Now that we’ve started a new year, many of us have set ourselves goals and resolutions that we’d like to achieve in the next twelve months. I don’t know about you, but one of my goals is to boost my productivity. Once I’m in the right mindset, I find myself being really productive but I’m the queen of procrastination and often find myself distracted by anything and everything. So today I’m going to share some productivity tips for 2020, to help make this year both productive and successful.
Productivity Tips for 2020
As much as it is a cliche, planning really is key. You don’t have to be into the whole life planner thing, but having a planner is really useful to help keep you organised. I like to use my planner on a month by month basis where I’ll use a month at a view page to record my larger plans and goals for the month, and then break them down into more manageable tasks on a daily basis. My favourite kind of planners have week at a view pages, as you can plan for the week ahead to get an idea of what you need to do.
Lists are really useful, and I like to, where possible, rank things in order of importance on a list. By ranking your to-do list in order of importance, you’ll know you’ve completed the must-do tasks first. It’s so satisfying being able to cross items off a list, and that in turn helps to keep me motivated as I cross more and more from my list.
I find that using different pens and colours really helps to draw attention to my most important tasks. Sometimes I do a weekly to-do list, but then break tasks down into a daily to-do list too. Tasks always feel less overwhelming for me, once I’ve broken them down and I find I’m less likely to keep putting them off this way too.
Hold Yourself Accountable
If you’re self employed like myself, it can be hard to get into a routine that’s productive. Especially if you work from home, as you’re surrounded by distractions. I like to hold myself accountable by setting myself goals, and by writing down the goals, I can then hold myself accountable for the work I have and haven’t completed.
When you have a boss or manager, you know that you’re going to get pulled up if you’ve not been working hard enough or you’ve missed important deadlines but you don’t have that when you’re self employed.
Sure the flexibility is great, and I like that I can choose my working hours and schedule but I always ensure I hold myself accountable and keep myself motivated. I like to give myself some ‘buffer’ time where for example, I’ll allow myself extra time and flexibility so I’m not too hard on myself or left deflated if o find myself behind on my to-do list.
Taking regular breaks is really important, as it helps to boost your concentration levels as well maximising your productivity. By allowing yourself to have regular breaks, even if it’s just five to ten minutes, will help to refresh and recharge your brain and you’re less likely to become distracted.
Silence Your Phone
Surely silencing your phone is an obvious one? If you’re anything like me, you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or Twitter wasting time when you could be working and tackling your to-do list. If you’re in a office environment, you can’t necessarily look at your phone regularly but when you work from home, you can look at your phone as much as you want. I’d recommend putting your phone on silent or do not disturb mode, and turning off your notifications for your social media platforms as it’ll help to stop you from being distracted.
Turn off Email Notifications
I turned on email desktop notifications over a year ago, and sure they’re great at letting me know whenever a new email drops into my inbox, but I could be working hard and in the “zone” but see the notification pop up, and that’s it, all concentration and focus is lost. It’s so quick and easy to turn off email notifications, and they’ll still be there when you manually check your emails in one of your scheduled breaks.
I have never been the kind of person that works well between the hours of 9 to 5. I have real problems dropping off to sleep, so I like that by working from home, I can choose my work hours.
I am so much more productive in the afternoons and evenings, so I like to make my working day start between 1 and 2 in the afternoon, through to the evening and it works really well for me. If I have an appointment, I can be flexible with my work and don’t beat myself up if I’m not having a good day as tomorrow’s always a new day and some days are just meant for chilling on the sofa watching Netflix.
These are just a few Productivity Tips for 2020. I really hope you found them useful, and I’ll be sure to share a part two very soon!