productivity tips

21 Productivity Tips to Change Your Life

For many of us, trying to stay consistently productive is the bane of our existence. That’s why simple tips and tricks that keep us going are so helpful.

In pursuit of finding the right techniques to suit your life, I’ve collected twenty-one of my favorite productivity tips to keep you on the ball. Let me know which ones worked for you in the comments!

productivity tips

1. Pomodoro Timer

The Pomodoro technique is a well-known productivity technique and one of my favorites. It breaks up your tasks and time into manageable chunks, making big tasks feel more surmountable.

You can find many free online tools that help you Pomodoro your tasks, but a simple timer works just as well.

2. Use Music as a Trigger

Our minds need cues or triggers to let us know it’s time to get to work. If you struggle to click into a productive mindset, something as simple as choosing your ‘work music’ can be a big help.

This trick aims to push your mind into a flow state. Use the same music –lo-fi, classical music, or techno – whenever you sit down to do a particular kind of work.

Eventually, this will help trigger your mind’s flow state.

3. Change Up Your Environment

Staring at the same four walls for hours is terrible for productivity. New environments stimulate creativity and help your mind feel refreshed, which is excellent for bringing you back into fighting form.

Whether you relocate to a new space in your office or take yourself to a café for the day, try putting yourself in a new space to encourage productivity.

4. Start with a To-Do List

It’s terribly hard to be productive if you don’t clearly understand what you’d like to do. Starting each day – or work session – with a clear to-do list is a massive help.

With a tool as simple as a to-do list, you clarify what you want to get done and how much time you’d like to achieve it.

to do list

5. Use a High-Performance Journal

A High-Performance Journal is both a productivity and a lifestyle tool. Its purpose is to ground you in a healthy, productive mindset, clarifying your intentions for the day so you can focus.

It’s also a reflective tool, allowing you to check in on how your day went and tweak anything that impeded your productivity.

6. Take Small Breaks

Our image of productivity is often distorted by movie montages of successful CEOs working late into the night for hours on end. Real productivity is much healthier than that.

Taking small breaks gives your brain a brief reprieve, helping you focus better when you return.

7. Get Enough Sleep

Have you ever tried to deliver your best work on a terrible night’s sleep? It takes so much longer than it normally would!

While it’s tempting to sacrifice sleep for more time, the truth is that it doesn’t work. By prioritizing sleep, you’re more likely to get through the next day’s work much faster (thus saving time).

8. Drink Enough Water

Similarly, a dehydrated mind is a tired mind. This is particularly important if you drink a lot of caffeine to get through the day, as caffeine leads to dehydration.

Doing something as simple as drinking enough water gives your mind the best possible conditions to thrive.

a glass of water

9. Allocate Time for Work You Enjoy

Slogging through an entire day of work you don’t enjoy is soul-destroying. If there is a task you’ve been dreading, try breaking it up with periods of work that you enjoy.

Alternatively, you could use the enjoyable work as a reward for getting through the tough part of your day.

10. Break Up Your Tasks

When climbing Everest, they don’t simply aim to get to the top and then curse themselves when they can’t make it in one go.

Similarly, it’s important to break mammoth tasks into smaller chunks. This properly captures your progress, allowing you to keep going without becoming discouraged.

11. Use the 2-Minute Rule

This one goes out to the procrastinators. The two-minute rule asks you to sit down and just do two minutes of a task, with no expectation that you’ll work beyond that. It often drives hours more work!

Conceived by Atomic Habits author James Clear, this simple technique often results in hours of productive work getting done.

12. Eat That Frog

Dreading that one difficult task you have to get through for the day? If your mind constantly pulls back to the one task you don’t want to do for the day, it can impact your focus on your other work.

‘Eating that frog’ refers to getting through that task first. It’s ugly and hard to swallow, but once it’s over, it’s over!

13. Block Out Your Time

Jumping between tasks of different types isn’t great for getting into a flow state. Instead, try blocking out certain parts of your day to tackle similar tasks.

For example, if you’re a writer, allocate your writing tasks for the beginning of the day and your admin for the afternoon when you’re running out of brain power.

14. Try the 1 – 3 – 5 Rule

This is another technique to get through big tasks without feeling overwhelmed. Start with one big task, then divide it into three medium tasks. Finally, divide those into five further small tasks.

Using this method, you can get through fifteen small, manageable tasks instead of one huge one. This also makes it easier to distribute this tough task across multiple days.

15. Reflect on Your Work

Reflection is one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal. Regarding productivity, knowing what works for us and what doesn’t is key to honing in on the right techniques.

However, you can’t know what works without reflecting! Try taking the last part of your Friday to ask yourself what went well and didn’t.

16. Make Your Workspace Yours

Any place you conduct your work should feel like it belongs to you. If you feel comfortable and at ease in your workspace, your mind can relax into a creative flow state, thus driving productivity.

Home office working space. wooden shelf with white wall

17. Start Your Day with a Routine

Routine is another powerful tool in the productivity toolkit. Creating a daily routine helps your mind know what to expect and when.

When it’s time to relax, it’s time to relax. And when it’s time to work, it’s time to work.

18. Create Accountability

This is especially helpful if you’re self-employed or work from home. Working on your own doesn’t come with built-in accountability. However, you can create systems that build it for you.

Try scheduling regular check-ins with other self-employed workers, posting your deadlines, or setting alarms when your tasks should be finished.

19. Use a Digital Productivity Platform

Similarly, a digital productivity platform like Notion or is fantastic.

Not only can you track your tasks, but it also gives you a visual sense of how much work you have to do.

20. Be Realistic With Your Time

Getting things done on time starts with being realistic about how long said tasks will take you. It’s easy to become discouraged if your deadlines are sailing past, even when you’re working hard.

Setting realistic expectations for yourself can minimize overwork and maximize your satisfaction with a well-done task.

21. Know Which Time Works for You

Finally, we all have a different time of day when we are at our best! Maybe you’re a night owl, or maybe you’re at your best in the morning. Try shifting your work to accommodate these patterns.

If you’re unsure which you are, pay attention to when workflows and when it doesn’t. That’s a great hint.

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