We’ve all been productivity posers at one time or another. You may have fallen off the wagon or never truly realized your potential to get things done, but nobody is running at full capacity all the time. There are countless tips and hacks for becoming your better self (tip: try our Productivity Style Quiz for a personalized recommendation), but once in a while a trusted friend gives you the perfect insight to help you get your life in order. That’s what this post is all about.
You can’t organize your life overnight, but you can get there pretty quickly by emulating the masters. We asked 4 prominent productivity bloggers how they do it, and to share their single favorite tip for staying productive. Use these insider tips to fake it till you make it – sometimes just going through the motions is enough to get you back in gear.
Get Your Power Moves In Order
Aaron Lynn – One half of the productivity duo Asian Efficiency:
“How you start your day determines the rest of your day. EVERYONE should have a winning Morning Ritual – a set of power moves that get you going from sleepy to productive. Mine includes drinking 500ml of water, some light stretching, getting dressed, and reviewing my outcomes and tasks for the day. If you start your day like this every day, then you’re going to have amazingly productive days, weeks, months, and years.”
Eat Frog Like You Mean It
Thanh Pham – One half of the productivity duo Asian Efficiency:
“My favorite productivity tip is to eat a frog every morning. It’s the idea that you take the task you’re most likely to procrastinate on and doing it first thing in the morning. As Mark Twain said: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Once you get that frog out of the way, you feel great, confident and you have the momentum to handle everything else that comes your way. You just need to get that ONE frog out of the way and the rest of the day will take care of itself.”
A Wandering Mind Leads To Great Places
Chris Bailey – The brains behind A Life Of Productivity:
“My favorite (and maybe not-so-obvious) productivity tip—besides getting enough sleep, healthy food, and exercise—is to let my mind wander. Neuroscience shows that your mind has two modes that it see-saws between throughout the day: a thinking mode, and a mind-wandering mode. But here’s the kicker: while our brains are smart when we concentrate fully on something, studies show that they are even smarter and more creative when we let them wander, and when we take some time to step back from the problems we’re trying to solve to focus on something entirely unrelated.
When you’re bored or you let your mind wander, your mind unconsciously organizes your life, connects dots, and comes up with creative solutions to problems, which ultimately makes you more productive. This is the reason you come up with so many great ideas when you shower, fall asleep, or take a walk around the block. The next time you’re looking for something to do, while it’s easy to fire up Netflix or bounce between apps on your smartphone, taking just a few minutes to let your mind run off to wherever it wants will make you a lot more productive than you think. Be sure you have a notepad around when you do.”
Low-Value Tasks Are For Amateurs
Aby Garvey – Founder of the life organizing site Simplify 101:
“You will feel most satisfied about how you spend your time, and therefore be more inclined to manage it, when your to-do list is in sync with your goals and values. Invest time in becoming clear about what’s most important to you and setting compelling goals. Then, eliminate low-value tasks and activities in favor of those that align with your values and move you closer to your goals.
Once you have your to-do list aligned with your values, you’ll begin seeking time-saving ideas. Here’s one to start with. Stock up on basic items—those essentials that would require a trip to the store the minute you run out—like toilet paper, deodorant, toothpaste, etc. Store these items in a centralized location and then anytime you pull an item out of your stash, add it to your errand list. By avoiding unnecessary trips to the store, you’ll save time, money, and possibly clutter! A win all the way around.”
Keep Looking Until Something Makes Sense
Here’s some personal advice from the Any.do team – keep searching out strategies and tactics until you find a set of methods that work for you. Nothing in the world of productivity is one-size-fits-all (which also, thankfully, gives us a lot to discuss on this blog.) If someone’s advice doesn’t immediately intrigue you, it’s ok to pass on it until you find something that does. You can take our quiz to find your ideal productivity style, check out our comprehensive 3-part Productivity Playbook, or sample from the modern world’s endless selection of life hacks to find a combination that suits your needs.
The point is you only have so much time and energy to try new things that will make you more productive, so make them count. We’ve dedicated ourselves to helping you figure it out, so hopefully, we can get you there faster.
As we often say – go forth and be productive.