Organization and productivity go hand in hand. To be productive, we have to be organized. I used to always use the phrase, “clutter doesn’t bother me.” And, for the most part it doesn’t bother me consciously. My sub-conscious, however, would likely disagree. I notice that if there is clutter, (physical or mental), I get a lot less done.
Want to be more productive & organized in 2019? I know I do. (I’m going to be following my own advice on this one). I have noted a huge improvement in my productivity when I do things a certain way and stick to particular tips. Here are my best tips for Productivity & organization for 2019: (but, that doesn’t mean you can’t start right now).
De-Clutter Your E-Mail
It’s easy to let spam and unwanted e-mails slide to the bottom and pile up quick! Add all unwanted e-mail addresses to your spam category and go through all relevant e-mails, tagging ones from addresses that are most important. If you use G-mail, make sure you use the “high priority” tag on the important e-mail addresses. It will save you lots of time when getting rid of all the unwanted mail.
Nerd Tip: Have a separate email address you use for promotions & such to avoid unnecessary spam/unimportant e-mail build-up.
Create a “Don’t Do” List
Having a “To-Do” list is incredibly important for productivity, but having a solid “Don’t do” list is equally important. We all have those things that distract us when we are trying to get things done, (Social media, online browsing and so on). Make a List of things you’re NOT going to do during certain hours of your day & stick to it! It will really help you be more productive.
Here are some things on my DON’T DO List:
- Get on FB between 8-5
- Take more than 5 small breaks throughout the day
- Skip Breakfast
- Drink Pop during the weekdays
Time Your Tasks
This has helped me monitor my time so much better! When doing a task that you have to do often, TIME IT. Write down how much time it takes you to do said task and you can get a far better idea about time management, so you can plan accordingly.
I use the “stopwatch” feature on my FitBit to time tasks & it has improved my time management by at least 80%!
Have a Priority List
The golden rule is that the most important tasks should be taken care of first. Make a list at the beginning of each month, week and even day as to what your highest priority tasks are. Get those done first. It’ll not only ease stress, it’ll improve your productivity.
Nerd Tip: Have a high priority list of goals for the New Year & keep going back to that list, ensuring that you’re taking every necessary step to achieve those prioritized goals 🙂
Completely Organize your Work Space
Have everything in its place, especially where you work. Get every little thing in it’s designated place. This will save you a TON of time. (I once spent a half hour looking for a folder that was all the way at the bottom of one of my “random” piles – yikes!).
I recommend picking up some organizational items to help you out, especially if you work at a desk. Binders, folders, a good file cabinet and of course, places to put the tools you use most often, (highlights, pens, Post-It notes and so on).
Make a Productivity Playlist. Mine is called “Get Shit Done” playlist, but name it as you wish. Often times, during certain tasks, I work faster and more efficiently with certain music playing. Above are some songs on my “Get shit Done” playlist.
Keep Your Phone Notifications to a Minimum or Silence your Phone during certain Times
Smartphones are HUGE distractions, but sometimes they’re a tool that aids in our productivity. Make sure the notifications you’re receiving from apps during the day are ones that aid productivity, rather than hinder it. For instance, any game notifications on your smartphone can wait. The same usually goes for social media apps.
I like to keep my phone on silent for most of the day, or I’ll end up being distracted by memes – a big bad No No for being productive!
Have Micro-Breaks During the Day
Schedule Micro-breaks during your day, (10-15 minutes), as this has been known to aid in productivity. Meditate, journal, stretch – do something for yourself that aids the body, mind or spirit.
Have Deadlines & Stick to Them
Even for smaller goals – have a set-in-stone deadline. Write it down in your planner (whatever kind you use). Cement the deadlines in your mind and on paper and make sure that your tasks are working towards crossing that item off the list before that deadline.
Deadlines have a way of being a sort of “silent motivator”, use them! It feels SO GOOD to cross those “to-do’s” off your list!
Ditch the Things You Don’t Need
If you’re anything like me, you’ve accumulated a lot of stuff over time, most of it, you rarely use. (I still have tags on clothes in my closet from 2 years ago – 2 freaking years!). Get rid of all the things you don’t use/love/need regularly.
