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46 Easy Ways to Increase Your Productivity

The demands of work and personal life often blend into a continuous loop, and finding ways to increase productivity is essential to try and balance it all. We are busier than ever and there doesn't appear to be any relief in sight.

It doesn't matter if you're a seasoned professional aiming to optimize your workflow, a student juggling multiple responsibilities, or someone simply looking to make the most out of each day, the quest for enhanced efficiency is universal.

Illustration of a focused woman working at a home office setup, with a laptop on a desk surrounded by plants, clock, and various work-related items in a cozy, well-lit room with warm yellow tones.

The good news, there are ways to do that! From time management techniques and organizational tips to mindfulness practices and tech hacks, there are actionable insights that can be tailored to help you achieve more, reduce stress, and reach your full potential for productivity.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase. I only recommend products or services that I personally use and believe will be beneficial to my readers. The earnings from these links help support this website and its content. Thank you for your support!

What is Productivity?

Productivity is all about how well we use our resources to create something valuable. It's often measured by looking at how much work, goods, or services we can produce in a certain amount of time, considering the amount of time, work, and materials we use.

Why is Increased Productivity Important?

Productivity isn't just a business term; it's important in our everyday lives too. It means getting more done in less time, making things better without wasting resources, and making sure our efforts really count.

"Vibrant digital artwork of a woman concentrating on her computer work, with striking blue and red contrasting colors creating a dynamic background, suggesting a creative and energetic work environment

In short, being productive helps us achieve more, improve our processes, and make a bigger impact with what we do, leading to better results and growth.

Based on that, it's no wonder that the drive to increase productivity is across the board regardless of age, genre, profession, etc. So let's take a look at a few things you can do to achieve greater productivity in your personal and professional life.

How to Increase Your Productivity

Increasing your productivity doesn't need to be difficult, in fact, that almost defeats the purpose if it is. These tips are easy, quick, and organized in their ability to help you achieve more in less time.

1. Set Clear Goals

Define what you want to achieve clearly and specifically. Set SMART Goals: Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

2. Prioritize Tasks

Prioritizing tasks is going to determine what you do first based on their importance and deadlines. Because this step and the step above (goals) as so important, I created a free Notion Template that allows you to plan for both. Get it below!

An advertisement for a 'Free Notion Goal Planner & Task Tracker Template', which includes a visual of a tablet displaying the template with sections for SMART goals and task organization. The image also features a prominent 'Free' starburst icon and text that encourages users to easily record and align their tasks with their SMART goals. The 'Made for Notion' badge at the bottom signals compatibility with the Notion ecosystem, against a stylish background with a blend of neutral and green tones.

Achieve your business goals with this Notion Template!

3. Break Down Tasks

Divide larger tasks into smaller, manageable steps. Is your task to write and publish a blog post? Is the goal to clean your office? Great! There are a few tasks involved in cleaning an office, so make a list and work through the tasks one by one checking them off as you complete them. The sense of accomplishment will keep you going!

Are you looking for help cleaning your office? If so, I have the challenge just for you – and it's free! You do it at your own pace, so you can tackle it when it best suits you.

The image features a mockup of a laptop and tablet showcasing the '4-Day Office Transformation Challenge' from Organize Your Online Biz. The graphic indicates that this organizational resource is new and offered for free. It encourages viewers to get their physical space organized, suggesting a structured program to improve the functionality and efficiency of one's office environment. The layout includes a 'Free' starburst icon and a 'New!' label, all set against a dynamic, earth-toned backdrop with green splashes

Declutter and organize your office to promote greater productivity!

Get it for FREE!

4. Use a Planner

Keep a daily planner or digital calendar to schedule your tasks. If you grabbed my Goal & Task Tracker from above, you can link the task list to your Notion Calendar, a new Notion app (at the time of this post). A great feature to help keep you on schedule is the ability to set reminders in Notion!

If you're more about paper planners (who doesn't love a good physical planner with all the coloured pens??), then check out the Sunshine Weekly Planner from my friend E's Intentional E Website. At the time of posting it was free!

Promotional graphic for 'Sunshine Weekly Planner' featuring images of the planner's pages with a design that includes a sun icon and various planning sections. Text highlights that it's a free instant PDF download available in A4 and US Letter size, with the website intentionalbeblog.com mentioned
Image of Intentional E Sunshine Weekly Planner

5. Limit Multitasking

Focus on one task at a time to improve efficiency and quality. I hear you in the background saying, but Lindsay, I was told that multitasking was good. Yes, if you're old enough, you heard this a lot.

