How to Be More Productive

Do you ever feel like your to-do lists are through the roof but you never seem to get anything done?

I recently wrote an article for StackStreet about getting the most out of your time. You can read the article here.

Being self employed means I constantly have to be pushing myself to make sure I am achieving my goals. For me, the most important things are routine and keeping my mind and body healthy, to allow me to work hard and stay motivated.

My daily routine looks like this:

Wake up, go for a walk, exercise. Starting the day by getting outside for some fresh air, without looking at my phone or computer, means I get to reconnect with nature and feel grounded. It also mean I start my day centered and calm, removed from everything I need to do, from social media and work commitments, and simply focusing on my breath.

Shower + breakfast. No matter what I will always have breakfast before leaving home. Apart from the fact that I will feel ill otherwise, having a healthy breakfast means you are setting yourself to be healthy for the rest of your day. I try to take it easy during this time, I read the news, check social media, respond to any messages. Be starting the morning nice and slow I don’t let myself get stressed.

Getting to work. As soon as I arrive at my designated work space, I make a list of my most important tasks for the day while enjoying a coffee. This list has three main tasks, as well as some others that I will get to only if I have time. I then schedule when I will complete each tasks and set an allocated time for each.

Throughout the day. I eat three small meals/snacks throughout the day. If I only eat a big lunch, I will feel tired and sluggish afterward and it will be hard for me to get anything done from 1pm (what a waste of a day!). I try to really focus for 20 minutes at a time when I am working, and then take a short break to refresh. Most importantly is to stand up, if not go for a walk each hour (this is something I strive to do, but have been guilty of sitting down too long unfortunately).

In the evening. In the evening I try to put all my work aside and relax. I often find it difficult for me to switch off my mind but what works for me is trying not to use my phone when I get home, not checking emails and doing something creative (like writing or brainstorming). Each night I write a reflection on how my day was and how I am feeling. This reflective practice helps me to better understand my mind and my body and notice patterns.

This routine is what works for me to make sure I am getting the most out of each day. However, it is important to find out what works for you. You may prefer exercising in the evening, and you may feel your most creative in the morning. I happen to be a morning so like to wake up early, but you may prefer to get a little more sleep. It took me a long time to create a routine that really allowed me to play to my strengths, so take the time to figure out what makes you most productive.

What is your routine like? What productivity tips work best for you?

Ashley x

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