1. Get up early, go to bed early.
Studies show that many successful CEO's and directors wake up before 6am, with a bedtime of 9-10pm. So, set an alarm and start training yourself to love mornings. Of course, if you're a mum, that work is already done for you!
2. Make a to-do list, and keep it.
I swear by organising my day whilst having my morning coffee, as well as doing a brief outline on what the week may look like on Sunday evening. There's a post all about it here, as well as a handy download of a weekly planner (which is soon going to be available to buy as a literal thing, by the way.)
3. Go offline.
Email, social media, and blogs are all productivity killers.
4. Create a productive office space.
Lots of warmth and natural light will get you going in the right direction. Also, candles are great for creating a relaxing space.
5. Be unavailable during peak hours.
I have a little note on my email signature saying emails won't be read/answered between 12-4pm. I try to avoid emails after I've caught up on them all, usually by 10am, but I'm very strict with myself about looking at them between these hours. This is so I can use my energy on big projects, and not distract myself on tasks that may be popping up throughout the day.
6. Take breaks.
I tend to work in 90 minute sessions, but this does change regularly. When I've completed a task, I'll have a 10-minute break to grab a cuppa. This gives me a chance to have a break if I'm struggling to get past something. I also try to have an hour's lunch break every day, so I can have a quick walk with the dog and recharge. This gives you something to work for, as well keeping you sane (slightly!).
Plan a vacation right now (if you haven't done so already). Close this blog post when you've finished reading and book one. It's so important to have a break from work at some points in the year, even if it's just a weekend away. Extra points for leaving your laptop at home and not checking your phone regularly. This will help you to recharge and remember why you love your job, as well as increasing your productivity when you get back. I've promised myself and George that we'll have a week somewhere this year, no phones, no emails.
8. Have someone hold you accountable.
You're more likely to complete something and get the results you wanted by telling someone you're doing it. The pressure will hopefully keep you on track and they'll give you a kick when you need it.
Studies prove that by practising mindful meditation, you are improving your concentration and strengthening your memory.
10. Get some sleep.
And finally, in the words of Arianna Huffington;
Don't push yourself to achieve something that isn't going to happen in an instant. You can work throughout the night if you feel you need to, but you won't be up to scratch the next day, endangering your productivity.
What do you do to ensure you are as productive as you can be? Comment below.