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Start Fulfilling Your Potential: 35 Tips To Live A More Productive Life

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Introductions are not productive so let’s cut the slack and jump straight into this article…

#1 Develop a good routine

Thinking takes time and effort. To maximize your efficiency and become more productive, a good routine will reduce thinking time and increase what you get done. For example, an efficient morning routine can mean you get longer in bed. Here are a few tips to routine-up your life:

  • Have a staple set of 3 different healthy breakfasts so you're not wondering what to eat and then get a croissant. E.G, eggs, porridge, yogurt with fruit
  • Set the days and times you go to the gym. E.G, book in for a spin class every Monday at 6 pm and body pump on a Wed at 7 am
  • Read for at least 5 mins before sleeping and turn your mobile data off to avoid distraction

Routines ensure we get done the items we want to do. If we are always having to think about what to do, it can often lead to an inefficient use of time such as scrolling Instagram or Facebook.

What one routine would you like to add to your day?

Contributor: Rob Jackson

Company: minimalfit.co.uk

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#2 Know what you want to accomplish

Know what you want to accomplish. Many times we are just busy and not productive because we don’t know what we need to be doing. Once you know what you want to accomplish, you can identify the steps to get there.

Contributor: Jennifer Snyder

Company: neatasapin.net

5 points
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#3 Sometimes, it’s not about how big your ‘To Do’ list is – but about how much you get done

One can't get anything done when they are mentally drained. I find that journal keeping gives me a daily chance to refill the tank and helps me stay on track. Even a short, thoughtful entry brings clarity and perspective so that I can cheer myself on. Positive inner dialogue has been an important tool for me to remain productive!

Contributor: Carrie Aulenbacher

Company: carrieaulenbacher.com

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#4 Limit the amount of sugar you eat (not including fruit)

Sugar causes fatigue and brain fog and that slows you down big time and kills productivity when you have scattered thoughts all day long. 

Contributor: Jenn Edden

Company: jecoaching.com

2 points
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#5 How to defeat the distraction economy

The distraction economy is spending tons of money to distract you and keep you addicted you to the dopamine rush that various social media sites and apps give you. These companies have hired several PhDs, sociologists, psychiatrists to figure out how to get you addicted to your phone and their apps.

If you want to be really productive, you must turn off your phone notifications, and you should also consider installing the Moment app to track and analyze your screen time.

Similarly, it would be better to check your email only 2-3 times a day rather than answering your inbox after every few minutes. This is because, just because an email that's at the top of your inbox is only the most recent one, but our mind games us into thinking that it may also be the most urgent one when that often isn't the truth. The cost of short attention spans and switching time and again from one task to another is massive when it comes to your health, success, sanity, and productivity.

Contributor: Syed Irfan Ajmal

Company: ridester.com

2 points
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#6 Learn to say no!

Overcommitment is like a badge of honor in our society, but that doesn't mean you need to put your name on every volunteer sign-up or agree to every networking lunch. Choosing to do something just for the sake of doing it is draining (think about the office introvert agreeing to organize the company picnic). 

Protect your time and your sanity by being selective and asking: Does this activity fit with my goals, my strengths, my values, or my schedule?

Contributor: Sara Skillen

Company: skillsetorganizing.com

2 points
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#7 Know your best concentration time

Some people are naturally morning people, others come alive at 9 pm. If you pay attention you likely know when your brain is calm and focused enough to take on your most creative or intense work. As much as possible, set up your daily schedule to maximize that time, and save other times of day for more mundane things like filing or responding to brief email requests. 

Contributor: Sara Skillen

Company: skillsetorganizing.com

2 points
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#8 Honor your best unique work environment

I say your unique environment, because that may mean a minimalist desk, chair, and computer, or it may mean shelves covered in books and papers. How will you know? If you routinely pick up your laptop and head for the conference room you may need to take an objective look at your surroundings. 

Think about things that often get taken for granted, like lighting or colors (an extra lamp can make a huge difference). If you can't stand clutter, take steps to get rid of it - you'll likely save time in the long run not having to search for things. You will work and focus most comfortably in a space that feels supportive of your goals. 

Contributor: Sara Skillen

Company: skillsetorganizing.com

2 points
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#9 Take breaks

Our bodies - and brains - are not built to work non-stop. Self-care in the form of periodic breaks may seem counterproductive to the inefficient and overwhelmed, but you are getting nothing accomplished when your brain can’t focus from exhaustion.

