There are so many cool things that I want to do with my life and career that I’m always looking for ways to be more productive and leverage my time better. To squeeze more time and energy out of my day, these are some of the strategies I employ on a daily basis. I can still make a lot of progress in some of these areas, but no one’s perfect, right? Check out these tips and see if any of them resonate with you:
1 | Reduce media usage
This one probably sounds obvious, but it’s so true! For one week — using an app like Screentime — see how much time you’re actually spending per day, week, month and even year on social media apps. You’ll no-doubt be appalled by it.
Then think about your goals and how much more time you could allocate to those things if you spent a fraction of the time catching up on all of your friends’ vacation photos (which probably makes you feel crappy that you’re not on the French Riviera right now.)
2 | Hit “unsubscribe”
I’m a huge unsubscriber. I swear by it. My take is, if I don’t personally know you, I shouldn’t be receiving daily emails from you. (Actually, that would be weird even if someone I knew emailed me EVERY DAY.)
What’s funny is that I’m an even bigger sucker for online freebies like ebooks, ecourses and even PDF downloads, so I end up on so many email lists that every once in a while I have to do a mass purge on my email list. It may sound like this would take forever, but the time spent unsubscribing ends up saving you dividends in time that may have otherwise been sucked away by compelling sales copy!
On this note, consider not checking your emails/texts/voicemails first thing in the morning. (I’m a big ol’ hypocrite on this…I do it on the daily…but want to quit!) What happens is you end up REACTING to other people’s needs first thing, instead of RESPONDING to your own priorities. That sets a no-good precedent for the rest of the day.
3 | Read more books, fewer blogs
Yes! Read books instead of blog articles (that means even this blog.) I got this idea from an online article I read (ironic, and meta, right?) where James talks about how books are generally better written, edited and researched, and therefore a better use of time.
I would take this a step further and say that with a book, you can go a mile deep on a topic, whereas with articles, you’re more likely to go a mile wide on disparate topics. I also think that the level of investment and attention with a book is FAR greater than anything you’ll read online. It’s also better for you to look at a page instead of a glowing blue-light-emitting screen!
4 | Outsource chores
Think about how much time you spend on things like laundry, grocery shopping or cleaning your house. Now ponder, how much is your time worth? If you’re a solopreneur like I am, your time could be much better spent on creating content for your website or sending out a newsletter to drive new clients.
In the amount of time it takes to clean your entire house, which you could pay someone to do for $100, you could write a short ebook for your business (or side-hustle) and use that as leverage to drive increased subscribers to your email list, who then may become paying customers. If you charge $100 per hour for your services, then just that first meeting with a new client would pay for the cleaning service. You see where I’m going with this.
If you can’t afford to outsource, check out tip number 7.
5 | Automate tasks and systems
No one likes paying bills. It’s a hassle. Why not set everything up on autopay once a month, so that you never have to send a check in the mail again (except for your rent, maybe)? Think of other annoyances that can be automated with a little up-front time that can save you time in orders of magnitude in the future.
If you have certain protocols that you need to do for work, create a system. For example, is there a type of email that you find yourself sending repeatedly? Create swipe copy for yourself so that you can hit copy and paste rather than composing the same type of email over and over again. Are there files you use often that you have to search for constantly? Create an “oft-used” folder on your desktop where these files can be accessed conveniently. Use a scheduling app like Doodle instead of going back-and-forth with someone regarding availability for a meeting. These little things add up.
6 | Batch cook
When it comes to improved health, one of the most impactful things you can do is start cooking more of your own meals. I would guess that the main issue holding people back from doing this more is the amount of time is takes. Enter…batch cooking! Find resources that you like online to get tips for how to cook large quantities and varieties of food ahead of time to eat throughout the week. Here’s one to get you started.
For more reading like this, check out “11 Best Tips for a Healthy-Eating Lifestyle”
7 | Delegate responsibilities
If you’re a woman who lives with men and/or children, you’re more than likely taking on the lion’s share of household responsibilities. It’s true. Consider instating a chore schedule in which family members rotate responsibility for certain house chores — like this one.
For more reading like this, check out “17 Ways to Make Time for Yourself (Even When You're Insanely Busy!)”
8 | Meditate consistently
I know it looks like I’m just putting this in here because I want people to meditate more for their mental health, but really this will make you more productive. Why? Well, the frontal lobes of the cerebral cortex (that’s the part of your brain behind your forehead) contain a special area you may have heard of called the Prefrontal Cortex which is involved in executive functions which include inhibition, initiation, prioritizing, decision-making, planning, sequencing and execution of tasks. Can you see how these functions would be helpful in being more productive?
Mindfulness meditation improves executive functioning. Consistent meditation also thickens the cortex. Talk about an inside-out approach to productivity. You can literally shape your brain into becoming a productivity machine!
For more information on this, check out “Best Free Online Meditation Resources”
I hope you found this information helpful. Which one of these tips are you most excited about implementing into your routine to become more productive? What will you do with all the time you’ll free up? Please share in the comments below. Thanks so much for reading and be well.
about the author
Hi! I'm Natalie. And my passion is helping people live more peaceful, meaningful lives. Through holistic therapy in Pasadena and here on the blog, my mission is to provide people with the support and tools they need to live their best life.