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17 Productivity Tips to Help You Level Up

Imagine what would happen if you could do more in less time. Now, make it a reality with these powerful productivity tips.

Motion Blog
of Motion
Jun 20, 2023
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Do you ever clock out of work feeling drained? You’ve done a lot, but you have this nagging feeling that you should have done so much more.

But how can you squeeze more productivity into a limited amount of time? How can you work more efficiently?

You might wonder how other people finish their work in four hours while you’re not even halfway done in six. Are they superhuman? Do they have a secret you don’t know about?

No, they’re not superhuman. And they don’t have secrets, either. They’re just really good at time management.

Now here’s the good news: anyone can learn how to be more productive and better at managing their time. And we’re about to show you how.

We’ve compiled a list of 17 productivity tips that’ll have you working so efficiently you’ll reach your true potential in no time.

Check them out below!

1. Set daily goals

If you’ve ever looked back at your day and wondered what you’ve accomplished, then chances are you haven’t prioritized correctly. And if you don’t know how or what to prioritize, you probably don’t have a goal to pursue.

So set one now.

In fact, set one every day. What do you want to accomplish by the end of the day? How will this move your business or career forward?

The tasks you do every day should contribute to your future success. If you’re moving toward your future goal, you’re going to feel more accomplished at the end of the day — which is key to keeping your momentum going and getting the most out of all these productivity tips.

2. Plan your day ahead of time

“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them,” says David Allen, the creator of the Getting Things Done (GTD) method.

Storing every decision you need to make in your head takes up a lot of cognitive bandwidth and prevents you from actually getting things done. That’s because you’re too busy trying to remember all your ideas and responsibilities!

Make it easier on your brain and plan your day ahead of time with a daily planner or an app.

According to Brian Tracy, spending 10 to 12 minutes planning out your day can save you up to two hours and help you sail through your tasks. Less stress and two extra hours per day? Sign me up!

3. Make a to-do list

One popular way to plan your day is to make a to-do list. It’s super easy — all you need is a pen and paper. Or you can go digital with the numerous to-do list apps out there. Plus, it feels really good when you cross an item off. Ah, the taste of sweet, sweet victory…

But while to-do lists are a great way to get organized, we have something even better. Something that’ll get you organized without you having to manually do it yourself. In fact, it could even be considered a productivity hack.

To read more about it, check out our article, “Stop Using To-Do List Apps Like Todoist, TickTick and Here’s Why.

4. Prioritize and delegate

To get things done, you have to know which tasks to do first and which ones can wait. That’s where prioritization comes in.

There are many ways to prioritize. Some use the Pareto principle (a.k.a. the 80/20 rule), while others use the Eisenhower Matrix. You can also sort tasks into groups based on their importance — high, medium, or low.

Do the most pivotal tasks first, and if possible, delegate low-priority tasks. But make sure not to micromanage when delegating!

5. Identify your most productive time of day

Everyone has a time of day when they’re the most productive. For most people (75%), that’s in the morning, but some may do their best work in the afternoon or evening.

Determine your most productive time. Then, schedule your most important tasks for that part of the day. As your energy wanes, you can switch to less cognitive-demanding tasks, such as checking your emails.

6. Eat the frog

We’ve all heard the saying, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” While this may sound strange, the idea behind it holds valuable wisdom for boosting productivity.

Just to be clear, we’re not talking about dining on amphibians here. Your “frog” is your biggest, most unpleasant task of the day — often the one you procrastinate on the most.

If you’re most productive earlier in the day, tackle your most daunting task in the morning. That way, you’ll ensure that the task doesn’t hang over your head, draining your mental resources.

7. Block out time on your schedule

You won’t get something done unless you carve out some time for it, so assign each important task to a block of time in your schedule.

There are many ways to do this. Some use the Pomodoro Technique, where they work on a task for 25 minutes at a time and then take a two to five-minute break. Others work according to their ultradian rhythm — 90 minutes of sustained focus and then a 20-minute break.

The Pomodoro Technique

‎Motion takes time blocking to a whole new level. It will reserve large parts of your schedule for deep work and, if anything changes, reshuffle your schedule.

Read more about this awesome feature in our article, “Why Traditional Time Blocking Methods Don’t Work.”

8. Stop procrastinating with the 2-minute rule

Are you a chronic procrastinator or easily overwhelmed by everything you have to do on a workday? Try using the 2-minute rule.

If you can do something in two minutes or less, just do it. Do it right now, at this very moment. Don’t delay.

If you can’t do something in two minutes and it’s not important, then you have two choices — either delegate it to someone else or store it away for later.

With Motion, you can simply create this task, label it with the correct priority, and assign it to yourself or a team member. Motion will automatically add it to your (or their) schedule. Easy peasy!