But research is starting to show that multitasking is considered less efficient than single-tasking because it forces you to share your concentration with more than one task, thereby reducing your efficiency at all those tasks.

6. Set Deadlines

Even for tasks that don't have one, to create a sense of urgency. Have you ever noticed if something doesn't really have to get done, it never will? Ya, me too!

I have a list of tasks that I haven't put a deadline on and I rarely even look at them to see what they are. By setting a deadline, you're more likely to do it.

7. Eliminate Distractions

Identify and minimize or eliminate distractions in your workspace. Shut off your phone, or silence it and leave it in another room, or install an app where you can set a timer where the phone can't be used for your pre-determined time frame.

A serene home office scene with a woman and child working at their desk, bathed in natural light from sheer curtains. A fluffy white dog sits nearby, adding to the calm and comfortable atmosphere of the room filled with green plants and minimalist decor

8. Use the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management tool where you work for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break. This could be considered a way to break down tasks as it encourages you to just start and do something small towards your larger goal.

9. The Two-Minute Rule

The Two-minute Rule is simple; If a task takes less than two minutes, do it immediately. The idea is to make starting as easy as possible. If you need to write a blog post, the first step might be to open WordPress. That takes two minutes. The rest of the actions might be more challenging, but the first two minutes are easy.

I know you're like, so what? I did it for two minutes. I logged into WordPress. I put away folded clothes for two minutes. I read the first page of my school assignment. Did you finish the task? No. But you know what you did do? You showed up. You made starting something that much easier because showing up for the first two minutes builds a habit. A habit of showing up.

10. Learn to Say No

Politely decline tasks or activities that don't align with your goals. Not every task, request, or assignment is yours to do. Learning to say no can be scary at first if you are used to saying yes all the time, but trust me, it's going to change your life for the better! Plus you'll find out really fast if you constantly say yes, you'll be overrun with tasks and requests.

A woman in a denim jacket with a surprised expression holds up her hand as if to say 'no thanks', set against a blurred background that hints at an outdoor, possibly park-like setting

11. Use Technology Wisely

Utilize apps and tools that enhance productivity, not detract from it. There are so many apps and programs that all promise to enhance your productivity and likely they could work for most people, but it's really important to not be in them all. Pick one that works well for you and run with it.

I love Notion, and you'll find many blog posts, free templates, and products on my site for Notion. I use it extensively in my professional and personal life. I'm also super excited that they have the Notion Calendar now – and it integrates with Google Calendar! Sign up for your free Notion account and get started!

12. Optimize Your Workspace

Create a clutter-free and comfortable work environment. Grab the free 4-day Office Transformation Challenge I posted above and organize your office.

Don't forget about your stationery – this is easily one of those things that can get out of hand incredibly fast! For those of you whose office doesn't have a desk, you can still organize your stationery without a desk.

A neatly organized home office desk with a laptop, desk lamp, and various office supplies, complemented by a potted plant, against a backdrop of a serene wall art piece in a clean, minimalist setting.

13. Take Regular Breaks

Short breaks can improve mental agility and prevent burnout. I'm not just referring to the 5-minute breaks from the Pomodoro Method, I'm talking about a day off, a weekend off, a week off to go on vacation with family or stay at home and relax. Whatever lets you unwind.

We are past the mentality of working ourselves to death!

14. Set a Morning Routine

Start your day with a routine that energizes and focuses you. If you're not sure where to start with a morning ritual, then you need to check out Coach Jenny from Flourish After 40.

I took her Mindful Morning Ritual course and I have only great things to say about it. It transformed my mornings from waking up and starting my day ready to snap at any moment to deep breathing, short meditation, and starting my day off happy and grateful to be alive.

Image of Flourish After 40 Mindful Morning Rituals course

15. Use Affirmations

Positive self-talk can boost confidence and focus. So instead of sending you to a site where someone has created 1001 affirmations, check out this blog post about creating your own affirmations by Coach Chef Kim, retired Pastry Chef and now a Transformational Life Coach.

She walks you through how to create affirmations that are tailored to your specific needs and goals which will help build consistency in showing up every day to accomplish those goals.

16. Stay Organized

Keep your physical and digital spaces organized. We've already talked about keeping your office and desk organized, but you also have to remember to organize your digital files like documents, emails, images, etc.

Are you a Canva user? My friend Pam is a Canva Canvassador and has a course on how to declutter and organize your Canva designs called Canva Clarity

Image of Pam Allen's Canva Clarity course

17. Batch Similar Tasks

Group similar tasks together to streamline your workflow. This is a game changer if you've never batched tasks. For example, do you outline single blog posts, or do you outline 2 or 3 blog posts at a time? While you're in that frame of mind, it's easier to outline 2 or more blog posts, especially if they are related posts. And if you're using AI, then it's that much easier to outline blog posts in batches.

