5 Ways to Increase your Productivity and Lead a Happier Life
The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities – Stephen Covey
We all have a million things to do, and staying on top of it can be hard. Taking a couple steps here and there can lessen the burden and make your days run more smoothly, leading to a happier you!
Below is a list of things that I think can increase your productivity, and as a result, allow you to live a happier, less stressed life.
1) Do a two minute chore in the morning.
There are a number of things around the house that when looked at together, seem like a big job, but when broken apart, are actually a bunch of little jobs. This includes tasks such as taking the recycling out, putting dishes in the dishwasher, sweeping the floor in the kitchen, wiping the counters or watering the plants. Just small activities that can be done quickly if you have a couple of minutes to spare before leaving for work in the morning.
I try to either put all the dishes away, or get them in the dishwasher so that when I come home from work, I don’t need to look at a cluttered sink. Having a clean area also will help keep the stress down because everything will look a little more organized when you get home.
2) Set one day a week for the big chores.
Picking a day out of the week (Sunday? Weekday?) to get all the big chores out of the way will set the tone for a great week. This includes things like washing the bedding, meal prep, getting groceries, finally getting through that laundry pile.
Going to bed on Sunday with everything in place is also a great way to put your mind at ease and get a better sleep.
3) Put your clothes/gym bag/lunch snacks out the night before.
Picking your clothes out the night before has been huge for me. This way I don’t have to make any mental decisions about what I am going to wear, I can just get up and put it on. Rummaging throughout my closet is not something I want to do first thing, so I try to avoid it at all costs. Getting your gym bag ready as well can also be extremely helpful and save you time in your mornings. This means ensuring your clothes, shoes, lotion, lock and any other gear is ready to go.
Doing this allows me to have more time to do other things in the morning that I love, like eating. Essentially, if you set your morning up for success the night before, you are likely to make better use of your time and be less stressed when getting ready for the day.
4) Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier.
I know this is a hard one for people, it’s hard for me! But I do think that it has been helpful over the past couple months to have my alarm clock go off earlier than I need. I no longer start my mornings in a rush. Having the opportunity to lay in bed for 5 minutes, then leisurely get up and start the day has had a great impact on my mental outlook for the day. It also gives me a couple extra minutes in the morning to add something new to my morning routine, such as foam rolling or stretching.
Setting your alarm for 10 minutes earlier is hard in the beginning, but it gets easier. I also think that because we are entering the summer months it will continue to get easier as we will be getting up with daylight soon!
5) Figure out when you feel the most productive.
Each person is different, some people find they can knock off the hardest tasks in the morning, while others find they would rather work into the late night. Determining when you feel you’re most productive can also help you when you are planning to tackle those bigger chores or tasks. While there may be some limitation due to work schedule, setting time for yourself outside of work where you know you will have the time and energy to accomplish tasks is key. For instance, I find I like to do things like cleaning or going to the gym in the mornings on weekends. This allows me to use the rest of the day to focus on things that I really want – like writing a blog post, or finishing that Netflix series (let’s be realistic), or working on coursework.
Setting aside time for tasks you want to get done while you are feeling the most productive will help keep the stress down because you will have an easier time holding yourself accountable.
These are just some ideas I have regarding productivity. I have implemented all of them in my own life and have found that they help tremendously. I do hope they can help you as well.
Let me know if you have some other suggestions to increase productivity!