. Set boundaries and don’t be afraid to enforce them.

Actionable Advice
Make a list of the things you are going to stop doing or stop spending time on.

Create a morning routine

One of the secrets of the most productive people is having a morning routine. This is the perfect time to plan your day, exercise, meditate, recite positive affirmationsjournal, create morning pageseat that frog or do whatever you include in your morning routine.

Actionable Advice
Find out the best morning routine for your specific needs.

Set short term work plans

Most people create yearly work plans. The problem is that they only start working productively when the pressure begins to build. Instead of creating a yearly work plan, a better approach is to divide your year into four and create 12 week year plans.

Actionable Advice
If you find yourself motivated in January and losing interest a while later, then read the 12 week year book summary and check out the free resouces to see how it can help you.

Always set a deadline for your tasks and goals

It is important to set a deadline for every task on your to do list or every action item in your goal planner. Split projects or bigger tasks into single manageable tasks with a deadline for each.

Watch your life balance

Be careful to lead a balanced life and make time for your life outside of work. It is important to prioritize non-work related activities and relationships.

It is tempting to put things on hold while you focus on productivity but that will lead to greater problems in the future.

Actionable Advice
If you want to check if your life is balanced then use our free online life balance wheel.

Change your mindset

Your self-talk can determine whether you get things done or not. Productive people have a positive and productive mindset. They focus on the things they can do and not on the things they cannot do. Use positive productivity affirmations to change your mindset. Such as: I overcome challenges to accomplish my goals; I don’t let distractions waste my time.

See how to write affirmations. You can create affirmation cards for your office or workspace. When you find yourself thinking negative thoughts such as “I cannot do this” make a conscious effort to focus on positive things and think of ways you can do something instead of entertaining the thought that you can’t do it.

Which productivity method should you use?

Pick the productivity technique that will best serve your needs. You can combine multiple techniques to create a daily routine that works for you. If you are not sure which method will help you reach your goals, then take the quiz above.

Many people think that if they only had a few more hours a day or days each week, they would be much more productive. However, even if they did have more time, they still might not necessarily be productive. Look at people you admire who seem to fit everything in. They also only have 24 hours a day.

The secret of how to be more productive at work or at home is not to get more time but to use it more efficiently. The methods presented above will help you do that.

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