18. Set Time Limits

Allocate specific time slots for tasks to prevent overextension. This is where your Notion Calendar is going to come in handy, the one that integrates with your free Notion Goal and Task Tracker from above.

This is a great time to talk about SOPs as well. If your SOPs are created and you've indicated how long it takes you to complete the task (my SOP template includes this as a section), then you'll be able to schedule achievable tasks within your allotted time. Want an example of an SOP? Check out my Free Blog Post SOP below!

Mockup for a free Blog Post SOP

Create your Blog Post SOP easily with this template that is pre-filled out with common blogging steps!

Get it for FREE!

19. Practice Mindfulness

Regular mindfulness or meditation can improve focus and reduce stress. This can increase productivity. Mindfulness is about being present and aware of where we are and what we are doing. It embodies not being too reactive or overwhelmed by what is going on around us.

Mindfulness is something that, we as humans naturally possess, but like any skill, it must be used to be good at it. That's where practice comes in. If you take the time to practice being mindful, it will come more naturally.

Using mindfulness can be used to regulate your emotions and that can be difficult, and if you're neurodivergent, it can be even harder. Thankfully my friend Shannyn from EF Bomb Coach can lend a hand in navigating this topic – she's even got a blog post titled The Role of Mindfulness in Emotional Regulation,

20. Stay Healthy:

Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and enough sleep are crucial for productivity. Let's face it, those three items are crucial for a good long life, in general. Healthy and Empowered is chock-full of great recipes, how to manage cravings, and how to keep motivated.

When it comes to working out, I'm a huge fan of Amir Zandinejad of Kinstretch With Beard. It's all about mobility training and learning to move your body in ways you haven't since you were a child.

21. Learn Continuously

Acquiring new skills and knowledge helps to improve efficiency in your work. Continuous learning also helps you adapt to change, increase your skill set, help to retain memory function, and in today's world where everything changes so fast, it helps you to survive.

Artistic rendition of a young woman engrossed in reading a book while seated on a park bench, with soft sunlight filtering through autumn leaves, evoking a sense of peaceful learning in an outdoor setting

22. Delegate

If you have a team or assistants, delegate tasks others can do, allowing you to focus on high-priority tasks.

This isn't always possible, especially if you're a solopreneur and you can't afford or haven't hired out tasks, but if you can, take advantage of it so you can focus on those items that move your business along faster.

23. Use Checklists

Checklists can ensure you don't forget to do something, pack something, or go somewhere, etc. In general, they are a great way to quickly note important items, but make sure that you don't get too crazy with checklists because they can quickly become something that you only half use.

A great example is you write down every task, kind of like the part of a brain dump, and then never look at the checklist again because there are 53 things listed and you just don't know where to start so you ignore the whole mess. We have all been there, including me.

Checklists can work well with other productivity tips noted in this article, but as a standalone organizational or productivity tool – be wary.

Close-up of a 'To Do' checklist with empty boxes ready to be ticked off, accompanied by a pen, symbolizing task organization and productivity enhancement

24. Automate Repetitive Tasks

Use automation tools for tasks that are repetitive and time-consuming. Automation is also great for batching work as well. Things like emails – batch a few weeks of emails and schedule them in advance. Create a few weeks of posts/pins/reels, etc and schedule out your social media.

25. Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Learn and use shortcuts for the software you use frequently. This isn't just going to save you time – this is going to help elevate wrist and arm pain from using your mouse too often. Ask me how I know this.

Here are some keyboard shortcut links to some basic software I use.

Google Sheets Keyboard Shortcuts
Google Docs Keyboard Shortcuts
Microsoft Excel Keyboard Shortcuts
Microsoft Word Keyboard Shortcuts
WordPress Keyboard Shortcuts
Canva Keyboard Shortcuts

26. Stay Inspired

Regularly seek out inspiration to stay motivated and focused. Create vision boards, plaster posters around your workspace, whatever it is that helps you to stay pumped to do all the things!

27. Minimize Meetings

Attend only essential meetings or keep them short and focused. Meetings can be useful in connecting with people versus those emails when 7 people are on the email thread and everyone is reply-all responding, but meetings can also be a huge time-waster where nothing is accomplished.

A group of cheerful colleagues engaging in a productive meeting around a table with laptops and coffee cups, in a well-lit office with indoor plants, fostering a collaborative and friendly work environment

I mean, we've all been involved in meetings that revolved around discussing previous meetings or planning for future meetings. If at the end of a meeting, there isn't a plan in place or a problem solved, it was a waste of time.

