Habits we form shape our lives, whether we like to admit it or not, everything around us and the situation we are in are all down to choices we’ve made and habits we have picked up throughout our previous years. If you start to adopt good habits, slowly but surely, your situation will start to change for the better. Success is not a sprint, it’s an endurance race and only the patient and determined will be able to attain it.

Let’s look at 5 habits that will help supercharge your productivity and in turn help you accomplish more in less time leaving you with more time to work on things that mean something to you.

Prioritise
Create a daily to do list that lists things in order of importance. Never mistake being busy with being productive. Everyone is busy all the time but there’s no point if you are not being productive and getting the important things done. There’s an old saying for entrepreneurs – ‘don’t waste too much time working in your business, it’s more important to be working on your business’. Breaking this down, you can spend hours on end making a website perfect, doing your accounts, setting up your marketing and not actually bring in any money. Yes all of that stuff needs to be done but you need to focus on the cash flow before anything else. Focus your energy on the stuff that is going to get you results, not the ‘fluff’ that we often all get caught up in, in our attempt to try and do something useful. Realise the difference between ‘busy’ and ‘productive’. Everyone is busy, but everyone also has the same 24 hours in a day. Prioritise your tasks and see what’s the most important thing. That is what is going to set you apart from everyone else – learning to make the most of the 24 hours that we all have. If you need to write down an hour by hour plan, do it. Whatever you need to do, do it!

Beware of the burnout
A study done in 2014 (source below) shows that output and time worked went up at a proportionate rate. However at anything more than 49 hours a week, that’s when we start to see a change in dynamic, the study showed that someone who has worked 56 hours had the same productivity as someone who worked 70 hours. The takeaway from this is, work less but work smarter, long hours don’t necessarily mean more work is being done. This kind of goes with our point above. Longer hours ≠ more work being done. In fact if you spend too much time working, you could experience diminishing returns – i.e. the result of burnout. Make sure you rest when you need to – this will help you increase your productivity by giving you a chance to recuperate. We all get tired and needing rest is natural. Don’t neglect your body’s signs that it needs to rest – your business/work will thank you for it!

Ignore your phone
This seems like a pretty basic one, however when you dive in deeper into the reasoning behind it, you can understand why. A smartphone, basically has our whole life on it, it can be a phone, camera, computer, tv and everything else in between. This means there are many ways in which it can distract us, mainly being the social side of it, it can connect us to thousands of people all over the world. We are just a touch of a button away from them. A report (source below) published earlier this year took a deeper look into how a phone affects us even just by the sound it makes. If you’re thinking ‘oh I’m not that bad’, think again. Do you not wonder who has messaged you or who has just liked your picture when you hear your phone make a sound? Placing your phone face down next to you doesn’t count. That won’t stop you from getting distracted. If you have work to do, keep your phone on silent and in a completely separate room to you. It’ll make allowing your phone to distract you much harder as you’ll have to actually get up to go and get it!  

Try to regulate your sleep timings
A good night’s sleep can never be overrated. It is possible to perform well without one, however your chances of being productive drop dramatically. As we all know, sleep is when the body recovers and recharges for the following day. If your life is quite hectic you’ll be needing that sleep and the quality of the sleep is just as important. Deep sleep or REM sleep is where all the magic happens. Too many hours is just as bad, the ‘sweet spot’ of sleep is between 7 and 8 hours according to Michael Grandner PhD. He was the co-investigator on the study of getting adequate sleep at optimal times and it’s correlation on having a healthy heart in ‘Annals of Behavioral Medicine’. So, set yourself a bedtime at such a time that you get the optimum hours of sleep that you need to function properly. Before you sleep, give your eyes and your mind a rest from all the electronics that are constantly keep our minds buzzing throughout the day. Read a book, draw, write, do some breathing exercises, just do anything to relax and wind down. Sleep is so important (not just to keep you beautiful!) but you keep your energy levels up throughout the day and keep your productivity high.

Have a balanced diet and a good exercise regime
A balanced diet has many different benefits but with regards to productivity, it will give you regulated blood sugar levels therefore giving you a constant stream of energy. A healthy choice of a ‘pick me up’ in the afternoon if you feel tired would be some fruit or a black coffee however, coffee too late in the day can affect your sleep patterns as it takes a while for your body to process it and it becomes disruptive to your routine.
Exercise helps increase blood flow around your body and allows your brain and muscles to get extra oxygen, along with the release of endorphins (the feel good hormone). According to a study done in New Zealand at the University of Otago, a 20 minute run helped lab rats solve problems more efficiently than the rats who didn’t do any exercise. Exercising also helps to tire you out and ensure you get a good night’s sleep.
The importance of combining a good diet and exercise is key to keeping your productivity levels high, and performing your best.

 

Be more productive with your time, it will help you carve out time to build a life you want and deserve. GSY