Be more productive and you’ll get more done, here’s how.

In a world where the to-do lists are endless, the way we live can be relentless with no exit in sight. The best news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. You can get more done than you ever thought possible whilst still having time to fit fun and relaxation into your life. Take a moment to think about your current life and all the things you want to do, now is the time.

1. Write a bucket list

A ‘bucket’ list comes from things you’d like to do before you ‘kick the bucket’. Writing this list and putting it somewhere you can see it often, is a great reminder of why you’re doing what you’re doing. Your ‘why’ is so important, it’s the core of what and how you do everything. Don’t freak out if you don’t know your ‘why’, just know you have one. Write a bucket list anyway. Writing this list can inspire you to be more productive.

2. Create or enhance your morning routine
How you start your day has a direct influence on how you spend your day. You can create or enhance your morning routine so that you have direction and a sense of calm and clarity. Learn more about morning routines here.

3. Plan just 3 things a day
There is already so much to do in your day, eating, sleeping, working. A great tool is to plan three things a day that you want to get done. The rest is a bonus. I choose Sunday evening or Monday morning to do a brain dump and get all the ‘to-do’s’ out of my head. I then pick three things a day that will help me achieve my goals and allocate and order of priority to those three things, anything else is a bonus. These things are the negotiables, not the essentials (cooking, daily tidying, family commitments etc.). This is a key tool being productive, Rachel Rofe writes about it in the Huffington post if you want more on why and how.

4. Schedule your time to include down time
Downtime is the time where you can just ‘be’. Where you are not just ‘doing’. This is the space you need every day to be still. It’s where your creativity comes from. Edward Hallowell, a New York psychiatrist says “Never before in human history have our brains had to process as much information as they do today”. It’s no wonder many of us are in a constant state of overwhelm. Every single should have time allocated to do nothing or at least something you enjoy if you can’t just ‘be’.

5. Create white space in your diary
Allowing gaps when moving from one task to the next is so important. Your daily calendar should include gaps between appointments so you’re not going from one thing straight to the next. This allows for things that muck up your schedule; people running late, meetings going over time, traffic, tasks taking longer than planned.

6. Accept that you are not a robot
Our brains have high expectations. They don’t understand time but we can train them. In any given day, most people think they can achieve way more than is humanly possible. We overestimate what we can do in a day or a week and underestimate what we can do in a year. Remind yourself regularly that done is better than perfect.

7. Meditate daily
If you don’t think you have time to meditate, you need to meditate. Anyone can learn meditation. I recommend getting up 5 minutes earlier and sitting in meditation (however that looks for you) before you do anything. It’s part of my daily routine. Regular meditation reduces overwhelm, improves relationships and calms your busy mind. It doesn’t mean you have to sit still and blank your mind of thoughts. According to Tim Ferriss, who interviewed more than 200 executives, leaders, and other people at the heights of their fields, he found that 80% had “some form of guided mindfulness practice”. Be patient with yourself.

Its sounds strange, but to get more done you need to be patient with yourself. Planning gets things done, without it, you’ll add to your overwhelm and no-one needs that. How fabulous would it be to get to the end of your week, month or year feeling accomplished because you made the effort to set up some great habits to get more done AND have time for the fun stuff? Anyone can learn to be more productive.

Do you have anything to add? Have you written a bucket list before?

As always, I’d love your comments on ways to be more productive to get more done. And live your best life.