Productivity habits have become my lifesavers, especially after having kids. The ones I will share with you are very simple and easy to implement. And they are something that you can used whether you are working on a big project at work or are planning a birthday party for your child.
1.Write It Down
The productivity habit that I use the most is writing things down. We are bombarded by information from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep. This could be ranging from great tips you heard on a podcast, appointment you have to make with your primary doctor for a physical, an invitation to a birthday party, a follow-up meeting you have to schedule with your customer at work, an e-mail that came in asking you to participate in the upcoming event at your child’s school.
It seem seems like some days this types of information just keeps popping up. And you simply cannot manage it all in your head. That would just clutter your mind with information and make it impossible for you to concentrate on a task at hand.
What you need to do is get into a habit of writing things down.
Paper or Electronic
It does not really matter what format you choose to write things down. It could be in a planner, an app on your phone (such as Keep Notes or Google Calendar), or a simple notebook. Any time you are presented with important information, write it down. For example, when you receive a birthday invitation write it down on your calendar and put a reminder on your phone to buy a gift. Or if you hear about a great book during one of the podcasts, write down the title in your planner. Better yet, find in on Amazon and put in on your wish list.
Clear your Mind
Writing things down will help you remember them and keep your mind clutter free. The alternative is constantly being interrupted with thoughts like: I have to remember to call a bakery and order a cake for my son’s birthday party, what was that book they talked about on the podcast this morning (maybe I should stop what I’m doing and listed to it again, but which episode was that?) or what was that third thing I was supposed to talk to my customer about?
Instead, by writing it down, I give my mind a permission to let those thoughts and reminders go. Because it knows that I have already responded to information by planning to take action at a specific time. Writing things down will clear your mind and allow you to concentrate on a task at hand and increase your productivity. If you are starting your journey with productivity habits, this is definitely the one I would start with.
If you are doing similar set of activities on daily or weekly basis you should consider creating routines for yourself. These are great productivity habits to implement. Routines are not meant for you to create a schedule where every minute is accounted for. I’m not suggesting that you create a schedule that says what you should be doing at a specific hour each day. A habit of routines will provide a little structure, allow you to do things automatically, and be more efficient and effective.
What kinds of routines?
My three main routines are evening routine, morning routine, and weekend prep routine. If you do not have any routines implemented right now, I would recommend starting with an evening one.
How did I come up with mine? I started thinking about things that I need to accomplish before going to sleep to help me start the next day on a positive note. For me those tasks include: cleaning the kitchen, preparing outfits for the next day, and getting my son’s backpack in order. And then I decided (through trial and error) how I wanted to complete those tasks. I discovered that I like to clean my kitchen first, because that is the biggest tasks and the other ones don’t take as much time.
Because I do the same routine each evening, I get very efficient with all the tasks. And when I wake up in the morning and see a clean kitchen, it allows me to start my day with a positive and productive mindset.
RELATED: Start a Morning Routine in 5 Easy Steps RELATED: Six Steps for Creating an Effective Evening Routine RELATED: How to Prepare for the Week Ahead in 6 Steps
3. Checklists or To-Do Lists
Another productivity habit that you should start is to create checklists and to-do lists. Are you planning a birthday party for your daughter? Create a checklist of all the tasks that you will have to accomplish to make it happen. Do you have an important meeting with a customer coming up? Create a to-do list of all the things that you will have to accomplish in order to make it a success.
For me, making checklists and writing to-do lists helps me plan ahead and greatly reduces my stress level. I know exactly what I need to do to make it happen.
4. Clutter-Free Space
I have noticed over the years that keeping my space organized and clutter free is a great productivity habit to have. Now don’t get me wrong. I have two small kids so my house has plenty of toys (and other random items) throughout the house. And usually by the end of each day the kitchen is full of dishes to clean and leftovers to put away.
But, part of my evening routine is to tidy up and get ready for the next day. Because nothing puts me in a better mood when I get up in the morning to a clean house. I feel much more energized and ready to tackle the day.
Same thing goes for the my desk space and even computer files. I’m not a super organized person (although I always aspire to be one :)) but having things organized and put away helps me concentrate on my work and prioirties.
When I get overwhelmed at home or at work, the first thing that I do is clean up my space. It makes it so much easier to collect my thoughts and change my mindset around. I go from overwhelmed to feeling in control. And once I feel in control I start being more productive.
5. One Task at a Time
The last type of productivity habits that I want to share with you is to do one tasks at a time. In other words, forget about multitasking! A few years ago, multitasking seem to be a thing! A skill that was desired by potential employers and something that everyone took pride in being able to do (myself included). It took me a while to realize that multitasking makes me actually less productive. Because if I’m trying to do two things at once, I’m not doing any of them really well.
For example, if I try to watch a webinar and write a report at the same time, I will either not know what the webinar was about or my report will have a lot of mistakes. Or if I tried to write a blog post while watching a movie on TV, what will happen is that after an hour I will have a paragraph for my blog post written (poorly, I may add) because I was paying way more attention to the movie.
So I have learned that in order to be productive I have to concentrate on one thing at a time. That is the only way to do quality work in an efficient and effective way.
Other Productivity Habits
I hope you will start implementing at least one of those habits soon. Do you have any other productivity habits that work great for you? If so, share below, so we can all benefit from them.