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5 Practical Tips to Help You Become a More Productive Person

Getting more done each day doesn't require an entire lifestyle transformation. It's the little things that make all the difference!

A laptop with a calendar being displayed

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Do you ever have those days where you feel like an unstoppable workhorse? On those days you can get more done in a few hours than you have the entire week. Motivation is at an all-time high and you start making ambitious plans and goals for the coming days.

Then, you wake up the next morning only to hit the snooze button and go back to sleep.

It can be frustrating to look at a long checklist and feel the motivation to do anything at all drain out of you. But why does this happen? Why are some days filled with binging the latest TV show while others give the energy of a small army?

Today we're going to take a look at some simple tricks you can employ to help you have more productive days. Everyone could use some more productivity in their life, but with so many apps and courses out there to make productivity come more easily, it can be difficult to know where to start. So here are 5 practical tips and tricks that will help you to become a more productive person.

1. Productivity Starts with a Schedule

Assuming you've done some research into productivity before you landed here, you're probably familiar with tips to get enough sleep, exercise, and eat healthy. Each of these things requires time, and as a result, many productivity enthusiasts look for the ultimate scheduling method to fit everything into their day.

An iPhone calendar app

A popular method right now is time chunking. This method breaks your day into blocks of time with a single task that needs to be accomplished. This can be in degrees with some people creating a general outline for the day while others block out each minute detail down to brushing their teeth.

If blocking out time for tasks appeals to you, a great place to start is by simply tracking where you spend your time already. Keep a log and for every activity in your day note the time you started and how long you spent doing that activity.

After a week, take a look at your time and see if any patterns emerge. Maybe your mornings are spent scrolling through TikTok, and that's a sign for you to move your phone across the bedroom when you sleep so you have to get out of bed in the morning.

Here's a free time tracking template to help get you started!

2. Develop Simple Habits

For some people, a strict daily schedule is all they need to get stuff done. But if you're like me, life can get hectic and a daily schedule doesn't always make sense. Something you should take away from this list is that there is no 'right' way of doing things. Each of us lives a unique life and sometimes that means we need to mix and match other people's styles to make things work.

A desk with a Logitech MX mouse, Keychron keyboard, and Atomic Habits by James Clear

If you struggle to keep to a set schedule, another great tip to increase your productivity is by adding small habits into your day. Building habits can be an intimidating task, but it doesn't need to be! In the wildly successful book Atomic Habits, James Clear discusses the power of creating small victories throughout your day.

Small victories don't mean you need to run a half marathon before the sun comes up each morning. Instead, add small daily activities to your life. Making your bed, for example, is quick and easy. It doesn't require much thought or preparation.

Some of the habits that I have added to my day are journaling, meditating, and budgeting. I tell myself that it doesn't matter when I do these things, I just need to do them daily. Naturally, I found that in the morning before I got ready was a perfect time to meditate. I also discovered that just brain-dumping into a journal right when I sit down to start working helps to clear my thoughts and makes it easier to get into the rhythm of things.

The Focus Forge Numbers Monthly Budget Template

For budgeting, I realized that daily upkeep became a dreaded part of my day. Instead, I told myself that every Saturday afternoon I would update my budget for the week.

The trick with these types of habits is to make them something you enjoy doing or feel some kind of immediate benefit from. These types of tasks are easier to remember. They also help you to naturally frame your time. I slowly began to follow a basic morning routine to make sure I have enough time to meditate before I start work. I start work a few minutes early now to make sure I have time to journal.

3. Simplify Regular Tasks

The rising popularity of AI is showing people how many menial tasks we do each day that can easily be automated. AI can be a powerful productivity tool when used correctly. Simple tasks like generating an introductory email you want to send to a client, or organizing your thoughts into a simple outline slowly chisel our day away. AI can automate a huge portion of that.

AI has plenty of practical implementations in daily life. Ask Siri to set a timer or Alexa to create a grocery list. Google Lens can help you quickly identify and purchase the outfit you saw someone wearing on the bus. And for the entrepreneurial spirit, ChatGPT can generate entire business models in seconds.

The ChatGPT homepage being displayed on a laptop screen

It's little surprise that the future of AI will only continue to improve at simplifying our daily lives. Rather than seeing AI as a threat, you can see it as an opportunity to enhance your personal productivity. AI clearly isn't going anywhere anytime soon. The best thing you can do is to learn how to leverage AI's power to increase your own output.

4. Organize Your Tools into One Place

I will forever be an advocate of keeping everything in one place. When we talk about small tasks chiseling our time away, one of the biggest culprits is having to dig around for information.

Think about the times you've had to look for a picture of your driver's license to upload it for an application. Or maybe you have a mountain of sticky notes with little reminders or quotes you want to remember. Rather than digging around to find what you're looking for, try creating a digital system to make your life easier.

Apple's Notes App icon on an iPhone

Personally, I use the Notes App that came with my iPhone. Using iCloud, my notes are shared across all of my devices. Within my notes, I keep literally everything. Need a photocopy of my ID? It's there. Contact information for a client, along with their favorite restaurant? It's there. When I need information on the fly, all it takes is a quick search and I'm ready to go.

Simply dumping your stuff into one place isn't going to help much. Rather, you should organize it by broader categories. For my system, I use SPRITE: Spiritual, Physical, Relationships, Temporal, and Emotional. I keep an archive of my Amazon receipts in a finance folder within the broader Temporal topic. You can learn more about my system here.

Though it might sound like overkill at first, let me be the first to tell you that keeping myself organized like this has made a night-and-day difference in my life and productivity,

5. Read About Productivity

This may come as a shock to you, but reading about productivity will help you increase your own productivity.

Each of us works in our own way. Our lives are different, and our circumstances change constantly. The fact of the matter is there is no one 'right' way of being productive. A study may have overwhelmingly positive results, but that doesn't mean the technique in it will help you.

Kobo e-reader tablet on a journal with glasses and a white sheet

By exposing yourself to multiple productivity techniques, you can pick and choose the methods that work best for you. Despite my over-the-top second brain in my Notes App, I still struggle with constructive time management. However, by studying how others manage their time, I have been able to find tips and tricks to help me improve.

You can find a list of suggested books that have helped me along my journey here.

So there's 5 tips and tricks for increasing your productivity. Let me know what you think in the comments below, or add your own tricks if I missed any!


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