I love the energy that takes us into the first quarter of the year. It can feel new, exciting, and full of promise. So we get to work (with enthusiasm!) and time begins marching on. Before we know it it’s Q2, and we’re provided with another opportunity for a fresh start. Maybe, come 1st April, we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished and are eager for more… maybe we got in the thick of the tiny details and lost sight of the bigger picture… maybe we’re just filling a little blasé about it all. No matter where you’re finding yourself as we round the corner into this new quarter, nothing puts a pep in your step like finding ways to increase your productivity. It’s a sure-fire way to set yourself up for more (or some!) success.
Luckily for you, in this post, I’m describing 7 ways in which you can do just that, Lovely. Be sure to keep reading to learn how you can get more done in less time, achieve bigger and better things than you thought were possible for or available to you AND actually create the chance to ENJOY them as well.
Let’s get to it.
Here are 7 ways to increase your productivity this spring…!
1. Review Your Goals
How’s it going over there? Really and truly?! Are you still committed to the vision and direction that you set for yourself this year or do things need to shift? If you got a little lost along the way, this is your opportunity to recalibrate. Identify what didn’t work out so well for you and ideate what you could do to get a different result. If you’re proud of where you are and what you’ve accomplished, however, then really look back at what worked and the actions that brought you from here. You should do more of that. I’m a massive advocate of reflection before projection. Thinking twice and acting once in a way that’s calculated and measured is better than making moves blindly and not being able to predict your success, correct?!
2. Take Stock
Are you getting enough sleep? Are you spending time with the people in your life that pour into you? Are you eating food that nourishes and energizes you? Are you moving your body to produce feel-good happy hormones and reduce your stress? If you’re looking to grow and expand then building out a foundation of self-care is important. Acknowledging your needs and honoring them is fundamental to doing your best work and being your best self!
There’s a popular saying that “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” but, you know, I actually think you can. All we have to do is look around at our overworked society, grinding away, to find evidence of this. We’re conditioned to believe that working longer and harder is what’s necessary to achieve the things we want to. But spreading ourselves thinner and thinner is not congruent with meeting our next level of success. Overworking leads us to a place of drained energy – sometimes total burnout. But this isn’t actually healthy, and won’t make us happy either.
There will always be new goals, new aspirations and new projects that need your time and attention, but how can you truly know where to focus this time and energy when you’re so deeply out of touch with what you actually need?
A great way to know what you need is to ask yourself, “What do I wish someone would give me?” Maybe it’s a nap! Maybe it’s a gift card to go to your favorite restaurant. Maybe it’s a trip with your family. So, what do you need to fill your cup? As the cravings become clear to you, make sure to satisfy them. You deserve all you desire!
3. Track Your Time
Have you ever tracked how you spend your time? Sometimes we don’t feel very productive because we’ve never really mastered being a great manager of our time. Use an App like Toggl or Harvest to track your time over 2-3 weeks. Why not just a week? Because you need more data. You can’t trust conclusions drawn from small samples, so make sure you collect enough information to analyze. It’s also easy to modify your behavior when you feel you’re being watched… even by software. It has a similar accountability effect to surrounding yourself with other people, believe it or not!
Once you see how much time you actually have on your hands, and how you’re spending that time, you’ll be able to gauge whether you’re using your most valuable resource wisely. Another software to consider checking out is called RescueTime. It draws up reports on your time use and helps you spot problem areas (or as I prefer today, opportunities for growth!).
If you want to take this a step further, you can also record how you feel before, during, and after each thing you’re spending time on so that you can begin to see what activities are draining and what are actually giving you energy. Sometimes you may find that a specific time of day feels like you have more energy. With this information, you can set up your days and priorities around your energy. For example, I feel the most energized and engaged in the morning, so I put the tasks there that will benefit from that flow.
4. Stop Tolerating And Procrastinating
Are there things in your life that you continue to put up with or put off? Make a list of the things you’re standing for that, deep down, you know you shouldn’t be, and also any loops you need to close. You don’t need me to tell you how energetically draining having bad boundaries is, or how exhausting it can be to be pleasing and appeasing other people, prioritizing their desires over your own. But… have you considered the fact that procrastination is an energy drain, also? The more tabs you have open, the more effort it takes for you to mentally and emotionally process. The only way to speed up the computer (a.k.a. your brain) is to close some of those down..
Decide on a strategy for dealing with your ‘tolerations’ and ‘procrastinations’. Maybe that could look like letting one go a day, or even striking a few off once a month. You could try a few different ways to eliminate these, but imagine how it’s going to feel when those things aren’t sitting on the back of your mind taking up space. Free. Expansive. Uplifting. Empowering. Well worth the effort if you ask me!
5. Set Up Accountability
If you really desire to be more productive, you need to hold yourself accountable for taking the actions you say you are going to. Schedule things in your calendar and/or set up alarms/reminders on your phone to alert you when it’s time to take action. Or, if you want to get more technical, try using a project management app like Asana or Notion to set yourself tasks with deadlines attached. If you’re notorious for snoozing your notifications or avoiding the systems you’ve set up, it may be beneficial to include a partner, peer or friend as part of the process. Sometimes we work and respond better if we have external accountability… a.k.a. accountability from someone else. There’s a great test here that you can take to see how you work best so that you can set up the best strategy for yourself. Remember, we all operate differently, and it’s your responsibility to understand how you work best.
6. Check Your Environment
Where are you spending the majority of your time? Is that space conducive for you to be in? Does it reflect who you are and what you want? Maybe it’s time to redecorate, reorganize, or move somewhere else entirely. If you’re working remotely, perhaps you could take yourself to a coffee shop or a co-working space? The novelty of a new environment can sometimes be all you need to spark your inspiration and get your creative juices flowing again.
7. Minimize Your Distractions
We’re often doing work that requires us to be on our devices, but it can be hard to stay focused if people are trying to call or message us 24/7, or if we’re summoned by a social media notification that tempts us to fall down the rabbit (read: scroll) hole!
There are some innovative tools that can help you stay focused, one app, in particular, is called Forest. You can use this on your phone or it can be downloaded as a Chrome extension. When you’re utilizing Forest, you begin with a tree seed that grows over the next thirty minutes. It will grow into a beautiful and luscious tree unless you begin browsing any of the websites from your blocklist, then the tree withers and dies. Here’s a great article that highlights several other different options that will help you stay focused. Minimizing distractions is necessary if you want to get any real needle-moving work done.
I hope you liked these tips, Lovely. You’ll have to let me know. The best part about them is that you don’t have to wait to use any of them! You also don’t have to do all of them at the same time, but if you’re truly looking to gather momentum, I’d recommend dedicating a few hours over the next week to seeing what you’d like to implement and start getting to work on those things.
We love connecting with you – which piece of advice resonated with you the most? What are you going to be trying out that will increase your productivity and ensure you accomplish/acquire more in Q2 and beyond? Let us know in the comments below!