For most of us who are entrepreneurs and solopreneurs, this probably isn't an issue, but for some, this will hit home.

28. Learn from Mistakes

View mistakes as learning opportunities to improve future productivity. Plus we're all human and we all make mistakes, so if you don't learn from them, you're likely to just repeat them.

And that is a waste of time and not productive at all.

29. Use a Timer

Using a timer can help keep you accountable for how you spend your time. If you're sitting down to do something and you only have 30 minutes before you must be elsewhere, set a timer.

If you're like me, you will make this into a game. How much can I get done in 30 minutes…and go!

You can also embed a timer into your Notion account! Didn't I say that Notion rocked?!

Organize Your Online Biz YouTube video about Embedding a Timer with Audible Alarm in Notion

30. Complete a Time Audit

A time audit is going to give you the best indication of how you spend your days. Simply put, it's tracking exactly what you spend your time on for a consecutive period. Ideally, I would do a full week (7 days) because most people have a weekly routine so that's going to give you a really good indication of how you spend your time each week.

You will want to track everything that you do in 15 to 30-minute increments. I know that might seem a lot, but remember you're sleeping part of that time, cooking, eating, at your kid's sports, at your day job if you have one, etc. So in many cases, you'll be able to pre-fill out the time you know you're busy.

You'll want to review it after for things like, tasks taking way longer than expected. Review your SOP for that task; are there efficiencies you can implement? Did something change that is taking longer? etc.

Are you spending more time than expected watching TV and scrolling social media? Perhaps you can trade some of that time for one of the 45 other items in this list. I mean it could be as simple as going for a walk – eating healthy and exercising is one of the items on this list.

31. Limit Email Checking

Set specific times to check and respond to emails. My email is going off all hours of the day and night. It's even worse when you have an online business because likely you have contacts, clients, customers, or business associates who are in different time zones and you could be sleeping while they're working.

I wouldn't just limit email checking; I would shut off notifications if you can. Constant notifications are distracting and cause you to lose focus. Now, if you're waiting on a super important email this might not be possible, but hopefully, that's not an everyday thing.

Illustration of a woman focused on her laptop with colorful email icons emerging from the screen, in a cozy home office bathed in warm sunlight, suggesting a blend of productivity and digital communication.

32. Practice Gratitude

A positive outlook can improve your work attitude and productivity. It can make us happier in all aspects of our lives, but it's not always easy to feel grateful, especially when tough times are upon us.

Cultivating gratitude takes practice and involves looking at the positive in things versus focusing on the negative.

33. Plan Your Day the Night Before

Planning ahead can help you hit the ground running each morning. It also allows you to focus on your morning ritual first thing versus scrambling to figure out what needs to be done that day.

34. Use the 80/20 Rule

This rule is also known as the Pareto Principle which states that roughly 80% of the outcomes come from 20% of the causes.

So applied to life it means that 80% of your outcomes in life will come from 20% of your work or tasks, so focus on the 20% of tasks that will yield 80% of the results.

Illustration of the Pareto Principle on a piece of torn paper, with a pie chart showing the 80/20 rule: 20% efforts lead to 80% results, against an orange fabric background
A visual image of the Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule)

Check out my 15 time management and task prioritization techniques if you are looking for more options.

35. Stay Hydrated

So we already discussed eating, exercise, etc. and now I've included water as its own tip? Yes, water is so important for us! Drinking water regularly can improve focus and energy levels.

So if you've gotten on board with the Stanley Quencher craze – fill up your cup and sip away!

36. Learn to Rest

Are you a workaholic? Someone who is always working and never takes a break. This one is for you! Taking a rest is beneficial and can make you more productive in the long run.

A joyful family moment on the beach with a man, woman, and two children playing in the sand, the golden hour sunlight enhancing the cheerful and relaxed atmosphere

And then there's another group of people who may need to be told this; Understand the difference between resting and procrastination. If you're procrastinating – that is not resting. Get back to work 😉

37. Avoid Perfectionism

Strive for excellence, not perfection, which can lead to procrastination. As my Coach Sadie Smiley from Passive Income Pathways always says – just do the thing!

Moving forward with a task that is done well and in a timely fashion is better than getting stuck and never moving forward on a task that you're striving to be perfect. By the way, it'll never be perfect. So just “do the thing!”

38. Use Positive Reinforcement

Reward yourself for completing tasks or reaching milestones. I would use time-sensitive rewards sparingly as they can be a double-edged sword. If something out of your control happens to prevent a task from being completed and you've attached a time-sensitive reward to it, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment. Disappointment based on a reward system that you created and then didn't achieve.

