One of the questions I'm asked the most outside of online marketing strategy, is “How can I be more productive?”. This is something I spent a lot of time in 2015 working on and so in today's blog I'm sharing what is working for me.

 

Eat that frog

Have you ever heard of the phrase “eat that frog”? The phrase was first penned by Mark Twain and he said that said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that eating that frog is probably the worse thing that is going to happen to you all day. Brian Tracy then took this phrase and turned it into a method to be more productive and stop procrastination. When planning my day if I know I have a particularly difficult task to undertake, I move it to the very top of my list – everything else after that feels like a breeze.

 

Meditation breaks

I'm not particularly spiritual, but I strongly believe in the power of guided meditation. I'm a newbie to this for sure, but what I do know is that when I need an emergency break from the chaos of my day or I find I'm suffering from overwhelm of “1000 tabs open in my brain” syndrome, a 10-15 minute meditation break is the perfect remedy. If you're new to meditation like me, then I highly recommend the Calm app. You can even take a quick guided meditation break on their website, plus I love the calming scenes you can play.

 

Timed goals

I'm fiercely competitive and put myself under a lot of pressure (not a good thing!), so whilst that keeps me driven and working hard it also means unless I'm feeling under pressure, I'm not working at my best. What I do with my pre-planned goals during the day is to set a timer to them and I see if I can achieve that goal within the time I planned.

This helps me do 2 things:

  1. It keeps me laser focused on that one task
  2. It helps me to assess how long it actually takes me to complete a certain task, and therefore I'm much better at planning my time

It also makes things a little more fun – and if I hit my goals under time, I have a break doing something fun (usually some time on Pinterest!)

 

Reflect every day

As part of my wind down every night, and before meditation, I reflect on my day and what I achieved. This gets me away from my phone or laptop and enables me to switch off from work mode. I look at how well I performed, but also whether I got everything done or not. I've been amazed at what I learnt about myself over the past year since I started journalling my day. I now know what triggers procrastination, what distracts me from my goals and how I sabotage my own success sometimes with long ingrained bad habits. You can't lie to yourself when you write a journal, so I really encourage this exercise as a daily habit – it helps me sleep better and I've grown as a person as a result of learning from my own reflection.

 

Plan the night before

I have 2 books by my bedside at night – one is my journal and one is my planning diary. Every night before I sleep and after reflection, I write my plan for the next day. I used to give myself way too much work to do, and as such I was always disappointed with my performance of not achieving the unachievable [dumb]. One of the main factors in this was that I hadn't broken down my tasks enough into smaller chunks, and so my prediction of how much time this would take was always wrong. Reflection on this every day has helped me to improve my planning, and I feel happy with what I achieve because I'm more realistic about goal setting.

 

Which are you going to implement?

I hope this post gives you some ideas for how you can be more productive, drop a comment below and let me know which of these you're going to implement and if you'd like even more business support join my business owner's community “Smart, Savvy & Switched On”

5 comments

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I love all these ideas Laura thanks for sharing – I’ve found that it takes a while to figure out what works for yourself and once you do it’s a good idea to try to work it into your routine. I spent last year trying lots of different ways to improve my daily productivity and found, like you, that planning each day in small chunks is such a powerful thing to do if you stick to it. One thing I’ve not yet done is Eating The Frog! You’ve inspired me to try that for a week now…..I’ll let you know how that goes eck!

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I look forward to that 1 week report Fiona!!

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This is great advice Laura, as I think we all struggle with productivity from time to time. Away to start putting it into practice by eating my first frog of the day!!

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Eat that slimy nasty frog Lindsay!!

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Great post Laura – it’s funny how challenging it can be to get stuff done when you work for yourself. I’ve never heard of the phrase eat that frog but I’m going to eat it early in my day from now on. Thanks!

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