Things to Donate or Toss: (If you don’t LOVE it, USE it, or NEED it for the future – get rid of it. It’s just clutter that’s in your way):
- Clothes and shoes you’ll never wear
- Junk Mail
- Tupperware that’s missing its lid (We ALL have these for some reason. Toss em’. The lids aren’t going to appear from wherever they end up!)
Make Plans ahead of Time & Don’t Neglect your Social Life
Spending time with your significant other, (if you have one), family and friends should be a priority. It’s really easy to get caught up in work and neglect the relationships that are most important to us. Don’t let it happen. Make plans ahead of time. Schedule date night, friend’s outings, trips to see relatives, vacations and so on.
Sadly, as we get older, it becomes harder and harder to get everyone together at the same time. A fact well known to my friends & I. Make your social life as much as a priority as your career.
Don’t forget to add the SOCIAL part of your life into your planner.
5 Minute Tasks – Just do it
If you see something that NEEDS to be done, that will take 5 minutes or less – JUST DO IT! 5 minutes isn’t going to kill your productivity and whatever that small task is – it’ll be out of the way!
For example, after dinner, if you have dishes, do them. It saves time in the long run.
Nerd Tip: ALWAYS make your bed as soon as you wake up. It sets the tone for the rest of the day 🙂
Schedule ME Time
Self care is incredibly important for our well being. It’s often neglected, as there always seems there is so much to get done. But, you don’t want to work yourself into an early grave! Make sure you’re making time for yourself! Making self care a priority will aid your productivity, because it will keep you operating a 100%.
Some ME TIME Ideas:
- Read a Good Book
- Binge a Series you enjoy
- Take a relaxing detox bath
- Give Yourself a Facial
- Visit a Spa
- Have a few glasses of wine
- Play Your Favorite Game
- Relaxing Yoga Session
Templates are your Friend
Using templates for tasks you do often will save you TONS of time. Templates are your friend!
Some Templates that have saved me HOURS:
- Cover Letter Templates (I have multiple ones – depending on who I’m sending the letter to – SO convenient!)
- Budget Template
- Email Templates
- Graphic Templates (I designed these with the colors, fonts and styles I use on my website & by saving them, I saved loads of time!)
- Tracking Templates (I use these all the time. I have ones to track my submissions to writing websites, so I have the dates – the pen name I used and the word count. I also use templates to track exercise, blog posts, payments received & their dates and so on).
Before you catch your Zz’s, take about 10-15 minutes to prep for the next day. Check your planner, review it and add tasks you’d like to accomplish the next day. Get your clothes ready for the next day. Make sure your space is clutter-free. Prepping just a bit the night before will save more time than you realize in the AM.
Use Every Tool You can get Your hands on
There are lots of tools that can make productivity easier, as well as improve your overall mood (which contributes greatly to being productive). I have discovered a lot of tools that really help me with productivity and organization. Here are some of my favorites:
- My physical planner (Yes, the old school kind)
- My FitBit (to track exercise, food & water intake)
- Google Docs
Positive Mindset = Productivity
Staying positive is paramount to maximum productivity. You’re not going to get anything done if you’re focusing too much on negative things. Try not to sweat the little things, (which I know is really tough, especially for me).
Keep things around you that bring in positive vibes. Motivational art, colors that you love, good scents & of course, good people. Try to eliminate anything negative from your life and environment. Seriously, a positive mindset is one of the greatest elements that attributes to productivity.
- Have Yearly Goals
- Have Monthly Goals
- Have Weekly Goals
- Have Daily Goals
- Have DEADLINES for all Goals
- Prioritize Goals
- Utilize Tools
Make a pledge to yourself that you’ll make goals, organize your life and stick to your set goals in 2019! Make sure that the goals you’re setting are achievable! Set yourself up for success 🙂
Let me know what your goals for 2019 are this year 🙂 & Please Share <3
You can achieve your goals. You’ve Got this 🙂