Oh boy, we’re almost halfway through 2019! Even if you’ve ditched your New Year’s resolutions, it’s still early enough in the year to make changes. If you’re ready to become more productive, you can start anytime. Here’s how:
Your To Do List
Get your priorities out of your mind and on paper (or in a task app). All you need is a daily notebook, but you might consider getting a specialized planner, if that appeals to you.
Start off easy. Write down things like what bills you need to pay, remind yourself who you need to email, note what tasks you need to accomplish for work. Put a check mark next to each task as you complete it. If you don’t get a particular task done, don’t beat yourself up. Just put it down for the next day. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment every time you finish a task and check it off, and after a few weeks, you’ll be in the habit of using your to do list.
The next habit is organizing your spaces, and keeping them organized.
Once your home and office are organized, you’ll naturally become more productive. Why? First, there will be fewer visual distractions attracting your attention. Second, you’ll stop wasting time looking for things, because you’ll know where everything is.
Also, when your spaces are organized, you can then add “Straighten up” to your to do list every day, and you’ll find that keeping everything organized takes surprisingly little time.
We all procrastinate sometimes. In fact, when utilized well, it’s not procrastination at all, but a tool to reset your mind. For example, if you’re working on a difficult task and get stuck, you can get up, stretch, take a short walk, stare into the distance, or check your social media. The trick is to not take long doing this. You don’t want it taking over your day. When you come back to your work after five or ten minutes, you may find the task easier.
Try setting a timer when you need a mental break. When it goes off, get back to work. Remind yourself that you can always play that video game, watch that show, or chat online with your friends after the work is done. This is called “delaying gratification,” and it leads to greater contentment with life. You’ll feel accomplished and get to have some fun by making these things you really enjoy into rewards.
Changing your diet is one of those tough tasks, but it’s absolutely doable. Choose the diet that works for you. This might mean cutting way down on sweets and eating foods that give you protein, eating more healthy fats, getting more fiber, or just adding more vegetables and fruits into your meals. If you do eat something sweet, don’t give yourself a hard time about it. Just make that an occasional thing. After a few weeks, there’s a good chance your new way of eating will simply be a good habit. You’ll find yourself with more energy and you’ll have an easier time focusing.
Find exercise that works for you. Maybe you don’t enjoy running. Instead, you could go for long walks or bike rides. Walk or ride to work instead of taking your car. Get some free weights. Take up yoga. If you live somewhere with a pool, swim for half an hour a day, even if you just splash around and don’t do laps. It’s important to find a type of exercise that you enjoy and that you’ll want to stick with.
Before you change your diet and exercise routine, talk to your doctor.
Get all these things in place, and you’ll see your productivity increase in all aspects of life. Enjoy the rest of your productive 2019!