20 Ways to Get More Done in the Day

For some people, being more productive is wishful thinking and often an unfulfilled, lifelong dream. For others, it’s a motivating life-changer.

With busy lives made even more complicated by being constantly plugged-in, sending texts, tweets, replying to posts and e-mails and getting bombarded by outside stimuli and distractions, a lot of people end up wasting time and chronically get sidetracked about any goals they may have set for themselves. “There aren’t enough hours in a day” is a familiar excuse.

The newer suggestion — to work smarter, not harder — makes refreshing sense.

According to time management experts and formerly unproductive people who have found the secrets to effective productivity, achieving more with less effort — to take control of your days, your energy, and your resources to experience more success in your life — is life-changing. Here’s how to do it:

1. Do Less, Not More

Many driven people’s vision of success requires them to always do more, more and more. They invariably have long lists of things they need to do as high-achievers. It ends up spreading some people far too thin.

Warren Buffet, one of the world’s most successful people, says the most important key to business is learning to say ‘No’ to more things. Many time-management coaches agree. The best way to start being productive and creating more success is to subtract, not add.

Tharakorn / Shutterstock.com
Tharakorn / Shutterstock.com

2. Develop Routines

Productive individuals are creatures of habit. They make productivity habitual — being productive is what they do.

It all starts with having effective routines. These aren’t routines that leave an individual braindead, but routines that enable growth, development and making the most out of the time in a day. Adopting a routine of effective productivity is vital. A study of massively productive people like Stephen King, John Grisham and Thomas Edison showed that the consistent thread of their success is strict daily routines that dictate when they get up, when they start work, when they exercise and when they relax.

Peak productivity is not about luck — it’s about devotion. Getting up early works for many (but not all) productive-types. How you get up is another thing. Rather than using an alarm that makes you scramble and dread the day ahead, try your kind of music!

Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com
Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com

3. Try the Timer Trick

The Pomodoro technique is where you set a timer for 25 minutes (or longer when you’re used to it) and switch off all other stimuli, while working non-stop on the most important tasks or projects. Some people use a simple kitchen timer and work in 45 minute bursts.

At the end of each session of high productivity, they take a break. It may include stretching, lifting weights, doing brain training exercises, or engaging in silent mindful meditation.

Devenorr / Shutterstock.com
Devenorr / Shutterstock.com
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