5 ways to organize your life and increase productivity
Productivity is something we all feel compelled to increase — except many don't know exactly what it is or how to improve it. These 5 steps on organizing your life will show you how.
Productivity is defined in many different ways, and though increasing it sounds like a worthy goal, it's not as straightforward when you don't know exactly what the term means.
To keep it simple, we define productivity as the level or amount of output you can get from a specific level or amount of input. That's it.
Increasing productivity means being as efficient as possible with your time, energy, money and other resources, so you can get more from less.
Additionally, it's worth nothing that this simple definition isn't limited to a professional context. It is relevant to all areas of your life, not just work or business.
With this in mind, your ability to increase productivity requires a process for planning, monitoring and recalibrating your resource usage.
We've outlined a step-by-step method you can employ for better managing your resources and seeing bigger and better outcomes as a result.
Productivity Step 1: Have Purpose
Operating under a strong sense of purpose helps you hone in on what matters, simply decision-making and focus your resources in pursuit of relevant, well-thought-out goals.
Your purpose is the combination of your overarching life vision and associated core values. It's the why behind all you do, and the mechanism that helps you navigate life with clarity and conviction.
Lack of productivity can often be linked to lack of purpose or vision. Because if you don't even know why you are doing what you do, how can you do it well?
Use our happiness planner to define your purpose, as the first and most important step in organizing your life.
Productivity Step 2: Set Priorities
Having a vision alone won't make you more productive. You also have to be disciplined in your pursuit of purpose. This means getting good about prioritizing what actually matters to you so you don't squander your resources on nonessential people, activities or things.
We recommend using the Eisenhower Prince — one of many exercises we include in our minimalist digital and printable planner — to set your priorities. This principle gives you a framework for easily denoting what is worth your time and what is not:
Important and Urgent — do first
Important but Not Urgent — do later
Not Important but Urgent — delegate
Not Important and Not Urgent — eliminate
Items listed under #1 should be given a designated time to address the next day. While items listed under #2 are to be scheduled some time later, but in the near future.
Items under #3 are for outsourcing or automating if you see a repetitive pattern. Finally, items under #4 are to be completely eliminated (the best part of the exercise).
Use the minimalist planner to work through the Eisenhower principle and dozen of other exercises to help you determine and commit to actual priorities.
Productivity Step 3: Plan Better
So you know what to prioritize, now what? You need to lay out a plan for when and how you are going to do what. Consider this plan a roadmap that keeps you aware of and focused on the important tasks at hand.
This is where daily and weekly planners become so incredibly instrumental in helping you stay organized. Good planner spreads help you outline and implement systems and tactics for getting things done — and done well.
Our bespoke online and printable planner is a useful tool for customizing your planner pages to your specific needs. That way, no matter the goal or task, you can create a tailored organizational scheme that ensures you stay on top of it all.
Productivity Step 4: Take Notes
A simple but effective note-taking process is a pertinent part of your productivity plan. Notes help you organize your thoughts, jot important reminders and document real-time happenings as you work your plan.
It's hard to be productive if you can't think clearly. So the main purpose of note-taking is to relieve your mind of having to recall all of the information you must process each day.
There are a plethora of note-taking techniques to choose from but no definitive studies on whether one is better than the others.
So we tend to default to note card formats for their simplicity. With our aesthetic note cards, your notes will look beautiful and be useful in helping you log significant details while keeping your mind clear.
Productivity Step 5: Be Consistent
If there is a cardinal rule when it comes to productivity, it's that consistency matters. Starting then stopping and changing course requires significant amounts of reserves. If you do this too often you could blow through your resources without making any progress.
To be blunt, it doesn't matter how smart or able-bodied you are. Your goals can't be reached nor tasks completed without consistency.
Of course, consistency can be hard to achieve, which is why we are advocates of simple daily routines that are build around the things you actually want to do.
A daily routine is really a healthy habit builder — through repetition you engage in consistent patterns that move you towards the attainment of your goals.
Every journey is made up of one step after another until you reach your destination. Consistency is staying on the path you chose to embark on.
It only takes a few reliable tools to organize your life and work in pursuit of your purpose and affiliated goals. Explore our tools that were carefully crafted to inspire personal productivity and transformation with aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-use developmental systems.