How to Be Productive: 11 Ways to Be Productive and Happy at Once
This article by Dean Bokhari (Author, Entrepreneur, Podcast & TV Host) was originally published on lifehack.com.
A lack of productivity leads to a lack of happiness.
When you can’t see yourself making progress or getting things done, you get anxious and become stressful.
There are also tons of things that contribute to unhappiness here too: Facebook notifications, emails, texts, and chatty co-workers are just a small fraction of the disruptions we’re bombarded with. These “little things” can stack up fast and lead to hampering your happiness and productivity levels.
Learn how to be productive with the 11 tips below and reclaim your everyday productivity and your happiness, once and for all.
1. Be happy now
Life is too short. No matter what you’re doing or where you are, be happy now. Start by finding something to be grateful for; everyone has at least one thing to be grateful for.
Most of the world still has trouble getting access to clean drinking water… that means you can even be grateful for that bottle of Aquafina you’ve got on your desk right now.
2. Finish your day before it starts
Proper planning is the secret to peak productivity, and it’s also a good idea to set daily goals. Get yourself a planning tool and prioritize your daily tasks with it.
Here’s a smart technique on planning and prioritization: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster
3. Celebrate the small wins
Every time you check off a task from your to-do list, you release a “happy chemical” in your brain called dopamine. This gives you the motivation to move forward and do even more.
For example, after I finish writing this article and I’ve crossed it off my list of things to do today, I’ll get a nice burst of “happy chemicals” releasing in my brain. The best part? Zero side effects!
4. Leverage like there’s no tomorrow
Look for ways to use the good old 80/20 rule by identifying tasks that you might be able to outsource or leverage out to a virtual assistant.
Stop wasting time doing things that don’t challenge you or ignite your passion. Hire out or automate anything and everything within your means.
Check out this guide to find out how to start to delegate: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)
5. Recharge your batteries
Figure out how many hours of sleep your body needs and make sure you get it. Take time to stretch, walk, or relax—you’ll be glad you did.
6. Become an early riser
This is one of the most underused productivity “hacks” on the planet. Ever since I decided to start waking up at 5am every day, my productivity levels and happiness have gone up dramatically.
Most people aren’t up that early, so no one can bother you or disrupt you from what you want to do. Use this time to exercise, meditate, or to get a head start on your day.
7. Do work you’re passionate about
Make it your goal to blur the line between work and play by doing more things you’re passionate about. This promotes happiness both inside and outside of the workplace.
Find what you’re passionate about and do it, or learn how to enjoy what you do with these tips: How to Enjoy What You Are Doing No Matter What
8. Use time blocks
For example, when I wrote this article, I gave myself a one hour time block. This prevents unnecessary dilly-dallying like updating your Facebook status and checking email.
Use an app like Alarmed to keep you on track.
9. Avoid interruptions
Interruptions are among the biggest barriers to both productivity and happiness. Every time you’re interrupted in the middle of a task your level of productivity takes a hit.
We’ve all been there: you’re fully immersed in an important project until all of a sudden the workplace chatterbox appears out of nowhere and starts talking about stuff that doesn’t matter. By the time she’s gone, you’ve already forgotten where you were and it takes 30 minutes to get back on track.
Avoid this by letting people know that you’ve got important work that’s got to be done.
10. Shut down the digital disruptions
iPhones, mailbox notifications, twitter, facebook, and everything that pops, slides, or fades in and out of your screen has got to go. Shut them down and focus.
It’s as easy as turning off the notifications or scheduling only a specific time to check all these notifications and texts.
11. Measure your success
Every now and then, it’s a good idea to measure your results and see how things are coming along.
How’s your progress? Are you pacing in the right direction? Are things getting better? Worse? It’s always a good idea to track your progress regularly.
With an app like Rescue Time, you can easily keep track of the time you spend throughout the day. It helps you to find out how much time you’re really on-task and so you can review your progress.
With these 11 effective ways to improve productivity, you will get more things done timely and become happier.
Start small and take up each suggestion one by one, you can boost your productivity and create your happiness too.