How to be more productive is one of the most searched for “how-to” questions on Google. Countless people are unhappy about the way they spend their time. Whether it is the chaotic, never-enough feeling at work or feeling like you don’t accomplish as much as you could in your free time. So many of us know the feeling of pushing through the day blindly, just trying to make it from that morning coffee cup to that evening glass of wine (or three).
I mean, doesn’t it seem like everyone these days is finishing the workday feeling like you gave all you got, and it still was nowhere near enough? Like you work your tush off, feel exhausted and still feel like you are putting out little fires instead of accomplishing what you were supposed to?
Don’t copy celebrities, upgrade your own habits instead to be more productive at work
You will quickly find a wealth of advice about this topic: How to live your life as productively as Steve Jobs! The exact working style of Jeff Bezos – copy it and you can be successful too!
These articles often focus on copying celebrities’ habits while it almost certainly will benefit you more to look at your own life and find out how it might be made easier and more efficient. Chances are that you already know the areas you need help with.
I don’t need to buy an online course to realize that my challenge is taking on too many projects at once and having a million things to do that all compete with each other. This leads to hastily scraping the surface of everything and never focusing more on the stuff that really matters because of trying to do it all at once. This ends in mediocre results and an exhausted person. Trust me, I know.
Make every day a little easier
Well, the answer to waving goodbye to all productivity issues once and for all could be simpler than you think. Instead of big, shiny, near-impossible goals, focus on the everyday grind – how to make that more bearable, more efficient, more beneficial for your end game, whatever that may be. How to add more joy and stress less.
It is not about copying the exact habits of Steve Jobs or some other mega-successful person but zeroing in on what exactly it is that you do with your time. Chances are, there is room for improvement in how you use those precious hours.
How to be more productive in life– the practical way
So, start making tiny, but daily habit changes. Consistency is key here, folks. If you find that, like me, you get a kick out of crossing off completed items from your to-do list, start making a fresh list every single morning and prioritize the heck out of it as you write it. Or, if it helps you to have the big picture mapped out in front of you, reserve time to make a monthly task list until the end of the year, so you will know what is coming in the near future. Even then, it helps to highlight the most crucial tasks of each month, so you know what to focus on.
Productivity planners make you stress less – and make you more productive at home or working from home
On a weekly level, I find that it really takes the edge of my stress levels to do this every Monday morning: take a piece of paper or a specific weekly planner, and fill it with everything you need to accomplish during the week. Review what you have written and highlight the tasks that cannot be postponed and are on the top of the important list.
So in a word, simplify. Make everything a part of a plan. Yes, there will always be ad hoc stuff that needs to be taken care of, but if you have a plan, that stuff won’t derail everything else.
Break up that plan into smaller bits. Have daily, weekly, monthly and yearly plans. That way you will never get that awful “ohmygoditotallyforgotaallabouthatthing” feeling and then spend all your time frantically trying to catch up, accomplish the task and delay everything else in the process.
The plans are your insurance, your protection. They will shield you against losing the battle with procrastination and the ultimate no-no of all; just haphazardly working on whatever is in front of you, until that is replaced by some other random thing that falls in front of you.
Planners optimize your time for you
Another productivity myth (in addition to the one that suggests that you should copy celebrity habits) is that you should strive to be productive all the time. From the moment you wake until you go to sleep. The internet is bursting with advice insisting that you need super-efficient morning habits, not waste a minute of your working day and then optimize the evening time as well. Unless you are a real-life superhero, you will likely kick the bucket from sheer exhaustion before you can actually enjoy any of the possible rewards of this kill-yourself-to-succeed schedule.
So, instead of whipping yourself every waking minute into a to-do list busting frenzy, you simply concentrate on doing what matters, and the prioritized items follow each other in a sweet order of importance. This way your precious time is spent on the crucial stuff, not on the less important but time-consuming filler stuff that we all have.
How to make the most of your time
The easiest way to do all this is having planners that are specifically made for making your days less stressful and more productive. I spent a lot of time searching for the perfect daily, weekly and monthly planners that I could print at home and would have all the right bits on them. I never found the perfect match for me, so I finally made my own.
They have helped me immensely; instead of all the chaotic stress and constantly feeling inadequate, there is a word that now perfectly describes the way I spend my time: calm. If you would have told me a year ago that calm would be the word that reflects the main feeling in my life, I would have laughed out loud. But using these planners has done more for my mental well-being than any mindfulness exercise, app or class ever could.
That is why I can honestly recommend these printable planners: they have actually made a clear difference in how productively I use my time. And they can transform your days for the better as well.
So just plan ahead. Simplify. De-stress.
It will feel soooo good.
Come get those superstar planners here!