5 Simple Ways To Be More Productive

Here are 5 simple ways to set yourself up for a productive day so you can achieve your goals and live your dreams.

I’ve been having a bit of a struggle with motivation. And while I can’t say the struggle is completely over (and I fear it never will be), I have been making some headway.

I started looking at the things I do every day and, more particularly, every morning to see whether there was something I could change.

I wanted to figure out why some days so productive while others are just blah, and whether there was anything I could do about it.

This is what I discovered:

1. Do what you planned to do

This is something I had overlooked but is actually HUGE for me. With a little experimentation, I have found one of the best ways to set myself up for a good, productive day is simply just to do what I had planned.

It sounds so easy, but I’m sure you know just how hard this can be. Doing what our enthusiastic, optimistic, motivated-self thought up the night before isn’t always what we feel like doing when we’re tired, comfortable and cosy in bed the next morning.

But I’m making myself do it because it’s making me so much more productive.

I’m noticing that if I planned to wake up early and go to yoga the next morning, I have a good day if I do. If I had planned to sleep in and have a relaxing morning, I have a good day if I do.

I just have to do what I had planned and I already feel like I’m being productive.

2. Listen to your favourite music

Yes, it’s an obvious one. But do you do it?

I love music and I think everything is more fun when there’s music playing (not sure why exactly, it just feels cooler) but for whatever reason I didn’t used to listen to music when I was getting ready in the morning.

When I was in Vietnam a couple of weeks ago I bought a little Bluetooth speaker and it has been my saviour. Listening to music is a super simple way to set yourself up for a productive day and it’s so easy to do. I use Pandora (or you could use Spotify) so I don’t have to worry about a playlist either, I just pick a song and it goes from there.

3. Have a breakfast that fills you up and that you love

I was already doing this (I’m obsessed with having porridge topped with berries) but sometimes it’s not convenient, especially when I’m having breakfast out of the house.

But now I’m making the effort to have this every single morning. You might be a bit more interesting than me and not want to same thing for breakfast every morning and that’s cool too. The trick is just to have something filling and that you love.

Lately I’ve been obsessed with having a huge glass of lemon water at breakfast too. I love making it look pretty by cutting up the lemon, and maybe a strawberry or two if I have some. It’s so easy to do and takes all of 2 minutes but just really puts me in a good, productive mood. Find the little things that do this for you.

4. Take your time

This may be hard for anyone who labels themselves as ‘not a morning person’ but it has been life changing for me. I used to always spend my mornings running around like a headless chicken trying to get everything ready but I have found that simple waking up 15 or 20 minutes earlier makes my morning routine so much more fun. I can actually enjoy getting ready, I get a really productive vibe going and I won’t be late.

The trick is not to let yourself be fooled into thinking you have heaps more time and then having to rush around at the end. Just do what you’d normally do and enjoy the time you have left over.

5. No procrastination

Taking my time does not include procrastination because, for me at least, procrastination puts me in a super unproductive mood. Until recently I had a really bad habit that was shooting me in the foot, and I didn’t even enjoy that much.

When I woke up, the first thing I would do is grab my phone and start scrolling through newsfeeds – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.

Since I live in Australia there is always quite a bit that I miss while I’m asleep and I wanted to know what had been happening. But this would just put me in the most unproductive mood and it could easily gobble up an hour of my morning. Plus it made me want to keep checking back again and again and would throw off my entire day.

Now I’ve been turning off my internet when I sleep and not turning it back on until I’m ready for the day. If I have time I’ll check to see what I’ve missed but usually, because I’m in quite a productive mood if I don’t do it first thing, I don’t really have a problem waiting until later.

Maybe you can relate to some of these things, maybe you can’t. We’re all different. But simply having a look at what you do every morning and tweaking a few things here and there can make a huge difference to your day!

What sets you up for a productive day?

Don’t forget that comments are always welcome and appreciated – I’d LOVE to hear what you have to say!

Sam xx

 

Author: Sam Brown

  • So nice to see you posting again Sam! Love this, I think we all get a little unmotivated, or ‘bloggers block’ now and again, so you’re not alone. These tips are awesome! 🙂 Claire

    • Thanks so much for your comment Claire! I’m so happy to be back to feeling motivated again 🙂

      Sam xx

  • I have been having such a hard time lately to be productive. I get up early and start out well and then when we hit afternoon I’m just too lazy to do any of the things I planned.
    I loved the post and I think it’s so important to listen to your favorite music 🙂
    Tanja Mortensen

    • Hey Tanja,

      I totally agree – it can be so hard to get through the afternoon slump too.

      If I can, I try to plan my days with the hard tasks first and the easy ones towards the end of the day, like the things that need to be done that I can sort of do on autopilot.

      When I’m studying, I always try to do my exercise in the afternoon because I know that by then I’ll need a break and it’ll often refresh me and get me back on track (of course, that’s if I don’t give into laziness and skip the whole thing altogether!)

