Increasing your Productivity

Jul 16, 2014

Are you constantly finding yourself behind schedule? Do you feel like your to-do list gains two items for every one you cross off? Are you under pressure to become more productive? Increasing your productivity takes planning, determination, and self-discipline, but it does not have to be overwhelming. Let’s discuss the basics.

  1. Slow down

Let me repeat myself – slow down! Our minds and bodies were designed to rejuvenate through sleep and times of rest and leisure. When we let our tasks creep into our rest time, we deplete our energy level and our mental clarity. We have more time, but accomplish less.

  • Discipline yourself to go to sleep at the same time every night and get up at the same time each morning – with a seven-hour minimum. The consistency will increase the quality of your sleep and, therefore, the amount of benefit from it.
  • Abstain from screen timethe last thirty minutes before going to sleep. This will allow your mind time to relax and help eliminate those racing thoughts that keep you awake.
  • Instead, reflect on what you accomplished that day and make a prioritized list of what you want to do tomorrow. Choose what clothing you will wear. If you carry a lunch, pack it now. Your morning will begin better and you will have more energy.
  • Take regular breaks during the day. Sit back in your chair, breathe deeply, close your eyes, and meditate for a minute; then stand up for a few minutes of exercise: take a brisk walk down the hall, take a flight of stairs up or down and back, or if you have a private office, do squats, toe touches etc. Drink a glass of cold water and return to work, freshly energized and ready to tackle the next task.
  • If you have children, take time to listen to them. Nothing sets your priorities in order faster than seeing the world through a child’s perspective.
  • Take time to laugh with your partner and/or friends. According to recent studies, laughter reduces cortisol (the stress hormone), burns calories, increases our ability to learn and focus, and improves our memory.
  1. Begin the day right

The first thirty minutes in your day can set the pace for the whole day. Focus on good beginnings – they will help you have great endings.

  • Open your blinds and let the sunshine lift your mood. Invest in full-spectrum lighting for those overcast days.
  • Sing in the shower. According to Debbie Mandel, singing is healing and beneficial to your health, including reducing stress, improving mood, lowering blood pressure, and boosting your immune system. It also motivates and empowers.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast. Skip the high carb items for protein. Protein satisfies you longer and helps avoid the sugar crash. For low carb-high protein tips, visit
  • Take daily vitamins. Most Americans are deficient in their vitamins and minerals. Taking a daily multivitamin/mineral, omega oil, and probiotic can make a huge difference in how you feel. When you feel well, you perform better.
  • Give and collect hugs. Regular hugs increase serotonin and oxytocin levels, reducing loneliness, depression, and anger, while increasing your sense of wellbeing and your immunity. They reduce stress and blood pressure and alleviate fears.
  1. Create a plan

Now that you have taken care of your emotional, mental, and physical health, create a plan. Be ambitious, but realistic.

  • Set long-term goals (the five year plan) and monthly goals. Break them down into weekly and daily plans.
  • Designate specific times for daily tasks. Schedule similar tasks at similar times.
  • Set time limits for a task. If you misjudged on time, re-evaluate – you may need to stretch a task over additional days. Meanwhile, don’t miss a deadline in one area because you underestimated sufficient time in another.
  • Prioritize and then focus on what you crossed off the list, rather than stressing over what remains. Choose from multiple apps , which help you manage your time
  • Focus on one task at a time. Forget multi-tasking – it’s a myth. (Unless you are doing a mindless task like folding wash while listening to an audio book, report, etc.)
  • Delegate. Do what you need to do yourself and delegate what you don’t. Consider hiring help for some tasks. For example, the teen next door may really appreciate the opportunity to earn money mowing your yard, while you make more sales calls.

Taking care of yourself, and then learning the tricks to the trade of time management will result in increased productivity and a more balanced life that includes leisure as well as work. Contact Friday Services. We will help you spend your work time doing a job you enjoy.


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