5 Tips for Productivity

What’s Included?

  • Do the hardest thing first
  • Evaluate whether it’s a hell yes or a hell no
  • Time your to-do’s
  • Use habit bundling
  • Give yourself a power boost

Sure, we all might have the same amount of time available each day… But do we all use it as productively as we hope? Using your time productively can help you to prioritize what’s most important, get things done, and free up more time in your schedule for things you truly enjoy. We could ALL afford to have a little more “me” time in our day, so let’s dig in!

1. DO THE HARDEST THING FIRST

You know the feeling… there’s that nagging task sitting on your to-do list all day long & you’ve been avoiding it with everything in your power. But guess what?

That nagging task could be causing your attitude, productivity, and mood to plummet throughout the day. Instead, getting that task done as early as possible ensures that you have the energy, time, and attention to focus & actually knock it out. Plus, getting something hard done can give you the extra boost of confidence and energy you need to keep tackling the rest of your day!


2. BE PICKY

Try to think of each task on a scale of hell yes to hell no. Some tasks are a total HELL YES – these are the types of tasks that we look forward to, that we value, and that we’re motivated to tackle. Some tasks are a HELL NO – things that we KNOW aren’t worth our time & we actively choose to say no to. But… there’s a handful of tasks that seem to fall in the middle each day.

Whether it’s that task that your coworker asked you to quickly help with, the neighbor who asked you to come over for a drink after work to catch up, or simply just a task that could wait another day or two to complete. In order to be productive, we have to be willing to decide whether those middle of the road tasks are actually a hell yes or a hell no.

A coworker asks you to quickly help them with a task, but you know your afternoon is already slammed. You’ll have to work late if you accept, but you’re supposed to run tonight. Working late could prevent that from happening. Ask yourself…

  • How will you feel if you accept?
  • How will you feel if you don’t get your run done?
  • Is their task or the relationship with them more important than your goals?
  • What’s most important?

If you feel that saying yes will leave you feeling negatively, or put you in a tight spot – then it’s a HELL NO. You could say something like: “I wish I could, but I have things planned today that I can’t put off. I could help tomorrow if you need!”


3. TIME YOUR TO-DO’S

Having a to-do list is a solid start to being productive… But it shouldn’t stop there. Adding TIMES to your to-do’s can ensure that they actually get DONE, and it can help you see where you could make can make improvements. Whether you time your to-do’s using clock times, minutes, or another system – adding a form of measurement is a great way to stay on task all day long.

Build in BUFFERS to prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed if you happen to go “over” the time limit – it’s like a little bonus if you already got the tasks done!

Spanish: 10 Minutes

Emails: 30 Minutes

Prep lunch: 15 Minutes

BUFFER: 10 Minutes

Run: 60 Minutes

Shower: 20 MInutes

BUFFER: 10 Minutes


4. HABIT BUNDLING

Habit bundling can be a great way to make tasks easier to remember, easier to complete, and more fun and enticing!

Here’s how it works: Choose a habit that’s hard to remember, not enjoyable to do, or just challenging in general & pair it with something that’s easy to remember, easy to complete, or fun. The habit bundle can be two habits or activities that happen simultaneously OR in sequence (one right before the other), but the important thing is that they are bundled together closely.

  • DOING DISHES (not enjoyable) + LISTENING TO A FAVORITE PODCAST (enjoyable) + DONE SIMULTANEOUSLY
  • DRINKING 8 OZ WATER (hard to remember) + EATING MEALS (easy to remember) + DRINK 8 OZ BEFORE EVERY MEAL
  • CHECKING EMAILS (not enjoyable) + TAKING A WALK (enjoyable) + BEFORE YOU CAN GO FOR A WALK, YOUR EMAILS MUST BE CLEARED

5. GIVE YOURSELF A POWER BOOST

Give yourself POWER BOOSTS throughout the day by making sure your basic needs are met (hydration, fuel, sleep, etc.). You can even visualize yourself gaining power just like a battery being recharged – in order to perform your jobs, you must be fully charged up. If your battery is running low, then you might not have the stamina or charge to get through it all. Take time to prioritize the things that help you stay charged up & give yourself those power boosts to get through your day!

Using your time productively is a constant work in progress, and it’s okay if it takes some time to get consistent with the strategies above. The point isn’t to be perfect, it’s to start working towards habits that work better for you & start to free up more of your time for YOU.


Amy Haas
Run with Aim, LLC
UESCA Certified Running Coach
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
NASM Certified Nutrition Coach

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