Disclosure: Post sponsored by Mirum but all opinions are my own.
Productivity at work is one of my strengths. I enjoy finding ways to get things done more quickly and effectively. With the new year upon us, what better way to start the year than to find ways to be productive.
Productivity Tips for a Successful 2018!
While I love my job and the work that I do, I want to get it done in the most effective way possible so that I can move on to other priorities in life. As a working mom to 4 kids, being productive at work is a must. I have a job to do, and I have my role as a mother. Both require a lot and the best way for me to be the best at both is to be as productive as possible.
Today I am sharing 10 productivity tips that have helped me be successful at work. These tips help me get all the things done and hopefully will help you start 2018 off on the right foot at work!
Say No to Slow Computers - Buy a Faster Computer
This productivity tip is the most important one I have to share with you. Why? We are all digital people now. The majority of our work takes place on computers. Do yourself a favor and buy a faster computer.
There is nothing more frustrating during a work day than wanting to accomplish a task and not having the tools to do so, rendering yourself completely unproductive! We've all been there, you know - trying to get something done, on deadline, but your computer just creeps along slowly. It's painful and totally unnecessary. You must have the right tools to do your job, and if you are suffering due to a slow computer, it's time to change that! 2018 is your year for productivity.
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Learn to Say No
No is not a bad word. No is an empowering word. Being in a place where you can say yes to the things that you want and no to everything opens you up to living the life that you want. This isn't easy - it is definitely easier said than done, but when you learn the power of NO - your life can be changed! Funnel your energy and productivity to the YESes and away from the NOs.
Wake Up Early
The 30-year-old me would have laughed at this productivity tip. Now in my late 30's as a mom of 4 kids, this tip is gold. My kids wake up at 6:45 am. From the time they wake-up, until the time they walk out the door for school, approximately an hour later they need my assistance.
As much as I hate waking up early, it has become a game changer in regards to productivity. I have 3 days a week that require me to be productive. On these days, I wake up at 5:15 am. I also set an alarm for 6:30 am. This gives me an hour and 15 minutes to get as much done as possible before the kids need me. It never fails, anytime I miss my early wake-up, my day feels way less productive. That extra 75 minutes will help set the pace for getting things done.
I am always surprised how well my brain actually functions on these days. I thought that since I am typically a night-owl, that waking up early - my brain just wouldn't be functioning at the capacity needed to make it worth it. I was wrong. My brain works just as well, if not better than late at night. I have been lying to myself so that I can sleep in!
Hardest Task First
This may sound counter-intuitive, but this really works! Look at your to-do list. There is always that one task that you really just DO NOT want to do. Do it first. Finishing the hardest task first will get you over that dreaded hump and bump up your day's productivity.
Set a Schedule
If your job is like mine, where my schedule is flexible - do yourself a favor and set a schedule. I know what you are thinking - doesn't that take away from having a flexible job? It may feel like that initially, but believe me - by setting boundaries on your hours and creating a schedule, you are implementing a work-life balance. Your work schedule can be as structured or unstructured as you like, but start somewhere and create a partition in your life so that you can define which part of your life belongs to your job.
Write Down Ideas as They Come
Use your note app on your phone and anytime you have a spark of genius - or idea - write it down! As a blogger, I am always looking for good content ideas. By collecting my ideas in a centralized location, when it comes time to create, I have a handy list that acts as a resource on my phone. This saves me time and makes my creative sessions way more productive!
Deal with Distractions
Distractions come in many forms. Sometimes it's a kid who is calling from school who forgot his lunch, other times it's Facebook. Find ways to deal with distractions that allows you to still be productive. For example, our kids typically take their lunch but have money in an account for uh-oh days when they forget it. This saves a call home asking mom to stop what she is working on to bring them lunch. Facebook can be a major timesuck. Like I have a schedule for my workday, I also have a schedule for when I let myself on Facebook. Find ways to deal with your distractions. No matter how hard you try, there will ALWAYS be distractions so be proactive in solving as many as possible ahead of time.
Get More Sleep
This is another productivity tip that I would have rolled my eyes at a few years back, but now I know the importance of getting a good nights rest. Sure, in an ideal world we would all get 8 hours of good solid sleep. I aim for 6.5 hours. Something I have learned is that every person requires a different amount of sleep to run at their full capacity. My husband can get 6 hours of sleep and crush his day, but me - if I don't get the extra half hour more than him, I feel myself dragging.
Find how much sleep your body needs and give it the rest it deserves. You are your productive best when you get your optimal amount of sleep.
Organize Your Desk
My desk is chaos. During the holiday lull, I took time to go thru everything. Pens and markers were organized into a jar. All of the random school papers and kid artwork was organized into a storage filing cabinet. Mounds of random post-it notes and papers were thrown away. As I sat down to start planning for 2018, I was refreshed and motivated by having a clean desk that allows me to know where everything is!
Wear headphones? That seems like an odd productivity tip doesn't it? Listen, here is the deal. If you work in an office, chances are chatty Patty wants to tell you the latest gossip or unnecessary news at random times during the day. This KILLS productivity. While this is not fool-proof, but people are less likely to approach you when they see you as plugged in. I can speak from real life experience on this!
Also in regards to wearing headphones, find music or noise that helps make you productive. Might as well have sound going to your ears when wearing headphone to distract people! I find that Moby really gets me in the "zone" for working. Find what works for you!
Productivity Gives You Freedom
Get your work done so that you have the freedom to do what you want. For me, that freedom is spending time with my kids, streaming Netflix for hours on end (which coincidentally if you have a faster computer will work much better) and finding random ways to be creative. Whatever your why is for being more productive, I hope that these productivity tips help you make 2018 your most productive year yet!
Thanks to Mirum for sponsoring this post. #IntelODHolidaySavings