5 Straightforward (and FUN) Ways to Boost Your Productivity This Year

Today is a great day to integrate some healthy new habits into your routine.

Everyone benefits from good time management, and here are just a few simple ways to free up more time to do things you really love!

1. Create Templates

Tired of repeating yourself?

Templates (a type of “fill-in-the-blank” document) are great for assignments created the same way every time. Whether it’s a weekly email, a presentation spreadsheet, a thank you note, or a method for re-directing inquiries to a better source, creating templates in advance can save you tons of time in the long run.

2. Listen to Audio Books

Who doesn’t want to read more?

Audiobooks are a wonderful way to maximize that “throwaway” time in the car, getting ready in the morning, or during exercise.

In 2020, many local libraries made audiobook apps totally free. People who previously struggled to finish a chapter found themselves gulping down five books a month, while sharpening their minds and adding spontaneous joy to each day!

3. Block Distracting Apps, Websites, or Emails

According to research carried out by RescueTime, the average digital worker can’t go more than six minutes without checking their email or instant messaging.

The digital nature of your work and social life can leave you frazzled by constant alerts. This minimizes both productivity and potential as you struggle to focus on tasks for even short periods.

Start this year strong by implementing a few website and ad blocker tools. Unsubscribe from email lists or group chats that are sucking away precious moments in your day. And set your devices to block notifications from coming through in key work hours.

4. Batch Prep Your Meal or Meal Prep

If you want to save time in your busy week, mastering food prep can be huge.

Every time you mess up and clean your kitchen, it takes time. So why not make one big mess once a week, rather than a medium-sized mess every day? This can be as simple as chopping your veggies (or cooking all your meat) as soon as you get home from the store. Or it can be more intentional, like pre-cooking several meals and properly labeling them for fridge and freezer storage.

While the idea of prepping several meals at once can seem daunting, the time, energy, and money you’ll save in the long run are totally worth it.

5. Try the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system that encourages people to work with their time – rather than against it.

Using this method, you break your workday into 25-minute chunks separated by five-minute breaks (referred to as pomodoros). After about four pomodoros, you take a longer break of about 15 to 20 minutes. This work rhythm helps create a sense of urgency and productivity followed by natural releases needed in order to recharge.

Curious? Check out this short tutorial to learn more.

Save More Time, Live More Life

While you may not be a fan of resolutions, the emphasis here is on forming productive habits and finding tools to minimize your daily load.

To be more productive, look beyond your task list to the organizational tools needed to manage time well. That takes effort up front but gives you more time to enjoy each day later. And that really is crucial!

As writer Annie Dillard said, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

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