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With the invention of so many new technologies, one might have predicted by by now, that we would be so much better off in terms of free time. On the contrary, we seem to even worse off.
Hi everyone, I’m Valerie. In this post, I look at ways you can improve your productivity in your daily lives.
1. Learn To Say No
Most of us are kind and want to help others but in order to help others, we sometimes need to know when to say ‘No’!
In order to have the best quality time with our partner or children, for example, it is sometimes worth learning to say no to unnecessary demands on our time, such as from extended family or from other people around us.
By focusing on the most meaningful tasks (and that includes relaxation and down-time), we can often become better people to be around and more focused with our time. Learn to say no when it is appropriate and spend that time on relaxing or doing the things you love to do.
2. Plan the Night Before
By listing 3 or 4 very simple bullet point ideas of what you need to achieve the next day, just before or when you go to bed, you can wake up in the morning with a much clearer focus and understanding of what it is you would like to achieve for that day.
Of course unexpected things will come up in the day, especially as a mom with kids to look after, for example, but with 3 or 4 clear targets to achieve for the day, you will have something with which to aim for.
Whether it be for a small business you are trying to start from home, or something related to the home or mothering, plan the targets the night before and wake up with a clearer plan.
3. Daily De-Clutter
I find that a daily de-clutter can be a fantastic way to keep a cleaner and more focused workspace, whether at home or in the office. Is there anything that can be thrown away such as old newspapers, paperwork, or anything at all?
The cleaner your workspace, the easier it will be productivity wise as you will find that you will have clearer focus. Hoarding anything that you do not really need is clutter in your life.
4. Tackle One Big task at a Time
A great way to be productive is to target one main task at a home, to focus on that task and just push to fully complete it before then moving on.
Do consider though that you can break one very large task down into smaller ones. Need, for example, to clean your house?
Well, tackle one cupboard or room a week if you need to. Likewise, if you work for yourself, you might want to aim to ensure that tackle one key task each day.
I would suggest also to start and complete the main task first in the day and then do any smaller task afterwards, if time permits.
5. Learn to be Mindful to Be More Productive
By learning and understanding some basic mindfulness techniques, you can find that you make better decisions and in effect improve your productivity. Through mindfulness you can begin to appreciate the simple things and what is really important.
Many of the tasks and things we think are important, on a daily basis, are often unproductive and take us no closer to being even happier and more productive.
Indeed, almost all of us waste time on tasks that we mistakenly think are important when they are not.
Basic mindfulness techniques and activities can help us to realize and appreciate how to focus and to appreciate what matters.
6. Set Specific Hours for Social Media and Emails
Well I am not saying this is easy to do as I struggle myself to stick to only checking Facebook or Pinterest in the evenings between 6pm and 7pm, the timeframe that I have set myself.
Learning though to be very controlled in a habitual way, with when we check emails, social media and similar such tasks (including whatsapp and other services on our cellphones) is a very quick way to free up more quality time and to immediately improve productivity.
7. Have Clearer Goals
One of the greatest causes of lack of productivity is because we simple have not taken the time to really understand and work out what we want. What do you want to be doing each day if you had more time?
More quality time with the kids? Time to exercise? Time to work on your new online business? Time to sleep?
And in terms of longer terms goals, what would you like to achieve in the next one, three and give years?
I recommend to allocate some thinking time to then write down what you what to achieve over the course of the aforementioned time-frames. Then write down an action list of how you can move closer towards achieving these things.
By first understanding what it is you really want to be doing and achieving, it is much easier to improve your productivity and to use time better.
8. Exercise and Become More Productive
Now I know that you might find the suggestion to exercise to be contrary to the idea of being more productive and having more free time.
Similar to mindfulness, exercise can actually make us far more focused, positive and energetic overall, and so finding time to exercise can be a fantastic idea to improve your productivity.
A key point to remember is that you do not need to go to a gym or sports centre.
There is plenty that you can do from home, whether it be skipping outdoors, walking up and down the stairs a certain number of times, or doing yoga positions such as the plank, or doing press ups (you can do the with your knees down if you need to).
About the Author
Dr Valeria Lo Iacono recently graduated with a PhD in belly dance and she is now the owner of Symonds Training where she provides training materials online for freelance trainers. In her spare time, Valeria loves to dance, travel and try different foods. You can find her site on https://symondsresearch.com/ and on social media via https://www.pinterest.co.uk/corporatetraininguk/ and https://www.facebook.com/symondsresearch/