21 Tips to Increase Your Productivity at Home or Work

By Julie Sews - 10:19:00 PM

I recently watched the movie "Limitless" which got me to thinking of how I can be more productive in the new year.  If you haven't seen the movie it's about a guy who takes a drug that allows you to use 100% of your brain vs 20% (which is a myth by the way), and turns into a super version of himself.  Of course there is more to the story, but I don't want to wreck it for you if you haven't seen it.  
The movie got me to thinking what little things I could do to increase my productivity at home.  Being an urban homesteader does take a lot of time and who doesn't need more time anyway?  I started to do some research and think about the subject and here is what I came up with, please post a comment and join in on the discussion if you have any productivity tips you would like to share!

  1. Utilize down time with audio learning (interviews, books on tape) while gardening, driving, cooking, working on projects, etc.  I already listen to King World News interviews on my MP3 player and plan to start to listen to books on tape maybe even learn a new language.
  2. decrease distractions throughout the day (declutter environment (computer,(multiple browsers) physical environment(is your home cluttered?)), limit distractions (like your cat sitting on your lap(I make mine a cat cave), phone, internet, tv, etc.)
  3. Shop online instead of shopping in stores whenever possible
  4. stock up on basics whenever grocery shopping to eliminate unnecessary trips and save on gas
  5. group similar task together (like all computer related task, or cleaning, etc)
  6. cook more in bulk and freeze and make crock pot meals (many of my recipes reflect this and I plan to add more)
  7. limit information.  We have way to much info coming at us in all directions , this helps us to lose focus.  Eliminate mindless Internet surfing. reading several newspapers and checking your RSS feeds multiple times a day. Otherwise, you’ll never get anything done. Instead limit yourself only to information that you can immediately take action on.
  8. learn keyboard shortcuts
  9. auto pay bills and use direct deposit whenever possible
  10. learn to say no You can't do everything don't even try.
  11. outsource whenever possible  I like to try to do everything myself but I plan to be more critical this year of what is really worthy of my time and what makes sense to pay someone to do instead. 
  12. when reading a book only read the relevant parts
  13. Get rid of time wasters. This includes email, checking your stats Blog stats, pinterest, facebook, twitter, stumble upon, television, and extraneous Internet surfing.
  14. Learn to speed read  I haven't tried yet put I plan to try to learn.  I love to read so this will be a big time saver if I can!
  15. Use the ”the sprinter method” and try to work for 90 min uninterrupted no distraction periods followed by 15-30 min beaks.   The idea is that you will get more done by acting like a runner and pushing yourself and giving yourself true recovery time by power napping or meditating during your breaks.  I plan to try it, it sounds logical.
  16. Have breakfast ready in the mourning when you wake up.  This is my productivity discovery from last year.  If you put steel cut oats in a crock pot on warm the night before your whole family will wake up to a hot healthy breakfast and coffee (if you use a programmable coffee maker) already made. 
  17. Complete your most dreaded tasks first thing in the morning. Whichever activity you are dreading the most is probably the one you need to complete first thing in the morning.
  18. Plan out all of your meals a week ahead and make your grocery list accordingly. This will save you quite a bit of time and money.  I plan to make a dry erase board to help with meal planning.
  19. Write out a to-list each day. I like to plan my day the night before. This way, I can get started on my most important tasks as soon as I wake up.
  20. Use a Tivo or DVR to cut an hour-long television show down to just 40 minutes. 
  21. Exercise Using  High Intensity or Peak Fitness Methods.  I'm finally getting a workout routine in place, I plan to alternate between pilates and high intensity work outs.  High intensity workouts are shorter, more intense, and less frequent than conventional work out methods.  The idea is you get the same results with less time.  

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