You all know that there are only so many hours in a day. But you can learn to use your time more effectively. And if you already think that you are working as hard as you can, it’s time to learn how to work smarter. Try these 18 habits that will make you more productive.

Invest in yourself

It can be all too easy to forget about your health and well-being during a stressful phase of life. But taking care of yourself gives you more energy to do the things you enjoy most.

Ways you can invest in yourself

  • Eat well-balanced nutritional meals, as the way you eat, affects your performance. Start your day with a hearty breakfast and lighten up on the late-night snacking. Choose whole foods that are packed with nutrients that your mind and body need.
  • Get enough sleep by going to sleep and waking up at consistent times. You might even need to set an alarm to remind yourself that it’s time to get ready for sleep.
  • Exercise in a way that works for you. Keep yourself active with a variety of activities and find different ways of working out that you enjoy. The more you like an activity, the more likely you are to stick with it. Sometimes an exercise regimen will work best for you, other times it’s as simple as playing a sport with your friends.
  • Drink enough water. Dehydration is often mistaken for hunger. So ensure you are drinking an appropriate amount of water as well as other fluids throughout each day.
  • Practicing gratitude is a great way to invest in your mental health. Being grateful for what you have, even if it’s something you often take for granted, can make you see how good you actually have it.
  • Upskill in areas that interest you and keep your knowledge up to date. Attend courses or complete certifications online. Reading is also a great way to learn new things.
  • Save some money. With savings, you will be able to afford some of the items on this list that will help you invest in yourself. Upskilling or hiring a coach or even sometimes eating well, can all cost 
  • Set some goals and give yourself something to strive for each day. Having goals to work towards gives you motivation and can help you evaluate your progress.
  • Hire a coach or hire a mentor. While this isn’t available to everyone, hiring a coach or a mentor can really help you level up. There are a number of different fields this person can help in; from nutrition to fitness and business to general life.

Manage your time

The choices you make can help you take control of your life and your time. You know your time is valuable, so you want to spend it efficiently and effectively.

These strategies can help you manage your time effectively

  • Track your time. When you know where your time is going you can decide if it is helping or distracting you. Use a notebook or an app to record what you do during a typical week. You’ll be able to calculate how much time you need to allocate for routine tasks, and you may discover some nonessential chores you can eliminate.
  • Plan your time. Your choice will become more intentional when you plan how you spend your time. Block out time for important activities. And don’t forget to plan for some fun or down-time.
  • Follow your plan. A good plan is only good if it is followed. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments as you go, things can come up out of the blue.
  • Take breaks. You aren’t built to be a productivity machine. So remember to give yourself some down-time and allow for fun. Move away from your desk at lunch, do a few laps of the yard or sit in the sun. And don’t forget to give your eyes a break with some non-screen activities.
  • Get yourself organised. Having a plan is a part of being organised but creating systems and routines can save you time and effort. Batch similar tasks together and ensure you have a clean and tidy space to work on your goals.

Collaborate with others

When you work with others towards common goals, you often accomplish more in less time. 

  • Give first. If you want more friends and allies in your life, you may need to make the first move. Focus on what you can do for others.
  • Communicate clearly by saying what you mean. You’re more likely to get the result you’re after if you ask for it rather than dropping hints. And great communication also includes good listening skills. Ensure you give your full attention and make eye contact to show that you are listening.
  • Welcome and take on feedback. Let others know that they can give you constructive feedback and provide your input when necessary. Use the comments to make positive changes in your attitude and behaviour.
  • Actively network by staying in touch with former colleagues and reaching out to new contacts. Attend industry events and join local or special interest communities. You can also join online groups and forums for your interests.

There is a lot you want to accomplish in life. So it makes sense that increasing your productivity will help you to experience more success and less stress.

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