Are you ready to make this year your most productive year yet? If you have big-picture dreams and you’re ready to fine-tune your plans and develop habits that will help you get stuff done, then keep reading. In this post I’m sharing how you can make this year your most productive year yet, so you can go forward with a plan and a vision full of success.
1. Wake up on time
To have a productive year, you need to have productive days and to have productive days you need to wake up on time. First, you need to plan which time you will wake up, and then actually wake up at this time. That means no more snoozing because by hitting that snooze button and going back to sleep your brain starts its sleep cycle all over again. Meaning, when your alarm goes off again, you will be in a deeper sleep than before. Leaving you feeling much more tired than the first time your alarm sounded.
Be realistic with the time you’re going to wake up, and try to make it a lifestyle thing rather than a challenge than you will start on Monday and give up by Thursday. The reason why “waking up on time” is first on this list is that it simply gives you more time in the day to get stuff done. If you’re out most of the day because of a full-time job, then utilising your morning routine is a great way to get more stuff done and be productive. Imagine if you woke up one hour earlier every weekday, that’s five extra hours in the week
If you’re like me and you struggle to wake up early I suggest you download an app called “Alarmy”. But I warn you, you will probably hate it because it will definitely get you out of bed. There are a few different ways you can turn your alarm off, all of which involve you being wide awake. I’ve opted for answering difficult maths questions and the alarm will not turn off until the questions have been answered correctly. Another option is to take a picture of a particular image in your house, your best chance with this option is to choose an image in another room, such as your fridge.
2. Follow through with plans
To be productive you need to follow through with your plans. It’s fun doing a brain dump and brainstorming different ideas and projects but once the planning is done, you need to make sure you follow through with your plans. This might sound obvious but it’s very easy to get caught in a cycle of brainstorming and coming up with new ideas. What many of us do, maybe without realising, is spend a lot of time in the idea-generating phase, coming up with new ideas and planning out the entire year.
Once we start working on an idea, we soon get distracted by another idea and move on to that instead. What ends up happening is we never finish any of our projects, we end up with half a dozen started projects. It doesn’t even need to be a better idea, but one which distracts you enough to stop you in your tracks. When this happens, simply make a note of your idea and then continue with what you’re currently working on. Ideas are perfect during the brainstorming phase but once you’ve already committed to something, they can slow down your productivity.
3. Focus on one goal at a time
I’ve noticed that when I focus on one goal at a time, I achieve the result a lot quicker and I’m more likely to actually finish. If you focus on more than one goal at a time then it can be easy to loose interest in one of your goals and put that to one side. When I created the Positivity planner I was able to create and publish it in 60 days as I focused solely on this project and didn’t allow any other ideas to steal my focus during that time. When you focus on one goal at a time you’re much more likely to follow through with your plans and not get distracted by other ideas. A good way to do this is, is to set yourself time frame to work on a project before you move onto the next one.
I think it’s okay to focus on multiple goals if they aren’t related, for example if you had a blogging goal and a fitness goal, they can work very nicely together. As they require different energy from you. However, having multiple goals for your blog or business and trying to achieve them all at the same time isn’t the best way to go about it.
4. Remove distractions
To stay productive you may need to remove distractions. I have a brilliant app on my phone called Forest, on the app you can set a timer for how long you want to be distraction-free. During this time a seed is planted which eventually grows into a tree, if you look at your phone during the set time, then the tree dies. It’s a good way to stay focused and keep you away from your phone.
5. Know when you’re most productive
When are you the most productive? Is it during the morning or do you work best after lunch or maybe in the evening? Knowing when you’re the most productive will help you organise your day and schedule your tasks at the best time.
6. Get a good planner
Stop writing all your brilliant ideas on random scraps of paper which always get lost. Instead, treat yourself to a planner that will help you manage your goals and time. There are so many brilliant planners out there who can help you plan your day and stay productive. Planners help you to stay on track, get organised and help you stay motivated. I have created my own planner, the Positivity Planner, it’s designed to help you clarify your vision and map out your goals in a structured way. This undated planner is perfect for the plant lover in you who wants to create better habits, follow through with plans and achieve your goals. Find out more here.
7. Block time
To help make this year your most productive year yet, block off time in your diary to work on a goal, task or project. Have a think about your schedule and when you can dedicate time to your goals and other important tasks. I suggest starting with your morning routine if you set your alarm before the rest of the house wakes up and before you need to start your day, you can dedicate time to specific things. You might also find that you’re more focused in the morning with less distractions. When you block time to work on something, then you’re less likely to get distracted, you will have less tabs open (if you’re working on a computer) and you’re going to get stuff done quicker. When you sit down to work but you haven’t decided what exactly you’re going to work on, it’s easy to waste time going back on forth on different tasks, which brings to my next point…
8. Stop multitasking
We’re much more effective when we focus on one thing at a time and stop multitasking. By focusing on one thing at a time you will eliminate distractions and be able to complete your tasks quicker, you will also make fewer mistakes and therefore have less work to do. There are a few occasions when multitasking works well and can actually save you time. For example, when you’re driving you can listen to helpful and educational podcasts. When you’re on the train to work you can read a couple of chapters of your book or write a new blog post. When I use to get the train to work, I would occasionally use my commute to write a new blog post or plan out my blog content. Now I have a new job and I drive to work I enjoy listening to podcasts while I’m driving, which is much better than listening to the same songs and adverts on the radio.
How are you going to make this year your most productive year ever? Comment below!