Be More Productive – 5 Easy Tips for Boosting Your Daily Productivity


Most of us yearn to be productive and efficient, but how many days a week can we truly say “I made excellent use of my time today?” If you’re anything like me, not as many as we’d like.

Being productive, feeling the satisfaction of having done great work at the end of a day, is one of the best feelings someone can get. However, for many of us, being productive can be quite hard – especially so when we’re out of College or school and we don’t have a structured schedule smoothly laid out in front of us.

So, what do we do then? How to boost our productivity and go to bed with the satisfaction of knowing we’ve made the best, most efficient use of our time?

Here’s five tips that have worked for me; tips that have helped boost my daily productivity by miles and that I’m sure are going to do wonders for you too.

Tip #1: Planning and Organizing

Planning is the foundation of every productive day. Productivity is all about managing our time more efficiently, and having the discipline to follow through, which means that drafting out our actions, goals and responsibilities in advance should take center stage. If you want to give yourself that first boost in productivity, make it a daily habit to plan out your tasks. Having everything down in a neat list will not only take a good deal of stress off your shoulders, but also give you a clear, tangible outline of the things you have to accomplish during the day. Organization is key.

Once you have your list ready, you can then sort out through your tasks and prioritize; which are more important? Which are time sensitive, or have a tighter deadline? Once you’ve listed your tasks and organized them based on their level of importance and/or urgency, you’ve pretty much laid out a solid foundation for a very productive day. However, it’s not over yet.

Tip #2: Motivation

In order to achieve maximum productivity during a day, it is of the utmost importance to maintain yourself motivated. Tip # 1 was a first step towards reaching that, as having a tangible copy of your tasks makes it several times easier, and thus much more manageable, to get in the right frame of mind to do them! Motivation is the fuel that drives you throughout the day – there is very little we can do without it, and when we do manage to push ourselves through by sheer willpower, the results are never as good. A motivated attitude is a game changer. Now, how can we attain it?

Here’s a great tip I learned a long time ago. Before you set out to do your tasks, envision the results you want to obtain by following them. Don’t focus on the fact that you need to study… Focus on the fact that you want to have good grades. Don’t think about that nasty job search – focus on all the things you’ll be able to buy and pay once you get the job, of the satisfactions it’ll bring. What I’m trying to get at is to focus on the results you are going to get from your tasks, rather than the tasks themselves. Your motivation will sky-rocket. Our goals, our daily objectives are only means to an end, like satisfaction, comfort, progress or success. Think about the end result, the end goal, and that will definitely give you a boost of newly-found strength to face your tasks.

Another great way to motivate yourself, and one that’s almost fail-proof, is to reward yourself after you’ve completed a large task, or a number of smaller ones. For example; you reached your goal of writing that one essay or paper you’d been postponing. Great! Now reward yourself by doing something you like, by calling a friend, or watching an episode of your favorite show. Another example: You reached that weekly goal of working out a total of 30 hours. Give yourself a well-earned break, and go eat your favorite food as a reward. Better yet, invite some friends along.

Our minds work in very interesting ways, and when we accustom them to the scheme of work = reward, we will progressively start to find it easier to do the things that we need to do on a daily basis. (Including those irksome ones we leave for last!)

Tip #3: Sleep Well

Nothing, and I mean nothing, can impact your daily productivity like a lack of good sleep. And I say that from (rather constant) experience. There are so many distractions nowadays, so many juicy ways to lose track of time and go to bed 3 hours later than we should’ve done so, that this particular tip might be one of the hardest to implement. It might also be one of the most important. Sleep is essential for the mind to refresh itself. When we don’t give it the chance to fully recover, our mind’s capacity for productivity – for attention, retention, critical thinking, etc – takes a huge hit. Coffee helps, of course, and so does taking a few power naps here and there, but their mind-sharpening effects pale in comparison to that of a good night’s sleep.