9. Avoid multitasking

Multitasking doesn’t really mean doing multiple tasks at the same time.

What you’re actually doing is switching between tasks, which places greater demand on the brain. Therefore, people who multitask almost always take longer to complete their tasks. They also make more mistakes.

If you’re a chronic multitasker, don’t worry. Motion will display a subtle banner on your screen, gently nudging you to stay focused on your current task.

10. Use productivity apps

Productivity is all about working smarter, not harder. And what better way to work smart than by using productivity apps?

These tools are designed to streamline your workflows, improve your focus, block out distractions, and help you work more efficiently. But be careful not to overdo it. Switching between apps can slow you down, which is why we recommend a tool that has all the bases covered.

Motion is a calendar, project manager, task manager, and meeting assistant all rolled into one convenient package. Now that’s efficient!

To learn more about the best productivity apps, check out our article, “The 10 Best Productivity Apps You’ll Regret Missing Out On.”

11. Automate repetitive manual tasks

Are there tasks you perform repeatedly that don’t add any value? If so, you can automate them. That’ll free up some time for truly valuable stuff.

‎Motion can automate low-value tasks. Our algorithms prioritize your tasks for you and add them to your schedule. And when things change — as they inevitably will — it’ll also shuffle them around for you.

12. Take frequent breaks

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “productivity”?

Be honest now.

It’s something like, go, go, go, right? Squeeze as much as you can into your day. If you have any free time at all, then you’re not being productive.

That way of thinking is known as “toxic productivity,” and it’s got to stop. The truth is you need to take breaks to be productive. Forcing yourself to work when you’re at your breaking point only makes you less efficient, which decreases your productivity.

So go ahead, take your breaks. They can be as short as two to five minutes or as long as an hour. You know your own body best.

13. Set boundaries

Some people have a hard time saying no, but if you want to be productive, you’ve got to set some boundaries. Otherwise, you’ll be neck-deep in tasks that don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.

When someone calls you up and asks you to do something, think about whether that task will gel with your own priorities or not. If it won’t, just say no. No explanations necessary. Just a firm yet polite no.

14. Remove distractions

Your inbox is overflowing, your apps are pinging with notifications, and your colleagues are gossiping about the latest celebrity faux pas. With your attention scattered across a million different things, it’s not exactly an environment conducive to productivity, is it?

That’s why it’s essential to remove as many distractions as possible. Otherwise, you’ll never get anything done. Turn off your notifications, put your phone on silent mode, and isolate yourself from your colleagues if you have to. You’ll get so much more done.

15. Batch your tasks

Task batching is when you take similar tasks and dedicate a specific time in your schedule to do them all together. It helps you focus since you’re not jumping from project to project and removes the urge to multitask.

To batch your tasks, break down bigger projects into smaller ones and group tasks based on similarities. For example, replying to emails and returning phone calls can be grouped together.

You can also batch your tasks by how much focus they need and schedule them according to when you’re most alert.

For example, you might want to batch all your tasks that require high concentration in the morning if that’s when you’re most productive. Tasks requiring moderate concentration can be scheduled after your lunch break, while those that need only low concentration can be done at the end of the day.

16. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is the intentional practice of being fully present in the current moment without passing judgment.

Practicing mindfulness not only helps you laser-focus but also lessens stress. So when your mind starts to wander off, whether it’s worrying about tight deadlines or nitpicking the last project you completed, gently nudge yourself back to the here and now.

Let’s say you’re knee-deep in a challenging task, and stress starts gnawing at your sanity. Instead of throwing in the towel, hit the pause button and bring out mindfulness as your secret weapon.

Acknowledge those racing thoughts without labeling them as good or bad, and focus on your breath. Ride the wave of each inhale and exhale, letting it wash away the noise and clutter.

You’ll emerge from this mindful moment with a fresh perspective, ready to tackle the task at hand with newfound clarity and composure.

17. Create a routine

Did you know that people who have a consistent morning routine earn an additional $12,500 annually compared to those who don’t? A morning routine gives you the chance to set your intentions for the day.

If you’re not a morning person, just find the most productive time of your day and create a routine around that.

Supercharge your productivity with Motion

Imagine leaving work with a sense of accomplishment. You’ve done everything you set out to do, you’re way ahead of deadlines, and you’ve been so focused lately that time just flies by.

All because of a few productivity tips.

You no longer have to rush around trying to get everything done — and stressing yourself out in the process. You’re no longer anxious. And you’ve been able to save yourself time every day by planning in advance.

With Motion, you’ll save an extra two hours every day. Yes, that’s right — Motion users finish work two hours earlier every day. Imagine that!

What would you do with all that extra time? Try Motion and find out.

Motion Blog
Written by Motion Blog