Today I’m sharing 10 top tips for healthy productivity. When I say healthy productivity, I mean a more balanced holistic version of productivity, which means not hustling, not doing too much, not spreading yourself too thin and not taking pride in overworking yourself. That is not cool anymore. I’m really anti-hustle culture, more for living a more balanced life.
I’m all about redefining productivity, not wearing a badge, being proud of how busy you are, but instead having a healthy, balanced productivity where you’re still getting work done, you’re still proud of yourself, but you’re also happy and at peace and giving energy to other areas of your life. If you’re new here, feel free to subscribe down below. Click that bell for videos on personal growth and lifestyle design. Alright, let’s get into the tips.
The first tip for healthy productivity is to find your why.
You actually need to take some time to think about why you want to be productive. Why do you care to be productive? What are you trying to achieve? A lot of people want to be productive just for the sake of being productive. They just want to do it, and they don’t know why they just want to achieve and achieve and achieve.
Dig deep and figure out why you care so much about being productive. Why are you watching this video in the first place? Having a strong and good enough why will help motivate you to stay productive and stay on your plan that you’ve created for yourself. Most of the time, we tend to fall off our productivity because we’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Maybe you’re studying really hard for school, but you don’t really care about your class.
Maybe you’re doing this for your parents or to impress your peers or to achieve a societal notion of what success looks like. Is your why fueled by something negative or positive? Do you want to be productive? Because you’re scared that if you don’t graduate from school, that your parents are going to disown you and this and that, do you want to be productive at all costs because somehow in your life you’ve intertwined your self-worth with your level of productivity, or do you want to be productive because you genuinely find a sense of fulfillment in being proud of yourself and getting some things done. I encourage you to take some time to journal to this question: Why do I care about being productive?
Why do I want to be productive? But bottom line is everybody needs a why.
And it’s better if you have a clear, strong and positive why. Tip number two: define what productivity is for you and then track it.
This one is often overlooked. I think a lot of people define productivity as doing as much as you can, just the efficiency of getting as much done in a given amount of time, but productivity can mean different things to different people. So I used to define productivity as doing as much as I can and getting as much done and that led me to burnout. So now I have redefined productivity in a sense that balance is the most important thing for me.
So productivity to me is living a life that has equal and balanced amounts of work, play, and rest, because we need all of those things.
Basically, what’s really important to me is having the awareness of what I need at any given moment and then giving myself what I need at any given moment. So for example, if you have been working really hard and you’re super tired and exhausted, the productive thing for me is to rest, because you need to rest if you’re exhausted, but if you have been not doing so much, and you have a lot of free time where you’ve kind of been wasting away your time, then the most productive thing in that case is to do something or do anything. So define what productivity means to you. Maybe it includes doing your morning routine, nurturing your relationships in your life. Those things are all productive, even though they’re not typically labeled as a work.
So after you’ve defined what productivity means to you, then break it down in a way where you can track it and ideally track this weekly or monthly if possible.
One example of tracking that’s in the Artist of Life Workbook is the self reflection wheel. Basically you rate from one to ten, how well you’re doing in the different areas of life, whether it’s career, relationships, personal growth or whatever. So the self-reflection wheel in the workbook is quarterly. So I am excited about our new weekly planner that we’re launching in the fall.
That one has a weekly reflection layout, where you can rate how you’re doing in every area of your life at the end of each week.
So I feel like being able to track your productivity each week is really helpful because you gain greater self-awareness through that. The next productivity tip is to focus down as much as you can. So it is easier to be productive when you number one, know what you’re going to focus on. And then number two, break it down into smaller parts and then focus on the smallest piece.
So a lot of people get overwhelmed when there is a big to-do on your list. I’m sure you’ve put a task on your to-do list and procrastinated on it for like months, because it just felt so overwhelming for some reason, you just couldn’t bring yourself to do it. So the best productivity tip I can ever give is to really break down your tasks into the easiest, smallest, next step, and then focus on that next step. Don’t focus on all the ten things you have to do. Focus on that baby step number one.
If you’re trying to start a podcast, do not put ‘start a podcast’ on your to-do list. That could be your intention, but you got to break it down into smaller parts. So you know what to focus on.
For example, you might break it down into: research where to host a podcast, make a list of podcast episode ideas, research the best mic or audio equipment to buy. If those still sound too overwhelming, you can also break those down even further.
Idenati is a personal information manager that organizes your online presence. So if you’re the type of person that has a bunch of tabs open, as you’re working, Idenati can really help you simplify that and get rid of all those distractions, It works by organizing your digital spaces into tiles.
So a tile is where you link a webpage that you frequently go to. So you can add tags to your tiles, which makes it really easy for you to search them in the search bar or through the category drop down menu. So I like to group similar tasks together.
So I have all my meetings together, all the websites I use when I’m working on the shop, all the websites I use when I’m working on YouTube and content creating. Ultimately, Idenati makes it really easy to be more mindful and intentional about how you spend your time online. For example, if I were to just open the YouTube homepage, it would just show me everything that is recommended on the front page, and I could easily get distracted. But with Idenati, all I have to do is click this tile that I already custom created. And then it will take me to the upload page, which is exactly where I was intending to go, just to upload a video on YouTube, instead of getting distracted by all the videos that I could watch, you can also connect Idenati to your Google calendar.