Discipline, as I said before, and being conscious of all the benefits we gain from going to bed early, are very necessary here. There is nothing like waking up feeling completely rested and refreshed – it boosts your attention, your motivation towards the day, and it keeps you sharper to make better decisions as well, enabling you to be your best, productive self. And the benefits don’t stop there – I could go on explaining the perks a good night’s sleep has on your body’s systems, on your metabolism (I.e burning fat throughout the day), your eyes, your skin and much more, but that’s for another, health-based article some other day.

If you want to boost your daily productivity by 3x more, make it a habit to get a full night of undisturbed sleep.

Tip #4: Remember to take a Break!

Working is great. As human beings, we are made to work, to be useful, to produce and to excel. However, we all have our limits. Our bodies, our minds, have their limits, and going beyond them will not only impact our level of productivity, but could also be harmful to our body. While working is all good and dandy, we also have to be responsible about our times of rest. We need to be conscious of our limitations, and responsibly pace our efforts throughout the day, be them at school, the office, or home, to allow for periods of rest and recovery.

Don’t overwork yourself.

Take time to rest in-between your daily chores and tasks, and not only rest, but also take time to distract yourself. Go out for a drive, read your favorite book for 30 minutes, or watch your favorite show. Call a friend. Go for a walk, play a game. Do something that you enjoy, something that refreshes you, and give your mind a break to catch up to all the toil and work you’ve been doing.

Distraction is as important to the human mind as sleep is to the body. We need distractions to function properly, and this in turn has a very strong effect on your levels of productivity. Whenever you start feeling like your performance is dwindling, give yourself a break. Take 15 or 30 minutes and go do something else, give your mind a chance to rest. When you come back to your work, I promise, you will feel a lot better – your mind will be clearer, your work will come easier, and your body will thank you for it.

Tip #5: Disconnect!

And for the final tip, we’ll talk about that one time sink none of us like to acknowledge…

Social media.

It connects us. It informs us. It entertains us. It’s here to stay. However, no one taught us how to make a responsible use of it in school, and last time I checked, they don’t give you a tutorial on how to efficiently use each social media service when you sign up. Of course they don’t. It’s our responsibility to use these services responsibly. But what does that mean?

Here’s the scoop:

Social media, like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, is designed to be addictive. It’s made to cater to our innermost needs, like recognition, belonging, affection and appreciation… to name a few. We get addicted to the attention we receive on it, we get addicted to stalking other people on it, we get addicted to the different ways we can showcase our lives on it. And before we know it, we end up spending anywhere from one to three hours daily on our favorite social media site, (or among our collection of them). Now, don’t get me wrong – social media isn’t “the enemy”. It’s not a subliminal weapon unleashed on the world to eradicate all productivity and sink the economy. It’s just a tool just like any other – albeit a potential time-threatening tool. Good news is, we decide how to use it.

We need to be conscious of our time, and how we use it, if we want to increase our productivity. Spending 2 hours on social media per day is not going to help us be more productive. Now, what can we do to remedy that? We don’t have to resign social media altogether of course, nothing so radical as that. Social media has its place and some very beneficial uses. But maybe, we can perhaps delegate just 20 minutes a day, preferably at night, to administer our social presence instead of 2 hours. Maybe we can limit our social media usage to three times a week, instead of using it every day. Sounds feasible enough, right?

Although these are but a few of the many ways we have at our every-day disposal to increase our daily productivity, they are the ones that have helped me the most in the past. I believe that, if employed with discipline and tenacity, they will help you as well.


Delivering a Professional Presentation – Should I Use My Notes?

When I give a presentation, should I use my notes?

This is a commonly posed question. Let me start by saying there is nothing wrong with using notes, although if you watch a TED Talks speaker you will notice they present without the use of slides, visual aids or notes. However, not all of us are aiming to be a world class speaker. In my opinion, using notes is far preferable to memorizing your speech. If something unexpected happens and you lose your place, you can find yourself in a ‘panic’ situation where everything you ever knew about your topic flies out of your head. It can also be difficult to come across as authentic if you are repeating the same message, word for word.

If you are going to use notes, there are some things you should think about.