Contributor: Jennifer Snyder

Company: neatasapin.net

2 points
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#10 Get rid of clutter, Emotional, spiritual and physicals

Emotional clutter are people and commitments that do not serve us. Friends that are emotional vampires, they need to be donated to others. The PTA board that gives you angst, step down from it! 

Spiritual clutter, stop obsessing over what went wrong last week. Learn from it and move on. Productive people do not dwell. We don’t have time for that. 

Physical clutter. Start with your office and organize it, it is easier to think with a clean slate. Then move on to your junk drawer in your kitchen and make a commitment to toss everything that isn’t serving you. Sentimental things, save and preserve. The 4 pair of BBQ tongs, they need a better home. Too much stuff can be suffocating to creativity and productivity.

Contributor: Erin Wathen

Company: ewwellnesssolutions.com

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#11 Get up early

The best time of the day is when the world around you is still asleep. No disrupting emails, no phone calls. The most productive hours are in the early morning. Grab a coffee and start being productive. The earlier you start, the earlier you are done with whatever you want to get done.

Contributor: Clemens Sehi

Company: travellersarchive.com

1 point
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#12 Make a list of must do's the night BEFORE

When you wake up you tend to go into automatic mode. By having a list prewritten the night before you are more likely to get the important stuff done first! 

Contributor: Jenn Edden

Company: jecoaching.com

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#13 Go to bed 1 hour earlier

Go to bed 1 hour earlier so you have 1 more hour of productivity in the morning. 

Early to bed, early to rise! Nothing kills productivity like being tired all day and relying on artificial energy like caffeine. 

Contributor: Jenn Edden

Company: jecoaching.com

1 point
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#14 Have your groceries delivered

The amount of time it takes to leave the house, get in the car, food shop, wait in line, come home and unpack groceries is an absolute waste of precious productive time. I order groceries from Amazon fresh from the comfort of my home and spend those extra hours with my kids playing + being present.

Amazon Fresh:

Contributor: Jenn Edden

Company: jecoaching.com

1 point
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#15 Meditate every morning

It's amazing how much gets done when you start your day off calm and not scattered. Meditating puts the brain in a state of creativity and productivity versus survival which is where most people are by the time 8:30 am rolls around! 

Contributor: Jenn Edden

Company: jecoaching.com

1 point
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#16 Limit time with negative people

You now those people that drain your energy? Yeah. Those are the ones you want to limit time with so that you have the energy to spend it with those you really want to. Say goodbye to the guilt and hello to a more productive energized social life. 

Contributor: Jenn Edden

Company: jecoaching.com

1 point
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#17 Take time out to reflect (15 – 60 minutes)

We are living in the age of abundance. There are too many choices. Consuming too much information, or always having some kind of entertainment to enjoy isn't necessarily a good thing. Make sure you take out 15-60 minutes each day to sit alone and just think about your life, relations, work, health and more. This time can also be used to dig for answers within you rather than trying to find them in the external world.

Confronting our own selves is the hardest thing one can do but it is also the most fruitful, but we often keep ourselves busy in Netflix, social media and what not just to avoid the deep dark hole that we might be in (at times).

Contributor: Syed Irfan Ajmal

Company: ridester.com

1 point
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#18 Exercise 3-4 hours per week

You may feel exercise will reduce the time you have to be productive, but in fact, exercise can make your more productive in the long run. Regular exercisers have more energy and feel more able to deal with hard workloads. Your mind and body are inextricably linked, hence the saying healthy body, healthy mind, and your mind is in control of how motivated you feel, which is why regular exercise is important for mind and body. 

Contributor: Rob Jackson

Company: minimalfit.co.uk

1 point
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#19 Do not skimp on sleep

While many people often skimp on sleep in the name of productivity, they're actually hurting themselves. While it may seem counterintuitive, the fact is that more sleep leads to greater productivity. Lack of sleep (fewer than seven hours a night) clouds judgment and has a negative effect on your ability to focus.

Not only that, it actually makes it less likely for you to take on difficult tasks and more likely veg out and surf the web when you should be working. It's crucial that you adequately recharge your mind and body each night.

Contributor: Chris Brantner

Company: sleepzoo.com

1 point
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#20 Always pack healthy foods to snack on

One of the most common habits students and working people have is to snack often and rely on fast food. In order to combat these natural tendencies, it's crucial to always pack healthy foods to snack on during the workday. That way, they are less likely to go the easy route and visit the vending machine or local fast food joint.

