Wednesday, August 24, 2011

7 Ways to Improve Your Mood and Productivity (even if you don't feel like it)

We all have those days, when it's just tough to get up and get going in the morning. As the summer wanes and the fall season encroaches, with new schedules, responsibilities, and pressures, it's important to keep your working life balanced, whether you're out in the corporate world, or an at home consultant or social-mediaist.

Here are 10 tips to help you increase your productivity, and get out and about!

1. Exercise, preferably early in the day.
I always find that going for an early morning walk, run, or yoga class, clears my head and helps me feel calm and relaxed for the rest of the day. If the morning doesn't work for you, try a lunchtime or after work break.

2. Make a To Do List.
If you haven't already, make a list of all your tasks for the day, and even the week or month. Check off even small items as you do them, and your confidence in getting projects accomplished will grow. Don't minimize or ignore small tasks either, sometime they are just as important.
If you don't finish everything on your list, don't be hard on yourself...just put those items on the top of your list for the next day.
Great programs for online organizing are: Evernote, Remember the Milk, Google Tasks (integrated with e-mail), and there's tons of others out there.

3. Break Down Large Projects.
They say if you break down large projects they are easier to finish, and it's true! If you are writing a book or large report or publication, break it down into chapters, and don't change courses until you finish each one at a time. Reward yourself with a nice outing or fun activity at the completion of each chapter!

4. Eat Well.
Fuel your body with nutritious fruits and veggies, and don't fall into the sugar trap that sweets will save you. I love chocolate, but try to eat it sparingly, as I definitely experience an energy swing after the buzz wears off. Focus on whole foods and avoid overprocessed ones that always have extra sugar and sodium, not to mention additives.

5. Clean something. 
It doesn't have to be your entire house or apartment, but I find whenever I clean even one room, or declutter a space that's been bothering me for a while, I always feel more productive. You don't have to go overboard on feng shui, just create a comfortable working space and you'll be more likely to stick with your projects.

6. Organize Similar Tasks Together.
It's nice to have variety in your schedule, but when it comes to getting stuff done, I always feel more organized when I group similar activities together. So, if I have a few phone calls to make, I try and do it at the same time. If I have some writing projects, such as a group of blog posts to write, I do that together as well. Jumping around too much can be less efficient in the long run.

7. Tame the Procrastination Beast, Particularly for Writing Projects.
I wrote over here about how to conquer procrastination specifically when it comes to writing. Check out the tips and see what you think.

How about you? Got any tips to share on how to improve your productivity and outlook? Please comment here! Note: anyone who comments gets a free 20 minute communications consultation/ writing coaching session with me, covering any writing project or marketing and communications obstacle your're dealing with.  Just add: "yes! I want my free consultation with Carrie" to the end of your comment, and I will get in touch with you!

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