And there’s also a built in notes feature where you can keep your notes and to do’s. What’s nice about the notes is you can also add due dates to your to-dos as well as link a tile to your to-do. So if you need to go to a specific tile or websites, you just click it right there and it’ll lead you straight to where you want it to go. If you guys are interested in simplifying your online workspace check out Idenati at the link down below. Moving on to top tip number four, reduce the time between knowing and doing.
So there is a time where, you know, you have to do something or you want to do something. And then there is a time where you actually do it. So this tip is to reduce that time as much as possible. If you know, you have to do something, try to take a baby step right away, or the next day actually don’t even delay it to the next day.
Just try to do it as soon as possible, because that will help build momentum to actually doing that thing.
The larger time you leave between knowing and doing the harder it’s actually going to be to start that task. For some reason, the longer we procrastinate on something, the harder it becomes, because it just becomes this mental wall, this block. So in order to kind get over that obstacle, get over the hump wall, that small, just do something small right away, even if it’s a tiny thing, because the longer you wait, the bigger that hump is going to be.
So reduce the time between knowing and doing. Tip number five is batching.
So batching is one of the top productivity tips out there because it’s so effective. Batching essentially means doing the same kind of tasks all altogether at once batching the same task or similar tasks together. Don’t spread yourself too thin with too many different types of activities in one day, for example, writing emails for 15 minutes and then going running an errand, and then coming back home and researching something for a couple of hours.
Don’t do that. Be efficient with your time.
Once you’re doing one activity, do everything that is similar at the same time, answer all your emails at once. Don’t just answer them like sporadically throughout the day, do all your errands at the same time. I feel like for some people it’s common sense, but at the same time, it’s not because a lot of people don’t realize how important it is to batch things. The reason why batching is so effective is because there is something called context switching, which means switching from one task to another, the time in between switching is inefficient and it also allows room for distractions.
So if you’re switching from one type of task to another, you might take an Instagram break in between, or somehow you’ll find a way to fill up that time so that you’re actually spending less time doing the real work, more time just switching between all these activities.
So what I recommend you do is make a list of all the activities that you typically need to do in your work week. Whether you need to spend time on emails, researching, creating, shooting photos, whatever it is, list out everything that you have to do in your job in a week, and then start to categorize and group things together. Things that would be more efficiently done together. Once you have a set plan on what you’re going to batch and when you’re going to do it, that makes it so much easier to block out any distractions and say no to anything that does not belong in that batch.
That way, when you’re doing that one type of activity, you’re focused and you’re able to get into flow, which makes it really productive because flow is the state where you feel you’re just, you’re in the zone, you’re working hard and you don’t even feel tired.
Like time is just flying by. And that’s the ideal state that you want to be in because it’s productive and it’s fun. The next step to be more productive is to time yourself. Time yourself and see how long it takes for you to typically do things. This will help you set expectations for yourself, because it allows you to have awareness of how long it actually takes you to do a certain task.
How long do you actually spend writing a blog post? How long do you actually spend writing an Instagram caption? I had to do this with my workflow because for the longest time I would underestimate the amount of time it takes to record a voiceover to edit a video. It just always took me so much more time than I thought it would.
And I would always end up working late hours and just burning myself out because I thought that I could finish this video in two days, but instead I needed four or five days to do it.
And so I had to get more realistic about, okay, how much time do I actually need to write a voiceover? So I started timing myself. I time myself on how long it takes to write a script. I time myself, how long it takes to actually record, and then how long to edit. And of course you need to do this a few times in order to get like an average amount.
So you’re really experimenting on yourself. So you can gain clarity on the average time it takes.
And once you have that average, you can plan your days so much better because you know, “oh okay, it takes me two to three hours to write a voiceover script. So I need to block out that time in my calendar, at least two to three hours.” I can’t just be like, “oh, in 30 minutes I’ll knock it out” because that’s not realistic.
Obviously you can use a simple timer on your phone, but I also recommend the website Toggl to time how long it takes to do certain tasks, because you can time multiple things on there and have it all saved. And another website that I just discovered, that’s really fun. It’s called lifeat.io where it’s a timer, but you can also study whether it’s in nature or with celebrities. So you can literally study with BTS BLACKPINK, all these K-pop stars.
And it feels like you’re working with someone. And that website also has Pomodoro timer, which is another mini tip I have for you. I’m sure everyone already knows that tip.
So it’s not one of my main tips, but Pomodoro timer is the strategy to work in 25 minutes segments. So set a timer for 25 minutes and then you work and you’ll just find that it’s easier to focus in 25 minute increments telling yourself, “okay, for this 25 minutes, I’m not going to do anything else.
I’m just going to focus on this thing.” Tip number seven, use the 80/20 role. So I’m sure you’ve heard of the 80/20 rule. It’s also known as Perino’s principle, the 80/20 rule states that 80% of the consequences come from 20% of the causes. So this is a rule that you can see in so many different categories of life, where 20% of the effort yields 80% of the results.
