How productive are you on a day-to-day basis?
Whether you’re an established entrepreneur or just breaking out of the corporate office, how productive you are now can make a huge impact on the results you see later. If you feel swamped with projects, aren’t making any progress or find yourself lacking time for other things (hobbies, friends or family), you probably aren’t being productive with your time.
Productivity is all about getting results.
But managing your time isn’t always easy, especially at home where you’re the most prone to distractions. Something unexpected is bound to happen or an emergency will occur, and it will knock your schedule off track. Other times, you just won’t feel motivated to get anything done at all.
While you can’t control every situation, you still can get more done around the house and spend more time with the people you love.
Let’s look at a few ways to do just that.
- Be smart about watching TV.By combining your TV habits with other activities, you can actually make major headway on your business and lifestyle goals. The next time you sit down to watch your favorite show, consider using that time to burn some extra calories (exercise in front of the TV), plan out the rest of the week (what meal are you going to make for dinner?) or answer email. What you watch on TV can also inspire new ideas and educate your mind. But be careful what you watch! I’m personally addicted to watching anything from WWII battles to the advancement in space, technology and health on the Discovery Channel. On the other hand, I avoid reality TV as much as possible; it isn’t realistic, and it’s often a waste of time.
- Listen to something inspirational while you clean.Mindless chores (like sweeping, doing the dishes or preparing meals) have to be done, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of your time while doing them. I love listening to inspirational CDs or books on tape while completing chores around the house. That way, my mind is still constantly developing new ideas.
- Spend quality time with family.It’s not healthy to work all of the time. Taking occasional breaks will reduce stress from work, so why not spend that time you do have with your family? Playing catch with your son, watching a movie with your spouse or calling your brother to see how he’s doing will help foster stronger relationships and create tighter family bonds.
- Add exercise to your morning routine.Exercising regularly won’t just make you healthy, but exercise is a major source of energy as well. By consistently spending 10-30 minutes exercising three days per week, coffee will become less of a necessity and you’ll have more energy to devote to work, friends, family and personal hobbies. You don’t even have to have a gym membership. Instead of driving to the gym, I’ll often pop in an Insanity fitness CD.
- Brainstorm new ideas.Is a project due soon for a client? Consider brainstorming ideas and mapping out possible solutions to any problems you may have. If the project requires multiple steps, make a to-do list. You can also use to-do lists for shopping or tasks around the house, as well as for planning upcoming events and special occasions.
- Keep things organized.It’s hard to stay productive if you’re working in a messy or disorganized environment. Take some time to organize your closet, office or kitchen, putting anything away that seems out of place. You can also take this time to clean out your purse or wallet, and get rid of any junk you might have thrown in on the go.
- Get motivated.If you’re stuck while working on a project for a client or just want to take a break from work, consider picking up an inspirational book to give your mind the boost it needs to keep going. Success stories, case studies, blog posts and podcasts can all be good sources of motivation whenever you feel stressed or discouraged and start to procrastinate.
- Update your finances.If you find yourself lacking something to do, have a look at some outstanding bills that need to be paid, reassess your budget, balance your checkbook or organize your recent transactions so that you don’t fall behind in your finances.
Not all day-to-day routines will go to plan, but with a little bit of time and patience, you can achieve a productive lifestyle, reduce stress and feel more in control over your life in the long run.