      Sam xx

  • I love step 1- doing what you planned. This is something i need to start sticking to. I hate when I say I’m going to do something- like exercise- and I put it off all day and never get to it. I need to just put on some good music and do it!! Thanks for your post!

    • Hey Stephanie,

      Totally agree! I usually have a post-it note with ‘just do it’ written on it and have it somewhere I can see so that I can keep reminding myself that it’s usually better to just do things when we first intend to do them and tick them off our list then procrastinating all day and then saying to ourselves that we ‘didn’t have enough time’ (when we know it’s a complete lie haha)

      Thanks so much for your comment!

      Sam xx

  • I agree that music helps productivity! I love putting on the radio in the morning while I get ready. It helps to wake me up and keep time without looking at the clock. I also need music when I’m writing. Helps creativity!

    Also love the tip about doing what you planned… In hindsight, that seems very true.

    Catherine | TheSingleDiaries.com

    • Hey Catherine,

      Thanks so much for your comment!

      I love your suggestion with the radio, although personally I haven’t really been able to find many stations that I like (I find either there are too many ads and I don’t want to spend my morning being bombarded with ads, or I don’t really like the presenters) but if there is one you like it’s such a good way to keep time!

      I’m thinking of buying a clock for my room so that I am able to see the time when I’m getting ready, I think it will really help with keeping me on track (whenever I use my phone to keep the time I’m usually so surprised how time has passed so quickly!)

      Sam xx

    • Hey Claudine,

      Thanks so much for commenting! I’m happy to hear that tips like these are helpful 🙂

      Sam xx

    • Hey Whitney,

      Thanks so much for your comment! I think they’re all actually super obvious, but they’re the things that we all know we should do but for whatever reason don’t end up doing them! Chugging through a list is a great way to do it (as long as the list isn’t too overwhelming that you don’t want to start haha)

      Sam xx

  • I love these tips! My favorite is to get up a little earlier so I can have a relaxed morning, maybe meditate for a few minutes and drink some lemon water before making breakfast and then having time to read something inspiring (Wayne Dyer and Gabby Bernstein are my current faves) before getting my day started!

    • Hi Alex,

      Yes lemon water is my favourite! Reading something before the day starts is also a great thing to do! 🙂

      Sam xx

  • Great tips Sam! It’s nice to see you blogging again. I’m glad that we are both back at blogging and can motivate each other. I agree with all of your tips. I like to make lists for everything to stay productive. Also, I am the type of person that likes things in order, on a schedule and plan. However, sometimes this can get the best of me. When this happens I like to take a deep breath before moving forward.

    • Thanks so much!

      Taking a breath and regrouping is so important. I think it’s so easy to lose perspective throughout the day and time just slips away. Lists are always helpful too!

      I’m so happy you’re back into blogging as well 🙂

      Sam xx

  • Great tips Sam! Actually doing what’s on your list sounds like such an obvious thing but it’s so true – sometimes I just don’t get started! I usually have a productive day if I get things done before noon so I often get hung up on that and it actually stops me from getting things done! xx

    http://healthjen.blogspot.co.uk

    • Hey Jenny,

      You raise such a good point! I think we tell ourselves stories about the conditions we need to be productive, and this actually stops us being productive. For example, I tell myself that I can only concentrate in a clean room so if I go to study and my room is messy I have to clean it first. This often leads me on a tangent and I never end up studying. But if I just did a quick clean up and acknowledged that my room doesn’t have to be perfectly clean, I’m just procrastinating, then I would be able to get a lot more done. Love it!

      Sam xx

  • Number one is so true – it always feels a bit like I’ve failed when I plan to exercise first thing and then don’t. The second I think ‘ahhhh, i’ll start tomorrow’, I’m done for! Happy that you’re back Sam! 🙂

    • Hey Jen,

      Yes this is one of my biggest! Yesterday morning I found myself with that struggle – my alarm went off at 5:15 to get ready for yoga at 6am and I just wasn’t feeling it at all. I was debating in my head if I should go to the one at 9:30 instead even though it would throw off my plans for the day and I realised that if I was awake enough to have a full debate with myself I should just go, so I forced myself out of my comfy bed and went to yoga. And I was glad I did 🙂 I still struggle with this but being conscious of what I’m doing and why I’m doing it is a huge help!

      Sam xx

  • Breakfast is so important! And listening to my favorite music on the drive really helps me kick the day off right. Great tips Sam!

  • As a great procrastinator, I find this post really useful! I think I may try the “no internet connection until I’m ready” thing, ’cause I find myself spending too much time on my phone while I’m still in bed, instead of waking up. Thanks for the tips!

  • I just clicked onto your blog via a Disqus comment over on VDM, and I’m SO glad I did! LOVE your blog, Sam! This post, in particular , has helped me so much today. I’ve been feeling really unproductive all morning, but am determined to stop procrastinating and just get it done. Thank you! x

    Chereen
    http://forthebeautyofit.co.za

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