Five Daily Habits to Boost Productivity

Five Daily Habits to Boost Productivity

Your inbox is full of unread messages, your to-do list has grown to become a multiple page document, and you have half a dozen calls to make before the day is over. Sound familiar? Often those who are most successful have the most to manage. Having many irons in the fire means having a lot of things to tend to keep everything on track.

Too often, hard-working Americans become so overwhelmed and focused on their day-to-day obligations that they forget to spend time on themselves. Why? Because they simply don't have the time. The good new is that there are proven strategies you can adopt to more effectively and efficiently manage your responsibilities, strategies that don't necessarily require time; rather, an altered mindset. Here are five daily habits to boost productivity:

  • Start the Day Right... with the end in mind: Perhaps the single biggest factor in how productive your day can be is the tone you set for yourself at the beginning of your day. While it may be tempting to delay or procrastinate something that really needs your attention, you can boost your productivity by consciously kicking your day off with the most value-added tasks. This guarantees you address the activities most in need of your attention, saving valuable time and mental energy by not having to worry the whole day about addressing these highest priority items. This practice also sets up a powerful, positive momentum for the rest of the day.
  • Make Fewer Decisions: This seems counter-intuitive, but limiting the number of decisions you have to face in a day can help you stay fresh, alert, and more productive. According to a recent article from Outside magazine, the human brain can only handle so much decision-making in a day. Each decision takes a little bit of energy and depletes the amount of will-power and productivity still available. By making a habit of simplifying the number and types of decisions you face, you can conserve this valuable brainpower for the bigger things.
  • Sleep In: It may go without saying, but there are certain basics without which all the other productivity tips will only go so far. To be at your optimal performance, you need an adequate amount of rest, hydration, and nutrition. Perhaps the most challenging of these in today's fast-paced world is getting enough rest, but your productivity depends on you striving to establish good sleep hygiene. Often choosing to sleep in can help you accomplish more in less time.
  • Maintain Good Relationships: While maintaining healthy relationships takes an investment of time and effort, this will pay valuable dividends, often when you most need it. You can't always predict who will help you out when you're in a tight spot and need a critical piece of information, but by staying on good terms with the people in your life--professionally and otherwise--you will be in a position to rely on others when you most need some help.
  • Don't Plan Too Far Ahead: Again, it may be surprising to think that a lack of planning can boost your productivity, but this can be a valuable strategy. If you plan your day or week too far ahead, you don't leave yourself the flexibility to be agile and respond to changes on the fly; you also run the risk of wasting time and energy on plans that never come to be because of changing conditions.

While some of these productivity strategies may seem surprising or counter-intuitive, you will find that by applying the tips that most resonate with you, you will conserve your time and attention. This will help you be your most productive for the things in your life that really matter!