Here's an example: Your goal is to post two blog posts today and as a reward, you're going to go out for supper. But something happens; you have to run and get your mom from an appointment and take her home. This wasn't planned. You miss your deadline and those two blog posts don't get published. Now you're a bit choked that you don't get to go for supper. See where this is leading? You're causing your own angst in this scenario.

Gentle hands presenting a small gift box with a delicate pink ribbon, symbolizing thoughtfulness and the joy of giving, set against a soft-focused, light background.

So use rewards, for sure, but maybe keep them for bigger milestones or set rewards that aren't time-sensitive, for example, maybe I'm going to get my nails done at a spa when I publish my 25th blog post. I get this reward at the 25 blog post mark regardless of when I achieve it.

I want to note that this is not to be confused with time-based goals. Goals should have a timeframe associated with them. Time-sensitive rewards should be used with caution to avoid unnecessary disappointment or stress.

40. Stay Flexible

Don't be so rigid in your scheduling that your calendar looks like a unicorn vomited its rainbow bits all over. Be prepared to adjust your plans as needed to accommodate unforeseen circumstances. Like going to pick up your mother from that appointment.

41. Limit Social Media

Social media is a great way to get your presence out there. It can also be a huge time sucker. Use apps to limit your time on social media during work hours and even your personal life. Your kids will thank you.

A joyful young woman laughing as she looks at her phone, with colorful social media emojis floating around her, capturing a moment of digital interaction and happiness outdoors

42. Develop a Growth Mindset

Embrace challenges and persist in the face of setbacks. We all know by now that shit happens. Life comes at you with change after change and if you practice personal growth, you'll be better equipped to handle life's ups and downs.

43. Optimize Your Commute

If you need to commute (as in taking the train or bus) somewhere for work, use this commute time for planning, reading, or other productive activities.

If you're driving somewhere and can't read because you are, well driving. Start up your favourite mindset podcast A great one that I recommend is The Positive Voice by Coach Chef Kimberly Houston with goes into personal growth, wellness, and overcoming life's challenges.

44. Build Strong Habits

Focus on building productive habits that will enhance your daily efficiency. Remember when we talked about the Two-Minute Rule? This rule will help you build strong habits.

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45. Reflect on Your Day

Spend a few minutes at the end of each day reflecting on what you accomplished. I would even add in what you are grateful for. Practicing self-reflection (for both your work and personal life) and gratitude w

46. Review and Adjust Productivity Strategies

Regularly review your productivity strategies and adjust as needed. This goes back to your SOPs. You want to ensure that they are always up to date and as you review them, you'll want to look for ways to increase your efficiency in that task. Can you batch items? Is there new technology that will make the process quicker with fewer errors, etc.?

What Will You Implement Today?

I'm so happy to see that you made it to the end. If you were to implement even a few of these items you'd notice a difference after a while.

The quest for increased productivity never ends for most people, so if I were to add on a 47th item – I'd add to be happy with your progress and again don't get hung up with perfection. You are going to have unproductive days, that is life, accept it and do what you can. Or know when to stop and call it a day.

Your homework: Choose two to three items from above and implement them into your daily routine. Then join the Facebook group and share what those items are and how it's going. See you there!


If This Post Helped You In Any Way, Please Pin One Of These Images Below!

It helps my blog enormously. Thank you!

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Creator and CEO of Organize Your Online Biz, Lindsay Trca

Hi, I'm Lindsay!

A blogger dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs in the online business world. With over 15 years of experience in process documentation and SOP creation, I specialize in streamlining workflows, organizing workspaces, and optimizing digital tools for maximum efficiency. Join me as we transform your business operations with practical insights and budget-friendly solutions.

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3 Comments

  1. Maggie Davenport says:

    Hi Lindsay,

    This is a really great post, with lots of helpful information – I’ll share some of it in my upcoming posts (with full credit, of course!) if you don’t mind.

    PS: I found you in one of Sadie’s incredible trainings! As soon as I open an account, I will be sure and ‘pin’ this!

    1. Hi Maggie,

      Thank you much for the kind words! I am honoured (and frankly just tickled pink) that you took the time to write this comment and that you want to share my content. I also have an affiliate program if you’re interested (to return some of the love) Shoot me an email at lindsay@organizeyouronlinebiz.com.

      Please send me your Pinterest account when you get it setup and I’ll follow back. 🙂

      P.S. Sadie and PIPs is amazing, I promote her content whenever I can!

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