It’s so easy to see an idea about productivity, or fitness, or general life-improvement, and be like “Wow, what a great idea! I should do that!” and then never, ever think about that idea again. I do it all the time, and I’m sure you do, too. But today is different. Today’s going to be more productive, because this post is about today, and if you take even one of these quick and easy steps, you’ll be more productive. Let’s get shit done, people.
How to Make Today More Productive
If you hate cleaning, we’re in the same boat. I always find it overwhelming, because I put it off and then have to tackle enormous messes. So from now on, even if it’s just for today, every time you walk into a room, clean it a little. Not the whole thing, not a lot, just a little. Fold the blanket on the couch, put all your makeup back in its designated drawer, do two or three dishes in the sink. When you leave, take the trash out with you, and when you come back, straighten the shoes by the door. I’m sure you can think of a million little things that need doing!
Alternately, take half an hour and deep-clean one room or area. I was feeling extra-productive today, so I after I came home from grocery shopping, I emptied the leftovers out of the fridge, did all the dishes in the sink, wiped down the counters, cleaned the stovetop, and scrubbed all the exploded food out of the microwave. It took me maybe thirty minutes in total, and I (and my kitchen!) feel so much cleaner and lighter because of it.
Make a List
“Megan,” you say “this is terribly over-repeated advice.” Bear with me. Get a piece of paper out (not later, do it now – that’s the point), or even the notepad app on your phone. Sit down and think of the things you need to get done for work, school, friends, family, whatever. Deadlines, due dates, cards to send, emails to respond to. All those nagging, annoying little thoughts that pop up at inopportune moments. Get them written down. Keep that list with you. Add to it, take things off, keep it updated for as long as you can – it doesn’t have to be forever. But today, make the list, and do three things on it. (If you’ve got a bullet journal, this might be the perfect place for your list!)
Get Your Emails Under Control
I’ve been saying this a lot lately because it works. I spent Friday going through pretty much every email a college sent me in high school to recruit me/my application fee, plus all the backed up campus newsletters and massmail alerts that have accumulated since I started my Gmail account. All told, I deleted or archived 9,000 emails. Anything that’s left in my actual inbox is waiting for me to act on it, and the desire to keep it clear helps motivate me. So if you have a few spare minutes, go through your inbox – even just a page or two – and get rid of the emails you don’t need.
Plan Your Week
Not your whole week, obviously. But plan something you do daily out for a week – maybe it’s when you need to get up, so set your alarms accordingly. Maybe it’s what you’ll have for dinner – add anything you need to that list you made earlier. Maybe it’s a plan of attack for a larger project – breaking it into small chunks will make it more manageable. Whatever you decide to plan for, put your plan up somewhere you’ll see it a lot, to keep you accountable.
Are these earth-shattering changes to your routine? Nope. But that’s what makes them work. If you can add just one of these things to your life today (I suggest the list!), then you’ll get a little bit more done. And if you add one more tomorrow, and another the day after that, and another the day after that… Well, you get the picture.
So what are you doing to make today more productive? Leave a comment – it’ll make you more accountable!