Contributor: Caleb Backe

Company: mapleholistics.com

1 point
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#21 ALWAYS eat breakfast

When you wake up, the blood sugar your body needs to make your brain and muscles function properly is low. Breakfast replenishes it.

Contributor: Cynthia Rowland

Company: cynthiarowland.com

1 point
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#22 Don't procrastinate

Research shows that one of the top reasons for procrastination is task aversion. If the task seems unpleasant, people are more likely to put it off and that in itself causes more stress. In the words of Nike, just do it.

Contributor: Cynthia Rowland

Company: cynthiarowland.com

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#23 Practice facial exercises

Facial exercises bring much-needed blood flow to the head, which in turn gives the brain the oxygen it's thirsty for. As a side-effect, facial exercises sculpt a toned, lifted, symmetrical, younger-looking face and neck. Win-win.

Contributor: Cynthia Rowland

Company: cynthiarowland.com

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#24 Learn to let some things go

We all want to be able to get everything done all the time, we want to be able to tick everything off our many many lists every day. But when you live a busy life, there’s inevitably going to be times when your lists are getting longer instead of shorter, and when that starts to happen - it can be a little disheartening. 

It’s easy to fall into a slump when you feel like things are starting to get on top of you, and that can seriously affect your productivity. That’s why being able to take a step-back and say “I'm not able to complete this task right now” and then delegate or postpone it, is so important. To be productive sometimes you have to acknowledge that no-one can do everything. 

Contributor: Jordan Harling

Company: wooden-blinds-direct.co.uk

1 point
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#25 Date in the week

Life gets busy and weekends are full of all the things you couldn't do with work, keep the romance alive and have a date mid-week. Doesn't matter if you go out on the weekend as well but at least you always have one night together. 

Contributor: Tegan Groombridge

Company: myfavouritevouchercodes.co.uk

1 point
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#26 Make time for friends

Once a month, once a week, but make sure you schedule in that catch up at the beginning of every month. If you just keep leaving it, then it will be months between catch ups but scheduling early means it always happens.

Contributor: Tegan Groombridge

Company: myfavouritevouchercodes.co.uk

1 point
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#27 Create a bank account for bills

Setup a separate bank account which is just for bills and transfer the total amount each month. You will always be left with the money you can spend each month.

Contributor: Tegan Groombridge

Company: myfavouritevouchercodes.co.uk

1 point
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#28 Do one thing at a time

People often think they can get more done if they multitask but research is now teaching us that the opposite is true. In fact, you will get more done if you focus on completing one task at a time. 

Contributor: Jessica Tappana

Company: AspireCounselingMO.com/blog

1 point
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#29 Fight email overload

Email interruptions zap your productivity. Shut off the automatic download of messages and start fetching emails only when you’re ready to deal with them. Doing this on your phone, too, will save your battery life. 

Contributor: Maura Thomas 

Company: maurathomas.com

1 point
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#30 Start zoning out

he next time you have a spare moment, instead of reaching for your phone or tablet, just let your mind wander. Your brain needs quiet time to make connections and generate insights. 

Contributor: Maura Thomas 

Company: maurathomas.com

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#31 Start thinking small

You don’t have to persuade yourself to do everything on your list; you only have to persuade yourself to do the NEXT thing. Sort by due date with only a few things due every day. 

Contributor: Maura Thomas 

Company: maurathomas.com

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#32 Limit The Amount Of Time You Spend On Your Phone

You may not realize it, but you probably spend more time on your cell phone than you think. Just a few of the many things people do on their phones daily include checking the time, reading emails, texting, calling, browsing social media, and taking photos and videos. 

Try to be aware of how much time you’re spending on your phone and try to limit your use of it. By not being on your phone as much, you’ll be less distracted and can focus your efforts on important tasks.

Contributor: Holly Zink

Company: safeguarde.com

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#33 Start your day looking out the window

Start your day looking out the window and then coffee. This gives you a wider perspective on your life. See beauty. See what you have not seen before.

Contributor: Natalie Caine

Company: lifeintransition.org

1 point
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#34 Put Alike Things Together

 It's easier to find items when you put them close to other, similar items. Putting your pens near your envelopes and pads of paper makes it easier to find everything you need all in one space.

Contributor: Alison Kero

Company: alisonkero.com

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#35 Do The Hard Thing First

Getting the hardest thing done first means you can focus on getting more done the rest of the day rather than focusing on the one thing you don't want to do. 

Contributor: Alison Kero

Company: alisonkero.com

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