8 Habits to be a More Productive YouJan 31, 2021
You don’t just become more productive because you wake up one day with a desire to be.
And hoping you become so is not a great strategy.
But neither do you need to spend your precious time researching the habits that will help you be a more productive person.
Here are eight habits that will improve your productivity immediately.
If you’re not doing any of these or if you’re doing just a few, good for you for acknowledging that.
But let this list make you feel overwhelmed.
Read them all over. Pick one, and only one, that resonates with you and begin.
Give yourself the grace to stumble as you incorporate the new habit into your life, understanding that it is a process.
Habit #1: Make your bed
As soon as you wake up — either naturally, which is the best way, or with the use of an alarm clock, get out of bed.
Put your feet on the floor then immediately make your bed. If you’re not alone, make your side.
Why? Because you will have already accomplished something…and you just woke up. Amazing!
After this, if you’re alone or if the other person is getting up too, turn on all the lights in the room. This signals your body that it’s time to wake up.
If you’re not alone and the other person is still sleeping, go to another room and turn on all the lights there.
Habit #2: Don’t grab your phone
Think about this: you’ve just woken up from a good night's sleep. It’s a brand-new day. A gift. Ah…you feel so peaceful and excited at the same time.
And then…you pick up your phone and scroll through messages, social media, email, and the news.
So much for that peaceful feeling!
Don’t. Grab. Your. Phone.
Anything on it can wait.
Instead, guard the first 60 to 90 minutes of your day. Start it on your terms.
Read something inspirational/educational. Journal about what you want/need to do today or what you’re grateful for. Meditate, but not in bed. Or even better: move right after waking up! Elevate your heart rate. Break out in a sweat.
Personally, I’m up seven days a week at 5 am and out running for 30 minutes by 5:15 am.
Habit #3: A notification cleanse
If you’re like most people, you have way too many notifications distracting you throughout your day.
I’m not a fan of zero notifications but I am a fan of reducing the number of notifications that are popping up on your screen and making various different sounds.
The solution: perform a notification cleanse.
Go through all your notifications on all of your devices. Turn off each one that you don’t need. Only you can decide that. Keep only the ones that serve you.
For me, this is my calendar, to-do list, which I don’t use much anymore now that I’ve become a bullet journaler, my credit/debit card app, weather apps (yes, I have more than one…don’t judge me), my coaching app, and messaging apps. But you do you.
And then schedule a time once a month to review your notifications.
Habit #4: Take a news fast
Something I’ve been saying for a while is, “stay informed, but not obsessed.”
It’s okay to know what’s going on…but you can do that quickly.
The news is all about negativity and fear-mongering. How does that make you feel?
Yeah, me too!
Not only do I severely limit my access to the news, I’ve asked my wife and friends to not share news with me unless it is major.
If you’re obsessed with the news all day long, go cold turkey. Give up the news for 30 days. It may become permanent.
Habit #5: Limit the time you spend on social media
Say it with me, “social media is not my friend.”
Who do you think created endless scrolling?
Why do you think YouTube keeps playing another video when you’ve finished with one?
Set yourself up for success.
When you want to go on social media, set your timer on your phone for 30, 45, or no longer than 60 minutes, and then have a ball. But when the timer goes off, immediately get off of social media. No “just one more post”!
Habit #6: Who’s in your inner circle?
You are being influenced all day, every day, whether you realize it or not.
Social media is certainly a big part but so are the people in your inner circle.
The late Charlie “Tremendous” Jones used to say, “in 5 years, you’ll be the same person you are today except for the books you read and the people you meet.” Side note: it’s because of this quote that when people ask me how I’m doing, I answer “tremendous” just like Charlie did!
Who you hang around matters…a lot!
Are there people you need to jettison from your life? Or at least keep at a distance?
My advice to you: don’t delay. Do it!
Habit #7: The power of micro-breaks
Micro-breaks are short. 2 to 5 minutes away from your work area where you don’t check your phone, talk to anyone, think about what you’re working on, what you have to do next, or what might happen.
Instead, you are just…quiet.
I encourage you to do some deep breathing with your eyes closed.
Take as many micro-breaks as you need.
Especially if you’re ending that project you’ve been working on and you can see the finish line. This is counter-intuitive. A micro-break can help you get rejuvenated and finish strong.
Habit #8: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
The human body is made up of 60% water and blood, 90%. So, hydration is pretty important.
But not all hydration is created equal.
It is recommended that you drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day.
Your body expends far less energy processing water than it does with anything else you consume.
But I get it…not all water is created equal.
If you’re going to drink more, or, as I do, only water, you have to find water you enjoy drinking.
We live in Houston, TX, and get mountain spring water delivered every month in recyclable 5-gallon bottles.
All I drink is water. Even if we go to church or out to dinner someplace, I’ll bring my water bottle with me. After making fun of my Mom for years about being picky about her water (“It’s all the same, Mom!” Only it wasn’t.), I’ve now become a water snob.
Which of these eight habits do you already do?
Which one will you add? Don’t start more than one new habit at a time or you could get overwhelmed and quit.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Thank you for reading it.
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