50 Tips to Boost and Sustain Your Productivity

Written by Carly Hallman

Most people want to be more productive and accomplish goals. Whether you want to be more successful at work, write the novel you have always daydreamed about, exercise more regularly, or simply make more time to spend with family, there are many methods you can apply to your life that can help. You can integrate any number of these tips into your life and build up to a more vibrant, ambitious, and rewarding life.

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  1. Write down a realistic to-do list. Apps like Wunderlist can help.
  2. Write down daily goals.
  3. Figure out when you feel most energetic and schedule important tasks during that time.
  4. Knock out your most pressing or unpleasant task first to set a mood of triumph and productivity for the rest of the day.
  5. Try the Pomodoro technique. Work 25 minutes, then enjoy a 5-minute break.
  6. If it will take less than 2 minutes, do it now.
  7. Commit to spending 2 minutes on a goal. Want to write more? Write a sentence. Once you start doing something, it’s easier to keep going.
  8. Gamify your to-do list. Assign XP to tasks. Harder tasks give more XP. Play alone or with friends (on a Google excel sheet). Or try Habitica, a gamified task manager.
  9. Go for a walk to improve mood, ease stress, and boost enthusiasm.
  10. Listen to tutorials/podcasts/lectures on 1.5x speed to learn stuff faster.
  11. “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” ~ Bruce Lee
  12. “Most think the ‘past equals the future.’ Decision is the ultimate power.” ~ Tony Robbins
  13. “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” ~ Stephen King
  14. Pre-program the coffee maker, choose your outfit, and prep lunch the night before.
  15. Wake up 6am or earlier – you’ll be in the company of super-successful people!
  16. Reduce screen time 30 minutes before bedtime. Read instead.
  17. Resist the snooze button as it resets your sleep cycle, causing grogginess for longer.
  18. Focus on minutes. Invest your 1,440 daily minutes wisely. Do you want to spend 30 valuable minutes scrolling on Facebook?
  19. Don’t look at your phone for the first hour of the day.
  20. Being consistent wins over being talented.
  21. “Don’t count the days. Make the days count.” ~ Muhammad Ali
  22. Listen to music in the shower. Studies show singing in the shower offers physical, emotional and mental health benefits.
  23. Hug your pet. Studies show furry friends help relieve stress. Workplaces that allow pets report higher job satisfaction.
  24. Break large, complex goals into easily manageable chunks and complete one at a time.
  25. Practice positive self-talk. A massive study showed that it was the most powerful motivational technique!
  26. Imagine positive actions (working out, studying, waking up early) as investments into the happiness of your future self.
  27. Envision how amazing and calm you would feel after your workout is complete. Now do it!
  28. “Punish” bad habits with good ones. For example, do 5 pushups for every 20 minutes you waste on the internet.
  29. “Reflect on what you do in a day. You may have never realized how some simple, harmless activities rob you of precious time.” ~ Vivek Naik
  30. Use apps that block time-suck websites for a selected period of time like SelfControl, StayFocused, and Cold Turkey.
  31. “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” ~ Napoleon Hill
  32. Long commute? Listen to podcasts, audiobooks, and schedule calls (hands-free!) during the drive.
  33. Set 90-day goals rather than annual goals. This makes them feel more attainable and manageable.
  34. Make bad habits difficult. If you play on your phone in the morning, keep it out of reach and commit to only looking at it out of bed.
  35. Standing (like with a standing desk) and moving is proven to boost productivity and focus.
  36. “Position yourself to succeed by doing the other things in your life that rejuvenate you. Exhaustion affects your quality and productivity.” ~ Jeff VanderMeer
  37. Chew gum. Studies show that chewing arouses the brain and helps with problem-solving.
  38. Classical, nature, epic, video game, and ambient music are shown to boost focus.
  39. Work near plants. Green spaces relieve stress and boost productivity.
  40. Exercise in the morning. It can improve your mood for up to 12 hours. Less stress, more efficiency.
  41. Turn off phone notifications and put your phone out of sight.
  42. “If you want an easy job to seem mighty hard, just keep putting if off.” ~ Richard Miller
  43. Stay hydrated. Even mild hydration may significantly impact work capacity and productivity.
  44. “Don’t break the chain”. Write steps towards your goal on a calendar and try not to break the chain by accomplishing each daily step.
  45. Employ Parkinson’s Law. Assign less time than you think you need for a task to get it done faster.
  46. “Great acts are made up of small deeds.” ~ Lao Tzu
  47. Plan a reward for accomplishing a task. The brain releases dopamine in anticipation of a reward, which preps the brain for critical thinking.
  48. Write down things to remember as soon as they pop into your head.
  49. “You have to utilize who you are in your work. Nobody else can do that. Nobody else can pull from your background, from your parents, your upbringing, your whole life experience.” ~ David Carson
  50. “Don’t fake it ’till you make it, fake it ’till you become it. Do it enough until you actually become it and internalize.” ~ Amy Cuddy

With an arsenal of productivity tips and tactics, you can develop habits that are fulfilling. Previous productivity lore stated that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Recent scientific studies have discovered that it actually takes an average of 66 days. These productivity hacks can help you stay focused and dedicated to actions that lead to your goals.

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