7 Small Changes to Improve Your Productivity and Life

Photo cred: RickyDavid

I’ve been trying some different things to improve my productivity and life in general.

Keep in mind, I’m an entrepreneur, I also do consulting and I work from wherever I want.  So I can be a bit more flexible than others who have less control of their schedules and environments.

Thought I’d share what has worked for me so far.

1. Deleted twitter and facebook from my phone.  Turned off all notifications (especially Path).

Why: Because it was a constant distraction.  I realized I actually became addicted to checking my phone. The notifications are what pulled me in.  Once I got rid of those, it really has an impact.

2. Scheduling out tasks on my to-do list throughout the day so I know when I intend to attack each one.

Why: I had a problem of letting my todo list build up.  I used TeuxDeux which was great, but my list would quickly become daunting, and I would have trouble prioritizing.  Now I just use text edit and manually manage todo lists, and I’ll schedule out slots in my day on gcal for when I will work on them.

3. Start every day with a workout of some sort.  Sometimes just pushups, sometimes a run, sometimes Yoga.

Why: Starts every day off with a win. And I feel better.  Yoga has especially been amazing mentally and physically. Highly recommend trying it.

4. Working in smaller chunks.  Usually something like 11-1.  Then again from 3-5.  Then again from 8-10.  I take time to walk around, read, paint, draw, watch tv, work out again, etc…

Why: If I sit in front of a computer too long, I start to lose focus and end up wasting time.  Plus, I wanted to pick up some of my old hobbies.  Painting has been great.  Gets the creative juices flowing, which helps as an entrepreneur.  Yoga in the middle of the day has also been a good way to reset my mind.  I try to spend some time outside every day as well.  Walking around, or at the top of Bernal Heights for some contemplation time.

5. I wake up early and make a point to not check my computer or email until I’m ready to start working.

Why: I used to wake up, and immediate open up my computer.  Before I knew it, it was 12pm and I hadn’t even put clothes on.  And I’d usually waste a lot of time just perusing news stories.  I found that if I wake up early and spend an hour or two doing something else first, when I start working, I know exactly what I need to get done.  I open my computer with a purpose.

6. I switch up my workspace every couple days.

Why: I think it’s because our moods change, the weather changes, the things we need to do change.  Having the flexibility to choose a place that suits where my mind at and what my needs are has helped me a lot.  Sometimes I work from home and sometimes I go up to the Le Web office.  Sometimes I work out of Wix Lounge (Which has an AMAZING deck and is free) and sometimes I work out of a coffee shop (usually Haus).

7. Listen to Classical music while I work.  I’m listening to Mozart rock out right now!

Why:  I love music.  Maybe too much.  When I listen to music with words, I get really into it and can lose focus on what I’m doing.  Classical music has no words, it’s consistent, it makes for great background music and it’s inspiring.

Hope at least one of these changes might help you too.

Would love to hear what has worked for you. If you have a good one to add to the list, leave a comment.

4 comments
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Richard Scudder
Richard Scudder like.author.displayName 1 Like

I think you've hit 7 for 7 on this list. It comes down to some discipline and structure and if you're an entreprenuer that's something you've got to create yourself.

DavidSpinks
DavidSpinks moderator

@Richard Scudder Truth.  Thing is, discipline and structure looks different for everyone.  What works for one person may not work for another.  I learned that a lot of the environments I was put in when working for others wasn't the best environment for me.

clementyeung
clementyeung like.author.displayName 1 Like

Totally agree brother. I am guilty of a fair few things you've mentioned you've ditched because you saw the inefficacy of them. Thanks for taking the time to remind me!

P.S. Try listening to progressive trance, inspiring movie soundtracks or binaural beats when working—it really gets my brain moving!

DavidSpinks
DavidSpinks moderator

@clementyeung hehe once I get my fill of classical, I may explore some new ones.  Right now, I'm loving this shit (=Thanks for the comment brother.