12 Tips for Sustainable Productivity - Thyme Is Honey

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12 Tips for Sustainable Productivity: move the needle ever day without burning out using these twelve realistic tips

Productivity is sorta funny. It’s easy to feel like you either need to go all in or not at all. That’s why I like to embrace the idea of sustainable productivity – a level of productivity that you can maintain without burning out or exhausting yourself.

These are twelve habits that can help you stay productive each day while maintaining healthy boundaries and having time for yourself.

  1. Designate 5 minutes at the start of your day to plan and organize – I call this a “power up” routine. It entails opening up the digital services I use for staying organized (Google Calendar, Microsoft To-Do, and Google Drive) and parsing necessary information onto paper (I use The Daily Page Planner) to create a to-do list so I have one place to focus throughout the day.
  2. Start your day with 3 simple, quick tasks to create momentum – Instead of doing the thing you dread or your hardest task first, try doing three simple, fast tasks that help you create momentum and positive endorphins that will carry you into more complex tasks.
  3. Stay hydrated by sipping water consistently throughout the day – The first signs of mild dehydration are brain fog and fatigue. You’ll get way more done if you are staying hydrated, so your brain is functioning optimally (the Daily Page Planner has a hydration tracker right next to your to-do list!)
  4. Do focused work, followed by short, impactful breaks – Most of us can’t focus for more than 25-45 minutes at a time. Try splitting your day up into “focus sessions” divided by short breaks.
  5. Limit distractions and try using a timer for focus sessions – During a focus session, remove distractions. Put your phone in a drawer. Close unnecessary tabs. Put in earplugs. Try using a productivity timer (this is my favorite one).
  6. Start your to-do list the night before to reduce stress – This tip can be life-changing! Adding just a few things to tomorrow’s to-do list at the end of the day can help alleviate stress so that you enjoy your evening, sleep better, and wake up feeling motivated.
  7. Set start-up tabs so your browser auto-opens the services you need – You can customize your browser so that whenever you start it, it will open up a set of tabs and log you in. This can save you time and prompt you to do certain tasks (like checking customer messages, filling in a habit tracker, publishing a new post, etc.). Do it in Google Chrome: Open your browser and organize all of your tabs how you’d want them at start-up (i.e. log in to your services, go to the dashboard or exact page you want to access, etc). Once it’s set up how you want it on startup, click on the three dots in the top right of your browser, select “settings”. On the left side, click “On startup”. Select “open a specific set of pages” and then the blue text that says “Use Current pages”.
  8. Organize important sites, tools, and info in bookmark folders – For example, if you publish a podcast, you could create a Bookmark Folder titled “Podcast,” where you have your podcast editor, hosting site, and drafts folder organized. Now when you’re ready to edit a new episode, you can just right-click and choose “Open all,” and in one second, you’ll have all the services open that you need to go through your podcast editing workflow. Do it in Google Chrome: Choose to have your bookmark bar always display in your browser by click the three dots in the top right corner, Bookmarks, then check “Show Bookmarks Bar”. When the Bookmark Bar displays, simply right click on it and choose “add folder”. You can then add bookmarks to folders by visiting the URL and clicking the star icon in the address bar.
  9. Set up email templates for the 10-20 emails you send most frequently – Are there emails you find yourself sending over and over again? Rather than waste time typing it out each time, create a template or canned email that auto-fills. Do it in Gmail: First, you’ll need to enable templates by going to settings > see all settings > then click on the “Advanced” tab from the top > scroll down to the “templates” section and click “enable.” Now, when you are composing an email, you can click on the three-dot icon in the bottom right and choose “templates.” When you click on a template option from the drop-down menu, it will paste it into the email body. Note: you can also add hyperlinks and formatting, so go wild! I use this for all my customer service replies (how to download files, how to return an order, etc, and it saves SO much time).
  10. Shorten the default meeting duration time on your calendar – The default setting is often 30 minutes, but try decreasing the default meeting duration to 15 or 10 minutes and encourage people to only schedule the amount of time they need. Do it in Google Cal: Open your calendar and click on the gear icon in the top right, click settings. Click on “event settings” along the left and then adjust the Default Duration from the dropdown.
  11. Make note of gratitude or your biggest accomplishment each day – If you feel like your days blur together, try “highlighting”. This practice draws attention to a unique or special part of each day so that they stand out. Try writing down your biggest accomplishment or a moment you felt grateful for (I love that The Daily Page Planner has space for gratitude)
  12. Spend 5 minutes reconciling and updating info and systems – If we don’t keep our systems organized, they end up in a state of entropy that causes us to distrust them. The best way to avoid this is to develop a regular habit of keeping them up-to-date. I reconcile and update all of my systems at the end of each day to ensure they are always reliable, and call this my “power down” routine.

Want to learn more about sustainable productivity? Consider jumping on the waitlist for my group course, Thyme Transformation! If you’re looking for an online course that will teach you how to set up strong, reliable digital systems that keep you organized, focused, and motivated — this is for you! The next session begins on November 28th, 2022. You can learn more and get on the waitlist by clicking here, and I’ll reach out to let you know when registration opens. Plus, you’ll get instant access to my best-selling Habit Tracker as soon as you join the list!

12 Tips for Sustainable Productivity

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