Modern life is busy – and there’s no way around it. If you have a family, there’s tons of obligations like getting the kids to school or sports practice on time. Even if you don’t have children, just working at a typical 9-5 can be overwhelming alongside your other errands. Buying groceries, paying bills, making meals, getting ready, commuting – adult life is full of these everyday responsibilities but it’s easy to zone out and not really get anything important done. So, how do you change that? After all, the world is full of distractions and the internet provides a near constant source of procrastination possibilities that can be hard to surface from once you’ve been pulled in.
However, to get the most out of each day, you don’t have to completely turn your life upside down. You can simply start with small changes that will help you either kickstart your day or keep you motivated enough to power through it.
Here are some tips and tricks to being more productive at work and at home:
Pay Attention to Lighting and Your Office Setup
One way to be more productive is by paying attention to the lighting in your home and your office. Lighting has a huge effect on our mood so choose bright, clean tones when you’re trying to get work done and warmer tones when you’re ready for sleep. If you find yourself squinting throughout the day trying to navigate multiple windows anchored on one screen, considering moving to a dual monitor setup so you can see everything at once.
To make the most of your mornings at home before you even step foot in the office, wake up using a graduated lighting system like the Sleep and Wake-Up light from Philips. It naturally wakes you up even on the darkest, coldest winter days.
Don’t Waste that First Hour of Wakefulness
When you first get out of bed, you may spend that first groggy hour scrolling through social media and making your rounds around your favorite blogs. However, this may be to your detriment. Your first hour of being awake sets the tone for the day – either positively or negatively. So, make the most of it! The most successful people in the world start their day reading, meditating, or exercising. Consider following their example if you want to start doing more with the time you have.
Turn Off Notifications – Yes, All of Them
You probably already check social media quite often so the usefulness of those notifications is already questionable. Studies have shown that almost 52% of Americans check their phone several times per hour. Reduce the urge to see what that text or notification says by turning them all off until you reach a stopping point.
Meal Prep – Or, Don’t
As a busy person, eating healthy food is important. It’s the fuel that keeps you going so it’s important that you choose the right fuel. If you simply don’t have time to make home-cooked meals every day, meal subscriptions are a great alternative. You can either choose a subscription box that gives you the ingredients to make a full meal or a subscription box that sends you fully-cooked meals that you simply microwave.
Make Time to Exercise
To maintain a sustainable work-life balance, carve time out of your day to exercise. Not only does it help you reduce stress, it also boosts your energy reserves so you can do more throughout the day.
Use Apps to Help You Get Organized
Technology that helps you work better is the best kind of tech. Here are some of our favorite productivity apps that may help you live your life more productively and knock things off your to-do list:
- Forest: This app helps you focus on all of your work tasks in 25-minute increments. When you set out to focus on a task, you are not allowed to pick up your phone. While you focus on your task, a tree grows. But if you pick up your phone to check anything within that period, your tree dies. The idea is to grow a full forest so you can track how productive you’ve been over the day, week, or month.
- Google Keep: This app lets you put all of your sticky notes and random thoughts all in one organized, virtual bulletin board.
- Mindfulness: One major obstacle to being productive is being overwhelmed with all of the tasks you have in front of you. Instead of getting things done one at a time, you switch between different items on your to-do list and don’t get anything important done. Using a guided meditation app can help you focus and be more mindful of what you really have to get done.
Being productive at work and at home can be a difficult task considering how distracting daily life is – social media, events, holidays, birthdays and work projects all require some amount of attention. So, how do you prioritize? The key is to do things one at a time and use the tips in this article to start streamlining your life.