This post was originally “The 5 Easiest Ways to be Productive”, but I’ve since updated it to add more easy ways to be productive! Let’s get things done.
It always seems like a great idea to become more productive and get stuff done until you realize just how much effort some of it requires. In this post, I wanted to share the absolute simplest ways to be more productive daily that don’t demand much change in your daily routine.
**This post may contain affiliate links. All opionions are my own. Please see my disclosure for more information**
1. Schedule like crazy
If you’re subscribed to my e-mail list (y’all are the best!), then you know I write a lot about productivity hacks. Focusing on my productivity and efficiency have been big game changers in how much I can get done each day and is how stay I motived. It’s been especially essential working around my 9-5.
There’s been no bigger game changer than this planner right here, my side hustle planner (get yours below!). It’s helped me focus on one task so much more so that I can get something important done even if I only have 20 free minutes. With a full-time job and everything else life throws at us, time is a precious thing to waste.
Looking to increase your productivity level at work? Here’s how you can use the technique I use in my side hustler planner during your day hustle!
2. Sleep the same amount every night
Yes, even on the weekends.
The idea of getting only a little sleep on the weekdays and then “making up for it” on the weekends just doesn’t work. It messes with your internal clock. Getting more sleep than you usually do can actually end up making you more tired. Try to get about the same amount of sleep every night.
Suggestions for better sleep:
- Use the free app Sleep Cycle. It tracks your REM cycle (in a way I’m still not completely sure of) and wakes you up in a half hour window that you set based on where you are in your cycle. It has made waking up much easier for me.
- Read a book before bed, or your kindle. Being on your phone or computer right before you sleep won’t help your brain shut off. Same with your iPad! I got rid of my iPad after learning this since I primarily used it for a Kindle anyway.
- Treat yourself in the morning. Literally, bribe yourself if need be. Whether it’s with a coffee, a delicious breakfast, or whatever gets you going. Find it and use it.
3. Eat small portions all day
Larger portions of food at once will make you tired. It is easier to stay energized with constant good food in your stomach. I basically eat five meals a day at this point, they’re just small. I’ve found this keeps me focused (I can’t focus well when I’m hungry) and also keeps me from eating huge meals that will require a post-food nap. I’m like a bear and can eat myself into hibernation if I’m really hungry.
Foods that give me the most energy are:
- Yogurt (this one is my favorite)
- Peanut butter + Jelly (yes, I am a child)
4. Turn off notifications
We can all agree that social media is usually a time sucker. If you have any notifications on your phone for social media, I’d go ahead and switch them off. If you want to check a platform, you’ll remember, you don’t need to be reminded to do so. There’s nothing efficient about working when you have notifications that lead you to pointless information going off left and right.
Ok so, social media is a clear enemy of productivity. But, people somehow trick themselves into thinking that notifications on e-mails are a good thing. Well, they are not good for your productivity. They pop up while you’re in the middle of things, distract you, and can stress you out about something you have no control over right then. Try to turn off e-mail notifications. I have faith that you check it often enough.
5. Five-minute bodywork routine
If I don’t have time to work out and/or if I’ve just felt that I’ve been sitting for too long, doing a quick 5 minutes of working out and stretching makes a huge difference. You can play around with what makes you feel best in five minutes and have your own customized routine. For me personally, I make sure to do a plank, some push ups, and stretch. If I don’t do those, I just don’t feel as good during the rest of the day and can’t focus as well.
6. Drink water. Constantly
Constantly have a water bottle or glass of water next to you. It’ll remind you to drink far more than you would if you’re simply relying on your body to remind you when you’re thirsty. I have to go to the bathroom once an hour from how much water I drink. People at work may be wondering what’s wrong with me, but not only does that mean I’m hydrated, it’s good to get up out of your seat at work once an hour and move your body.
Some simple ways to make sure you’re staying hydrated:
- Keep a water bottle with you at all times and/or at your desk
- Pour a glass of water for yourself before bed and drink it right when you wake up
- Get this amazing bottle and make water consumption more exciting than ever before
- Use free water drinking app like Daily Water Free or Waterlogged. My favorite is Plant Nanny because you get a cute plant that comes with it!
7. Schedule “airplane mode” times
If you want to take the “no notification” thing to the next level, spend some time on airplane mode. I find this technique especially useful if I need to write or read something lengthy or am designing something (AKA, things that don’t need the internet). Shut off everything, as if you were on an airplane. You can get incredible amounts done that way.
8. Have a “to-do” system at your fingertips
When I’m trying to develop a new habit or reach a new goal, I list the steps in a spreadsheet in google docs. I have the formulas set in it so that each time I “check off” my habit as done for the day, I see the small meter moving closer to completion of my goals. Check it out!
This keeps me productive for many reasons:
1- It keeps me motivated. I can see my progress as I improve!
2- It’s simple. I don’t have to write “drink 64 oz of water” each day on my to do list. No one has time for that. All it takes is a check in my spreadsheet but I still have the same satisfaction of crossing off a to-do list. Better yet, I’m not just checking something off, I’m seeing a positive habit form.
3- It’s on google drive, so I can access it on my laptop, work computer, and cell phone!
(get your own goal spreadsheet in my Side Hustler Library below!)
Resources to stay productive
All of the resources I mentioned I use in this post are available in my Side Hustler Resource Library. It’s got all my best tools for staying super productive. Sign up below, and they’re yours!