1. Don’t try to hide the fact that you are using notes, but don’t necessarily draw attention to it either. Type in large font. The last thing you want to do is fumble with your glasses, so you can see what your notes say.

2. Keep to one page or one index card so you don’t need to shuffle or rearrange them.

3. Put your notes on a lectern or table. This way you can pause to refer to them without anyone knowing what you are doing.

4. Be comfortable with pausing. You may find yourself distanced from your notes and have to walk over to the lectern.

5. If you don’t have a table or lectern at your disposal, put your paper on a portfolio or heavy notebook and carry that. It is common to feel nervous when talking in front of people and it is common to find yourself shaking. The tiniest movement will be easy to see if you are holding only a piece of paper. This is not the way to instill confidence. The weight of the portfolio will help to keep your notes still.

6. Never speak while you are glancing at your notes, unless you are reading a quote or statistics Notes can limit interaction and eye contact with your audience, so pause when you are looking down and then resume speaking when you can re-establish eye contact.

7. Be wary of using slides as your notes. When you are nervous you may find yourself turning towards your slides and beginning to read them. Slides are meant to support you not the other way around.

The system I follow when creating a presentation is as follows.

1. Write the speech word for word.

I like to read what I’ve written as I go along. What works fine on the printed page for our eyes, doesn’t necessarily sound good to our ears.

2. Rearrange the ideas if they don’t seem to flow, or fail to make logical sense.

3. Highlight key words for idea and story prompts.

4. Create PowerPoint slides if they are needed.

5. Practice, practice, practice.

6. If you choose to use notes create them from the key words you highlighted.

If you decide not to use notes, it is much better to memorize the flow of your presentation, as well as key stories and then talk from the heart choosing your wording and phrasing as you go.

Notes can be an important safety net. Taking a moment to collect your thoughts, sip some water and glance at your notes won’t take anything away from your presentation, or your credibility as a speaker.

Should you use notes? The decision is yours. But if you do, use them wisely.

The Advantages Of Presenting Personalized Golf Gifts

There are no strict guidelines, no prescriptions adhere to when it comes to gift-giving. It’s tricky though that you select a gift that is of importance and of interest to the gift recipient. For instance, if you want to give a person who’s a lover of golf, you can give him personalized golf gifts. There’s an art in giving gifts, not just in terms of the object you select to give but to the kind of gift presentation, as well.

There are a number of very attractive and unique gift wrapping in the market now, and the choices are endless. So when you decide to surprise a person with a gift, consider selecting a personalized gift item.

If you want to give a person who is a lover of golf, the following are the advantages of personalized golf gifts:

• Budget

One of the advantages of personalized golf gifts is that they need not be expensive or lavish. It is true that playing golf is a very expensive sport endeavor, but there are various gifts you can select from that you can personalize and yet not spend a big amount of money for it.

For a lover of golf, buying a t-shirt with his name and golf logo printed on it is very practical and can be used for a number of times while enjoying a round of golf. You can also select a golf bag and have the recipient’s name printed on it for a more personal touch.

• Thoughtfulness

When you surprise someone with a personalized gift, it means that you are very mindful of the recipient’s own interest. It is a way of conveying that you made an extra effort to make the person happy with the kind of gift you selected. If you want to give your golf buddy a gift, one of the advantages of personalized golf gifts is that it is made especially for him/her. It is your way of making the golf gift recipient feel special because the gift you chose is related to his/her passion.

• Distinct

We all know that at times, when we sport the same accessories like golf bags, golf towels, among others, there is a tendency to confuse our stuff from those belonging to another person. One of the advantages of personalized gifts is that they distinctly identify your belongings from the others.

• Memorable

Another reason or one of the advantages of personalized golf gifts is that they would be remembered by the gift recipient for a long, long time. Most personalized gift items are unique and can hold a sentimental value. In your case, when you give someone a personalized golf gift, let us say a personalized golf ball, the recipient will always remember you as someone who has given her/him a golf ball with a personal touch, as compared if you just sent ordinary golf balls. More meaning, more sentimental value is attached to the personalized golf ball that you gave.