It’s hard to believe that this year is actually in its final few months! It seems that 2018 has literally flew by and I can’t believe that 2019 is just around the corner. With the holidays upon us, days seem to go by faster than ever, making you feel like you have a lot less time on your hands than you’d hoped.
A lot of people have already started thinking about their new year’s resolutions! January 1st has a fascinating effect on most people, acting as an opportunity to change everything. But 2018 is not over yet. So, instead of worrying about what changes we can make next year, let’s focus on what we can still achieve in the next few weeks.
With 77 days left in the year, you still have time to achieve more. Go through the goals you had set for yourself in the beginning of the year and check what you’ve already achieved. Then, see what’s left and decide on the most important goals. Choose the ones that you really want to accomplish before the end of the year, and focus on those. You still have time!
However, in order to be super productive and achieve as much as possible in the time you have left, it’s important to be focused and to have a plan. Today, I’d like to show you 5 ways that can help you boost your productivity and finish 2018 with a bang!
1 | Workflow Chart
I am a creature of habit. I love setting up routines and to have some sort of system for my various tasks. I find that when I have an order of operation, I finish tasks faster and in a more efficient way. I like to know what I’m doing and when, and I prefer to follow a step-by-step process whenever possible. When I have projects that require me to do a set number of tasks in a specific order, I like to use a workflow chart.
This is a chart where I create a list of each step of my process horizontally and then I can make another list, with all the different projects where this process can be applied to, vertically. Then I just cross off each step as I’m doing it. That way, I can take on multiple projects and keep up with everything that needs to be done. I apply this to my freelance work, but also to my blog and my YouTube videos.
The Workflow chart definitely helps me to boost my productivity! It helps me to keep up with all the tasks at hand and to make sure I don’t miss anything.
2 | Weekly Improvement Plan
I’ve been reading ‘The Magic of Thinking Big’ by David J. Schwartz and I’ve been impressed by how much this book has inspired me! One of the things that I’ve implemented after reading this book is the ‘Weekly Improvement Plan’. This is a plan that helps me to do things better as each week rolls around.
Usually I would do a monthly review at the end of each month, to see what has worked and how I can improve my performance in the next 30 days. However, after reading this book I realised that doing a review once a month is not enough to see the details. And it takes too long until the time comes to make changes. So instead, I decided to do a review at the end of each week. That way, I can make changes fast and be more aware of what needs to be done.
I ask myself these questions:
How can I do more?
How can I do things better?
What can I do to increase my productivity?
How can I work more efficiently?
I also have a notebook where I write any ideas I have during the week. At the end of the week, I review all these ideas and then I choose the ones that can be helpful with what I’m working on that the moment. Then I make a plan to implement those ideas in the next week.
And I tell you what… it works! I’m more aware of new ideas when they come me and I make sure to note them down, in case I forget. Also, I’m constantly checking what works and what doesn’t, to see what I can improve for next week.
Give the Weekly Improvement Plan a try and you’ll see for yourself how it can help you to achieve more in a short space of time.
3 | Journaling
After stopping for some time, I decided to start my morning routine again. However, instead of adding all these various things that I’m “supposed” to be doing first thing in the morning, I decided to adjust it to my personal needs and the time I have available.
My morning consists of me waking up at 6am every day, getting the kids ready and taking them to school. When I come back I do some of my housework and then I work from home until the kids come back. I remember before, I was pushing myself to squeeze in a morning routine that included 5-6 different things that I “had" to do. However, I realised very soon that it was not helping me. On the contrary, it was making me very stressed and upset. The reason for that was, that the time I have in the morning when the kids are going to school is my most productive time of the day. That’s the time that I have the peace and quiet I need in order to work on my projects and deadlines. Instead, I was spending it on doing my 2-hour long morning routine and by the time I was done with it, I didn’t have enough time to finish my work.
I decided to be honest with myself. I realised that I don’t have the time in the morning to exercise, read, meditate, journal, visualise, do affirmations and lots of other things that I included in my morning routine. I can still do all these things during the day if I want to, but not in the morning. So, after some thought I decided to add only one thing for 30 minutes in my morning routine and that is journaling. And that has made all the difference!
So, for half an hour every single morning I take my notebook and write down all my thoughts. I journal about whatever is in my head at the time, and that puts my thoughts in order and helps me start my day right. It is unbelievable how positively this has affected my thought process and my productivity.
If you choose one thing to do in the morning, I would highly suggest that you do some journaling. Spend some time with yourself and your thoughts and see how this will help you with your day and your productivity.
4 | Screen Time
When Screen Time was added on the iPhone, I was amazed to see how much time I was spending on Social Media every day. You might think that you go on Instagram for 5 minutes here and there, but when at the end of the day you add everything up, you’ll be surprised with the amount of time you spend on there!
So, after seeing how much time of my day I was procrastinating online, I decided to do something about it. I set up a downtime period and I added limits to specific apps during the morning, when I’m working. That way, I block all the apps that prevent me from using my time efficiently. And let me tell you, I’m amazed with the results and how many more things I manage to do in the same time that I have available each day!
Get more productive by switching off notifications, avoid picking up your phone every 5 minutes and focus on getting things done.
5 | Wake Up Early
When I wake up early, I feel that I have more control over my day. I have more time for planning, strategic thinking and getting organised. I feel more energised and more focused.
Did you know that if you were to get up just one hour earlier each morning you would gain 15 days in a year? When you put things into perspective, it’s amazing to see how many days you can ‘gain’ if you just set up your alarm a bit earlier than usual!
So if you haven’t already created the habit of early rising, start tomorrow. Build the discipline and set your alarm to wake you up very early. You’ll soon realise that you are more creative and more effective in the early morning hours. It may take a couple of days to adjust, but stick with it. You’ll be amazed with the results!
Start implementing these effective productivity-oriented strategies today and see your life transform.
What are some practices that help you stay productive? How do you make the most out of your time? Let me know in the comments below.