Trying to keep up with life and feeling like you just can’t cause you’re not productive enough? Here are a few productivity tips that I have found to be helpful!
A little background on where I am coming from… I grew up doing gymnastics 24 hours per week, from middle school through high school. In high school, I took college classes and was NOT that person who never had to study. I had to study A LOT…I had to work hard. In college, I was a collegiate athlete and graduated in three years. In grad school, they literally told us the amount of info that we would consume was like “trying to drink out of a fire hose”. A.k.a…there was no way we were going to be able to consume everything presented. Yet I tried (lol). After grad school, I started a residency program while working full time (and doing Instagram on the side). Now, I have my own business while working 30 hours a week in the clinic.
I am no where near perfect (because no one is perfect, and that in itself, is perfect). I am still improving my efficiency to create more work life balance, spend more time with family, and be able to relax a little. But, hey, we’re all a work in progress!
So, I won’t keep you waiting…let’s get those productivity tips going so you can get back to important things!
1. Get Enough Sleep
I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but trust me, you will function better and in turn, be more productive. I didn’t do this for the longest time, because I thought I didn’t have enough time. It wasn’t until I had to take a month off of work, due to having shoulder surgery in January 2020, and rationalized that sleep helped with healing that I began to prioritize it. I realized when I started sacrificing sleep to get more things done, that I really wasn’t getting more done. I was actually getting less done.
2. Figure Out What Schedule Works for You
Are you a morning person? Are you a night owl? Figure out when you are the most productive and utilize that time to the best of your ability. Do you have traditionally female parts and hormones and have monthly cycles on top of your daily cycles? Have you noticed that you need more/less sleep or are more/less productive at different parts of your cycle? If so, plan around it. If something can wait a week, and you’re not feeling productive since it’s that time, let yourself relax! I highly recommend season 1 of “The 4 Phase Cycle Podcast” with Zesty Ginger. It will help you learn more about monthly cycles and using the ebbs and flows to your advantage!
3. Prioritize Your To Do’s
You have a huge list of to do’s, right? Are they urgent? Are they important? Do the urgent and important things first, then the urgent, then the important, and then finally the non-urgent and non-important things. Try to prevent things from becoming urgent and important by getting to them when they are in the urgent or important categories. When things become urgent, they become stressful! Things will pop up in this category…these are always going to be out of your control, but just do your best!
Another resource that I recently discovered is the book “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown. I highly recommend reading or listening to the audiobook if you want to deep dive into this topic. But, here are a few main points from the book related to prioritizing your to do’s:
- Say no to requests or tasks that do not get you closer to your priorities.
- If it is not a hell yes, then it is a no.
- If you don’t make decisions in your life, others will make them for you.
- Do less, but do what you choose to do better. Quality is greater than quantity. You can’t do everything. It’s not about what to give up, but what do you want to go big on?
- Explore your options, eliminate the extraneous options, and execute the important tasks well.
4. Minimize Distractions
Need to get something done? Put your phone (or even computer) on do not disturb and minimize all other tabs. You can set a timer for 30 minutes — you’re not allowed to do anything else for those 30 minutes to allow you to get in the groove. Need to get a workout done, but are distracted by work emails or social media? Don’t touch your phone during the workout. If you keep your workout on your phone, write it down or print it out. If it is on an app, don’t open any other apps and turn your phone on do not disturb.
5. Set Boundaries
This is a constant challenge for myself personally, as work bleeds into play. All of a sudden you’re missing your workout or friend/family time or not prioritizing important people due to work/extraneous tasks. I understand deadlines come and things pop up, but there should be set boundaries in place to keep life the way you want it.
For example, as a new grad physical therapist, I would always take notes home and finish them the next morning. Now, I have set a boundary of not doing my notes at home. I will find a way to squeeze them in during the day, be more efficient with taking notes as I go, or come in a few minutes early to finish if I am really behind. I still get my notes done on time and they’re still up to my quality standards, but I don’t stress about getting my work computer out at home. This helps me be more productive as I’m able to focus on what needs to be done at home and allows me to go back to the clinic refreshed!
Do you feel scattered with all your fitness goals? Trying to get 5 skills at once? Feel like you need to be working out for hours to get everything in and need a little guidance? Check out my individualized workout programs to help take the guesswork out of programming and help you reach your goals! If you’re interested, fill out the intake form here to receive a quote!
Thanks for taking the time to read! Feel free to drop a comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Remember, no one is perfect, and that in itself is perfect.
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Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.