Updated: Jul 16, 2021
I think it's safe to say that most of us want to be more efficient and productive with what we do. We all have the same amount of hours in a day, however we each have a limited amount time to execute any plan of action to move toward our goals. Based on what we did in the past, we either built habits that have positively influenced our work production or ones that do the opposite. While recognizing those factors are going to be important, I'm going to focus on the positive habits. Here are 5 healthy habits that I've applied to improve productivity.
Prioritize The Important Tasks First
There will always be things that require our attention and energy. Some of which are needed to sustain a healthy livelihood, while others become distractions. Even when we identify what we want, we can still get preoccupied with events that are happening in our lives. This can be different for everyone, but as a person who enjoys shows, playing games and social media, they usually drain my time, energy and mental capacity the most. Prioritizing on doing the important tasks first and then sandwiching the others as breaks are going to be key to building a healthy habit for consistent productivity.
If you have a to-do list, pick the ones that will have the biggest impact. They help to set the tone for what you have done for the day or the week or the month. In contrast, I've also find doing a smaller version of the task easier if the bigger idea feels daunting. For example, if my goal was to change career/get a new job, that idea itself can steer me away from doing anything. Instead, I can work on applying to 2-3 jobs a week, talking to people who can guide me through that transition, or improving on skillsets so it's not as daunting of a task. These smaller actions all support the bigger idea of what you want to achieve. Read my previous blogs '5 Tips to Overcome Roadblocks' and '5 Tips to Keep Your New Year Resolutions on Track' for more ideas.
Clean Work Area and Space
When my mind is ready to work, the last thing I need is a messy work table filled with clutter and distractions. At times I find it harder to concentrate on the tasks at hand. Again, this adds to the idea previously that we need to focus and physical objects in our work view can negatively impact our productivity. We live in an information-filled world and even if we don't intentionally want to process them, it still affects us.
For me, an orderly desk with the tools I need to be productive enhances the ambience. This usually means that there are no garbage, random paperwork, loose pieces laid around, or other electronics on my desk. When everything has a sense of place, it brings me a little peace. My ideal space arrangement has been my laptop, with tropical lounge music playing, a notebook and pen in case I need to write anything physically and a cup of caffeine. You may have different items that enhances your work, it's also beneficial to get rid of those that don't.
Continued Education - Books Audios and Videos
As we continue to grow and progress with our productivity we may come to a point where we feel stuck and plateau. Our growth is a reflection of our ability and the well-being of the mind. Actively seeking and learning is only going to raise the awareness and enhance the ability to execute what we do. It has definitely helped me develop a more systematic and efficient way to approach my work.
One of them is definitely reading. Especially something pertaining to what you want to improve on. If I was to improve on my blog writing skills, I would be reading other blogs, books and practicing the skill in itself. Sometimes reading might not be the easiest to start, hence why there are audio books or podcasts that can provide insight as well. Finally videos, specifically, YouTube has been a platform I've been utilizing to learn skillsets and you can find vast amounts of tutorials. Whichever aspect of continued education works for you, they can help update your current processes and engage with your actions more effectively.
Working Out/Eating a Healthy Diet
We all know exercise and eating healthy is important physically and to prevent diseases. And at the same token the lack of physical disability or disease doesn't mean we are well. How many of you felt sluggish, have mental fog, or lack the motivation to do anything? The habit in of itself is a great way to stay productive with additional benefits of improving mental clarity, mood, and stress management.
As I recognize we may be at different stages of this process, the key is to add something that works for you. I had went from exercising almost everyday and strict dieting to get results, but I noticed it wasn't sustainable nor realistic for me. Instead, I slowly incorporate smaller steps to build to a point where I can exercise at least 2-3 times a week and eat healthy most of the time with moderate cheat meals. If you don't have a clue of where to start, it can be 100 jumping jacks a day, 10 minutes jogging, or eating more colorful fruits and vegetables, while being mindful that you may want to decrease or increase the workload base on your own journey.
'Sleep is for the weak.' How many times have we heard this and we also implement that in our lives whether consciously or just total neglect a restful night? We wake up the next day groggy and unable to perform unless we have loads of caffeine to overstimulate our minds. Similarly to exercise, a restful sleep and recovery is essential for us to replenish what's spent and also give us battery to work effectively again. Moreover, this is going to be more sustainable and long lasting than a reliant on being in overdrive.
Starting with some good sleeping habits can make a difference between being asleep and restful sleep. Go to sleep around the same time will benefit the body and mind to adjust to a schedule. Limit blue light or electronic use to quiet the mind at least 30 minutes before going to bed. Enrich your diet with calcium, magnesium, l-tryptophan, vitamin b complex and milk thistle (or other liver detoxing supplements) can help prepare the body to get into sleep better, stay asleep longer and have more restful sleep.
Getting to the results that we want may just be the difference of continued work and progress. There are many factors that contribute to get us off track, but we can also implement a few to keep us on track. These are some healthy habits that has helped me improve my productivity. You may find it easier to implement one at a time or pick and choose which one you feel my be the most impactful. We are all a little different so by no means they are an one-size-fits-all but I hope they can provide a guide to developing habits to reach your goals faster and more efficiently. If you find any of these helpful, let me know or if you have any other habits that can be helpful, comment down below!