It’s usually like this in business where 20% of your products that yields 80% of the revenue or 20% of your videos yields 80% of your views on YouTube. So think about this rule and see how it applies to your life and your productivity.
You’ll find that some of the things that you do are more impactful than the others, 20% of your effort yields 80% of the results. So the exercise here is to do some reflection and to break it down, whether you have stats or whether it’s just through your intuition and you feel like what part of your work is the 20% that yields 80% of the results. That’s where you want to put more of your time into.
So this is how you do less, but work on the right things. The very important, very impactful things, and still get basically the same amount of stuff done. Don’t waste too much time on the actions that take a lot of time and energy out of you, but have very little impact. Just cut it out if you can, and focus on the important, impactful 20%. My next productivity tip for you is to set mini deadlines.
So mini deadlines are the smaller deadlines leading up to the big deadline.
So if you just have the big deadline in your head, it’s going to feel abstract because it’s so far away. So break it down into smaller and smaller deadlines to make it feel more tangible. There is a law called Parkinson’s law that states that work expands to fill the time needed for completion. Meaning if you give yourself two weeks to do something, it’s going to take you two weeks to do it.
But if you give yourself two months to do that same exact thing, it’s going to take you two months to do that same exact thing. So that just goes to say that the time that you give yourself to do something, that’s the amount of time your work is going to fill up to feel like it fits in that time.
So that is why sometimes when you don’t even set a deadline, the work never gets done because the work literally fills up forever. It goes on for infinity and you just don’t get around to finishing it. So that is something to be aware of, be aware of how our perception works, that your brain fills up the time it takes to complete a task, depending on the deadline.
You give it. If you have a deadline set, two months later, your brain is going to think it’s going to take two months to get there. When in reality, it might just take a couple of weeks maybe who knows. So use deadlines to your advantage, set mini deadlines. Tip number nine is be your own cheerleader.
You want to make sure that throughout this process, you are giving yourself emotional support. You are making sure that your self-talk is positive.
You are making sure that you are not criticizing yourself, feeling bad about yourself in your head. Don’t beat yourself up in your head. So much of it is mental, right?
If you beat yourself up for not being productive, it’s going to make you feel worse. And you might spiral into being less and less wanting to even try to be productive. I firmly believe that it is much better to go through life as your best friend, as your number one supporter, than it is to go through life suffering as your own worst enemy and your own worst critic. This is something that I know a lot of us here and here need to work on healing, letting go of the guilt, letting go of being hard on ourselves, letting go of pushing and trying. And for some reason, wanting to be productive and having all this negative pressure push and pull in this process, it shouldn’t be a difficult process.
It should be smooth and supportive. So next time you find yourself going into a negative mental space, ask yourself, is this love? Am I being loving towards myself? Am I being gentle with myself? Instead of saying negative things like, “oh, I’m not good enough.
I’m not doing enough. I should be doing more.” Those are the typical things I sometimes say to myself in my mind, Use positive affirmations like: I’ve done enough. I’m good enough. I’m doing great.
Be your own supporter. Give yourself that positive self-talk. Repeat those affirmations in your head, as many times as you need to ingrain it in your head. Sometimes in the beginning, it doesn’t feel real. You don’t really believe these affirmations, but trust me, repetition works.
Repetition truly tricks our brains and it can help bring us to a more positive place, which is so important for healthy productivity. Final tip, number ten.
And this one is super important. Schedule in time for planning and for rest. So I think a lot of people overlook that you have to plan to make plans.
You have to plan time, make the space in your schedule to rest. This is a mistake that I made when I was younger. I just focused on taking action and doing and hustling and I didn’t plan for resting, so I got burnt out. I also didn’t plan for planning. So I would like put on my calendar, okay, shoot this video at this time.
And then I would show up and I’d be like, oh my God, I’m not ready to shoot this video.
I haven’t thoroughly planned out what I’m going to say. And so I often overlook planning, but planning is really the most important part. You need to be a good planner if you want to be productive, I feel like most of the work is in the planning. So if most of the work is in the planning, you have to schedule in time to do the planning instead of just scheduling time to do the actual, the work or whatever it is.
I recommend you do this weekly, where you have one day out of the week, that is dedicated to planning and resetting your life. Just doing everything to prepare, to create a solid foundation for a very productive week. Let me know if you make time to plan, comment down below.
If you already have that in your schedule where you make time to plan, you set it aside. Like this is my planning day or planning time, because I’m curious how much of us actually do that.
I find that most people they put the to-do on their to-do list. And they’re like, “oh my god, I have to plan how I’m going to do this”. And they just do it because they find that they have to do it before starting. Out of all the tips today, I’m also curious which one is your favorite? Which one was one that you’re like, “oh, I never thought of that before.
Oh, good tip” Let me know down below. And if you have any additional tips of your own, I’m sure community would love to hear you share down below. Sending you so much love and I will see you in the next one. Bye. .