This episode of the podcast is all about productivity. How to get the most out of your day so you can kick more goals and tick more things off your bucket list. My to-do list for 2021 is particularly long. I tend to be very talented at over commitment. So, I’ve been doing some research and have put together a plan for how I am going to ramp up my productivity in 2021 so I can try and pull it all off. Here it is:

1. Prioritise My Health & Wellbeing

Check in with your doctor. Sort out your hormones, check your blood sugar, how’s your blood pressure. Get your bloods done. Take sometime to ensure your body is in the best possible condition it can be – because we all know when we are feeling better – we get more done!

Get Your Eating & Drinking Under Control. I start an annual health kick (or diet) at the end of January every year. This year, I’ll be embarking on an old favourite Weight Watchers. I know I always feel better when I eat better and cut back on my alcohol.

SelfCare – yes I struggle with this but you know what. When we look after ourselves and take time for ourselves to fill our tank, we have more to give. Win – win, I say!

Exercise – the science on the power of exercise is powerful. And we all know it – but we just have to do it. The Australian Government suggests about 2 1/2 hours of moderate activity a week plus some muscle strengthening twice a well too.

2. Be Smarter With My Time

Develop a Morning Routine. I became quite slack with my morning routine in 2020 so I’ve decided it’s time to tighten it up and get back on track. I read Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning during my break and it was very inspiring. The Miracle Morning is a 6-step morning routine using what are called Life S.A.V.E.R.S.: silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and scribing. Here’s the lowdown:

  1. Silence. Start every morning with a period of purposeful Silence of at least 5 minutes
  2. Affirmations. Program yourself to be confident and successful in everything you do
  3. Visualization. Imagine what you want to achieve and mentally rehearse what you’ll need to do to achieve it
  4. Exercise.
  5. Reading. Learn from the experts and model successful people who have already achieved what you want
  6. Scribing. Writing enables you to document your insights as well as any areas of opportunity

Marie Kondo, decluttering guru and author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying-Up is also a fan of a morning routine. She like to get up, open all the windows, light a candle and say a prayer!

Become a Productivity Ninja – in 2020, we spoke to Julie Jones from Think Productive about the best way to get productive. You can listen to that episode here. My favourite tip from Julie was the concept of Boss Thinking. In the Ninja mindset, there are two different types of thinking: Boss Mode and Worker Mode. First up, every day, she suggests spending 5 to 10 minutes doing some Boss Thinking, ideally in the morning, to plan your goals and tasks for the day. Then choose your top 5 things to do today to reduce overwhelm.

You should also allocate time for these tasks too (this will be your Worker Mode). Worker Mode is when we ‘go dark’ to get the actual work done – try the Pomodoro technique – 25-minute bursts of focused work with 5-minute breaks in between. After 4 of these, take a longer break. Julie suggests using the Forest App to help control your time here. During your 5-minute break, make a tea or go to the bathroom. It might take some practice!

3. Manage Technology

Don’t Graze. Grazing on technology all day can eat into your time. Consider turning off notification on your phone, or changing the display on your phone to greyscale.

Get An App. There are also multiple apps to use to control your technology usage. Check out Flipd, Freedom, Self-Control and Offtime, Some are free, some cost just a few dollars but they are a great way of ensuring you aren’t distracted. And make sure you share these with your teens too – they can be very useful if kids are preparing for exams.

Be Smarter With Your Emails. Going forward, I’m going to check emails thoroughly just once per day. Checking them on and of all day isn’t an efficient use of time nor is it good for stress according to research. A  2017 American Psychological Association survey showed that constantly checking and responding to emails—even on your days off—can lead to increased stress. So, if you are a constant checker then setting pre-determined time frames for checking emails is a no brainer!

4. Saying No

It’s Hard. I’ve struggled with this my whole life. I’ve always considered myself to be rude, selfish or unkind if I say no but that’s so wrong. Saying no is empowering, it is about self-preservation.

Saying no is all about investing in ourselves. It’s about ensuring we have enough petrol in our tank so we can manage our list of responsibilities and tasks.

It feels unnatural. I know it’s hard and feels unnatural but it’s definitely something we should all work on to enhance our productivity.

5. Taking Breaks

Schedule breaks into your day. Productivity Ninja Julie Jones is all about taking breaks to boost productivity. But this can be hard when we are working at home by ourselves without a lot of structure. So, get outside, walk the dog – do something to break up your work.

Schedule Getaways and Mini-Breaks Too – Scheduling in some getaways ensure your work doesn’t feel relentless and never ending which is great for morale and productivity too. I’m about to plan a few of these with my husband to ensure we have things to keep us motivated. I love booking on Expedia or Booking.com where you can choose free cancellation.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and productive 2021 everyone! You can listen to the episode below or in your favourite podcast app.

I’d love to hear what you are going to do to enhance your productivity in 2021.

Alex xx