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We are well into the month of February- how are you doing with those New Year’s Resolutions!? If you’ve found yourself slacking already and are comfortably aboard the struggle bus, you’re not alone. Many are experiencing crushing blows to their self-esteem with every less than productive day that passes. But it’s not too late- there are steps you can take to whip your 2021 into shape. Consider integrating these five tips into your routine and see just how quickly things start to turn around!
Have you ever looked at a clock and thought to yourself, “where did the last two hours go!?”. If the answer is down a rabbit hole of memes or scrolling endlessly through Instagram, it may be time to put a limit on your screen time.
Your phone is probably the biggest obstacle standing between you and a fulfilling and productive day. People generally spend an average of three hours and 15 minutes on their phones every day, with the top 20% of smartphone users spending upwards of four and a half hours. (source) Of course, many people have jobs that require them to be on social media or spend a lot of time on their phones, so not all screen time is bad! Just be mindful of what’s work-related and what’s not, and find ways to limit distractions on your phone, like social media. If you have a lot of willpower, perhaps it’s just about setting a rule for yourself. No phone after 10 PM, for example. Or no checking social media until after you’ve completed your morning routine. After all, not staring at a screen right before bed or starting the day without useless scrolling can only mean good things for your productivity.
If you need a little bit of help, your phone has built-in settings or an app for that. On an iPhone, you can go to Settings -> Screen Time. There you can select time limits for entire categories of apps or add limits manually for individual apps that often distract you. For Android users, open your phone’s Settings app and tap Digital Wellbeing & parental controls. Tap the chart, select the app you want to limit, and tap set timer. Pick a reasonable limit and set it!
Have you ever worked out and truly regretted it after? Unless you broke a leg while doing so, probably not. The reason you feel so darn good after a workout is simple. It’s science!
Physical activity immediately boosts the brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels—all of which affect focus and attention. (source) So if you want to be more productive, get that body moving!
A run outside, a walk with the dog, a workout on YouTube, or a trip to the gym will all do the trick. If you’re the type of person that struggles with motivation- we have a little life hack that will help you out. Accountability and positive reinforcement are extremely important when it comes to consistency. Lauren Carey’s strategy involves using the app Bublup. Folders serve as her “digital sticker chart,” where she records her workouts and writes little notes about how they went, how they made her feel, and what’s working and what’s not. She also invited her friends and family to join the folder. They offer words of support and also keep her accountable! Check out her YouTube video to see how the app has helped her stick to her New Year’s Resolution- to get into shape!
It’s hard to stay productive and motivated if you’re doing the same monotonous things day after day and not challenging yourself to learn and grow. Consider taking an online course. You can pick up a new skill or simply expand your knowledge. The habits you develop while learning about something that truly interests you will carry over into other aspects of your life. Not to mention, there are many online courses on the very topic of productivity!
If you’re concerned that this is all just one big Catch-22, take a page out of Wade Seller’s book, or rather, a few minutes out of his YouTube video. In How to Succeed with an Online Course in 2021, he offers three great tips that will take you from your initial commitment to successful course completion!
When your parents said “you are what you eat” and you didn’t turn into a bag of Cheetos, it probably took you awhile to realize that there is some truth in that statement after all. What you eat can have a significant effect on your energy levels and therefore general productivity. For example, it’s been shown that the more portions of fruit and vegetables eaten per day, the happier, more engaged, and more creative people will be at work. (source)
If your mind frequently goes blank when trying to come up with breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas, turn to the talented chefs of the internet for some inspiration and throw the recipes in a Bublup folder. It will slowly become a collection of ideas that you can turn to anytime you need and get all the healthy fuel you need to power through the day.
Take a moment and think about all of your social media consumption. It’s a fast-paced world that holds attention spans for a few seconds at best before you’re off scrolling to the next thing. As a result, concentration and focus are becoming more and more difficult. Thankfully, the one thing that can help you regain control of your attention and concentration is to read a book. Because the brain is like a muscle, the more it is trained, the better it works. (source)
So whether you’re a fan of the Kindle or love the smell and feel of a paperback, line up some good reads and help your brain out in the process. With better concentration and reduced stress levels, this calming activity will be nothing but beneficial!
If you feel your productivity starts to take a dip, remember these five tips and find ways to weave them into your everyday life. They’ll help you get back on track, promise!