A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article on 4 productivity podcasts to help you improve on that. This time I’m gonna tell you my perspective on the matter and ways I found useful on that because if you don’t try what works with you and just listen to others talking about it, then nothing will change.

We all have times that we don’t have the energy and mood to be productive because either of some circumstances or us being tired. In these cases you need to relax and start doing what you must do later on because by forcing yourself to work harder while not feeling it, you destroy your creativity. However that doesn’t mean you have to be idle all the time. By using the tips that we will talk later on in order to be productive you have plenty of benefits. You get more done with less time, thus having more time to spend with friends, family and your passions. Having more free time with loved ones removes stress from your life and that results in healthier lifestyle too. Lastly you become more accountable on what you do because you work with a system in mind. All these add up and make you work more effectively and efficiently while being happier instead of miserable.

  • Decide what you are
    Some people consider themselves early birds and some night owls. Try out working both early in the morning and late at night. See what works best for you and use that to your advantage. Of course working in the morning is preferable because of the sun waking you up and giving you energy, but still some great minds like Tim Ferriss work their magic at night.
The Life Upgrades - Morning/Night Person
  • Habits
    You need to replace bad habits with good ones. They will help you on being consistent and more effective. We discussed about them in another article. Check it out to learn more.
  • Mindset
    Plays a big role in your success, whatever that is. If you want to have a mindset that helps on improving, then in whatever you do you have to think all the time “Is that gonna help me toward my goals?” –If not- “What are better ways to use my time?”
  • Living healthier life
    Organic food, clean fresh water and exercising will give you more energy and boost than any type of coffee beverage. Your body and brain will work better, giving you greater results. If you have the urge to snack while working and don’t have time to cook; eat fruits and/or mixed unsalted nuts/seeds instead of chips, chocolates and candies. Your hunger will be removed with healthier choices. Now if you don’t have time to exercise, every 30 minutes stretch or go for a walk or do a set of push-ups and squats.
  • Relaxing
    Sometimes you need to hold back in order to move forward. When you feel drained it’s better to have a quality sleep or at least nap for 20 seconds, meditate, take a walk in the woods etc. You will get relieved from stress and recharge your batteries. Also I found out that by doing any of these, my brain creates ideas easier because it’s relaxed and not force to find the solution.
The Life Upgrades - Relaxing
  • The perfect environment
    Anything that surrounds you is a trigger, either a bad or a good one. So if you want to work with optimal performance you need to change that in a way that helps you out. Stop doing anything work-related in your bedroom. The bed makes you sleepy, so avoid working on it. Clean the place if it destroys your productivity. Personally I can’t concentrate if there is a mess but for some people is not a problem. Blue and green colours improve your creativity and natural light as we said above creates more energy. Motivational posters or items that give ideas will help a lot and motivational music will pump you up, but don’t use songs with lyrics in them because they will distract you. Remove smartphones and other electronic devices that will distract you with their notifications and if you need to use the computer, don’t start browsing in social media or emails. Have a standing desk; it’s one of the most productive tools. Since the day I started using one I noticed the difference. Check the article for more details on that.
  • Going old school
    If possible instead of typing on the computer, start using the old-school way, which is pen and paper. Except that is nostalgic in a way, for some weird reason it makes things stick to your brain easier. Also it makes you more accountable and it’s perfect for brainstorming. Some of my best ideas were created while writing down stuff on paper.
The Life Upgrades - Old-school notes
  • Mind mapping
    Something else that will help you brain to get in order and clear things up while finding the next step. Mind mapping is amazing because you write down any ideas or facts you have in mind and connect the dots. In that way you have an overview of everything and don’t have to use your brain power to remember something. Therefore your brain can work on what you need to do next. Visuals help more, so add pictures in your mind map and highlight the most important points or headlines.
  • Start saying no
    Probably most of you heard or read somewhere what the reason that Steve Jobs had success was. For those of you that didn’t, he said it was just saying no to most of the things and people instead of saying yes. I struggle with that for year because I always didn’t want to say no to anyone, whatever he/she was asking from me. You can’t imagine what difference makes when you start saying no. Of course it doesn’t mean you will start telling no to everyone. Find the things that matter the most to you and that will help you with your goals and those are the ones that deserve your “yes”. You will have more time to work on them and you will be more productive.
  • Carrying a notebook
    There going to be times that ideas flow because of something you observed or remembered. What if that idea was your next big success? By carrying a notebook or using your smartphone you can write the idea down and use it afterwards when you will be able to. If you don’t, especially if you are like me, you will forget it and moments like that don’t happen all the time.
  • To-do lists
    Use your notebook also as a to-do list. The best way to be productive with your short-term and long-term goals. The long-term ones have to be for 3-5 years after that day and the short-term ones have to be for the day, week or month.
  • Prioritizing tasks
    Start with the hardest and longest tasks of the day because you have more energy to finish them off and easier ones don’t require a lot of energy. But if you feel unproductive and pressured finish 1-2 of the easy ones. Finishing them will boost your confidence and motivate you to keep going.
The Life Upgrades - Priority
  • Waking/sleeping habit
    Have a piece of paper with your long-term goals next to your bed. Before going to bed and as soon as you wake up read them. That will keep your focus every day, all day long on achieving those goals. What’s more motivating to be active than that?

Those are the ways I learned, used and helped me a lot with my productivity. I hope you find them helpful and incorporated them in your daily lives because they can help you with everything. Stop procrastinating and start working if you want to be great in what you do.

Share this article to inform more people and tell us your thoughts in the comments below: Are you a night owl or an early bird? Are you a productive person? Do you use these techniques? What other techniques can you suggest?