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3 Simple Hacks to Increase Your Productivity (and Happiness)

“There’s too much to do and not enough time to do it.”

I hear this all the time. And, really, I HEAR it and I empathize because I have totally been there.

Listen, when my kids were little, I was so disorganized and stressed out that I actually started a day planner company so I could create products that would help me with my own issues.

What I’ve learned along the way is that there is enough time. The problem is, life hands us too many opportunities to let that time slip away.

Sometimes, it’s very small changes that make the biggest impact. You don’t have to run a marathon to get into great shape; you don’t have to train as a chef in France in order to make delicious meals; and you don’t have to change your life to increase your productivity. You just have to decide.

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Put Your To-Do List in Your Calendar.

Put your to-do list in your calendar

This is such an easy hack but it’s made a huge difference for me. When you actually carve out the time in your schedule to do certain things, the chances that they will actually get done increase dramatically.

I learned this lesson initially many years ago, when my kids were little. I complained to my then-therapist, who had prescribed daily exercise as feel-good medicine, that the reason I wasn’t working out was there “Just wasn’t enough time.” He matter-of-factly told me to schedule it every day in my calendar.

Miraculously, he was right. As soon as that workout session was in my calendar, all of a sudden I had time for it.

The same applies to everything else on your to-do list.

  1. Check Email and Social Media 2 Times per Day.

Set your alarm and only check email and social media 2 times per day.

It’s always been true that email and social media can be massive time-sucks, but it’s never been truer than it is today. With all the turmoil in the world, my Facebook feed has started to resemble a vortex of doom, and it’s tempting to keep scrolling…kind of like it’s tempting to check out that car crash you’re passing on the highway.

So, go ahead and do it, but only do it twice a day. Once in the morning and once in the evening is what works for me. And set yourself a time limit so you don’t get caught in the vortex.

Same thing with email. Check it once in the morning and once at night. Keep your replies short and to-the-point. And then get out of there and go live your life.

  1. Have An Absolute No List.

Give yourself permission to only do the things you want to do.

Make a list of things you absolutely, positively do not want to do. And then, give yourself permission to honor that list.

A few items on my No list:

  • Answering the door when I’m not expecting someone
  • Answering the phone when I don’t recognize the number
  • Volunteering at school when it doesn’t involve direct contact with my child(ren)
  • Going out more than 1 night during the week

Do you have any hacks that make you more productive? Please share them in the comments below!

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