I’m always trying out new methods to become a better version of myself. Trying to learn something new every day or increase my productivity by fine-tuning my daily routine. During almost two years of freelancing I constantly searched for ways to improve myself and the way I work. Then a couple of days ago I realized something. Most of the time I was trying to find life “hacks” to be more productive, to increase my skills and to be happier at the same time. Why not share my findings with you?
Today I’m going to share my best 10 tips on how to be productive and reach your daily goals. Maybe not all of my advice will work for you, and you certainly need to find out on your own what works for you, but it’s worth a try!
1. Wake Up Early
I’m waking up at 6:15 every morning. I’ve attempted to wake up around 5, then around 7 and I found out that the best time for me is 6 – 6:15. To compensate for that, I’m going to sleep at 22:30 and my sleep time is almost 8 hours, which is enough to relax and rest. Plus I discovered that I can do 50% of my daily job when people are still sleeping and nothing is going on social media. If you want to learn more about sleep habits check this article about 21 Sleep Habits of World Famous Entrepreneurs.
2. Find Productive & Unproductive Time
Again, it’s really good when you know your productive and unproductive hours. For example, I’m productive from 7 to 11 and 16 to 19. During that time I’m trying to finish my primary tasks. And during my unproductive hours I’m doing low priority or low effort tasks or just read, play Xbox or meet up with friends.
3. 50:10 Technique
I guess we all know about Pomodoro technique. You are working for 25 minutes then taking a break for 5 minutes and then the cycle repeats. The 50:10 technique is basically the same, only you work for 50 minutes and then take a break for 10 minutes. The reason behind this is that most of the time 25 minutes is not enough to finish my tasks. And those 5 minutes can unbalance me from working mode, so it’s better to finish my tasks and enjoy a longer break later on.
4. Do Sport
Sport is one of the main things that helps me to stay active and productive. If I’m going to the gym at the first part of the day, it makes me focused and productive for the rest of the day. I’m also feeling and looking better and my self-confidence has increased, which is very important too. An active lifestyle can change many things, that’s why I cannot imagine my life without it.
“Exercise improves attention, memory, accuracy, and how quickly you process information, all of which helps you make smarter decisions” – Charles H. Hillman
5. Listen to Podcasts
I believe in constant self-improvement and strive to become a better person every day. One of the ways to reach that goal is to listen to podcasts. There are hundreds of different topics you can choose and listen while doing sports, work or in public transport during your work commute. If you don’t know where to start, check out my article on this topic – Top Design And Business Podcasts For Creative Entrepreneurs.
6. Four Day Work Week
If I’m working from home, why do I need to follow the rules invented for the 9 to 5 office jobs? I don’t really and neither do you. I’m already trying to work only on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. On Wednesday, I’m spending my time on meetings, reading or just chilling. It’s easy to make it work for you if your other days are well planned and you stay at the top of your productivity. Try to take a day off in the middle of the week, it will also help you to productive and sharp until the end of the week.
7. Prepare The Day Before
I have a habit to prepare for the next day. At the end of my working day, I’m always making a small plan for the day ahead. In the morning, I don’t have to prepare my plan and wonder what I’m going to do today or what should I focus on right now. I just open the laptop and do the job. Try it! It works.
8. Use The Right Tools
When you are working with the right toolkit, technology can make any person more efficient. All the project and content management systems, collaboration platforms, and a number of automation tools make our jobs easier. If you don’t know many tools, you can spend 15 minutes every day to check for latest tools. The right tool might save you hours of work.
9. All Meetings in 1 Day
According to Fast Company, an average office worker averages about 16 hours a week sitting in meetings.
I’m also spending a lot of time on meetings. When you’re young and passionate, you’re always creating some new projects and meetings are part of the business. I’m not spending 16 hours per week on meetings, but it might be 6 – 9 hours per week. For me, it’s hard to focus on work before the meeting or right after it. So I’m trying to hold all the meetings in one day to stay productive during my work hours.
10. Eliminate multitasking
We all like to do couple of things at the same time. Check mobile phone, read email or Facebook. How can we truly focus efficiently and creatively with so many things asking for our attention? Maybe some people can do it, but as I found out for myself – I can’t. My guess is you can’t do that either. So do yourself a favour and focus on one job at a time.