7 Tips For Increasing Your Productivity

Productivity is a crucial element to getting work done in the most efficient manner. Whenever tackling a project you want to make sure you’re focusing on the important things and not getting sidetracked by the minutiae.

As we’ve discussed, to enjoy life a little more you’ll need to find a way to earn a passive income stream.

Unfortunately many people never get around to creating a passive income source because “they don’t have enough time.” The truth is you probably have a lot more time than you imagine. In fact, if you increase the way you do work, you can easily squeeze more results in the same amount of time that you spend on a project.

With that in mind, I feel it’s important to learn how to become more productive when you’re working on a project. So in this post, we’re going to discuss seven tips to increase your productivity.

#1- Plan Things Out

Buy yourself a notepad, type up a spreadsheet, write on the back of an envelope – it doesn’t matter how you do it, but make a plan! If you want to do something – and be successful at it – you need to have a plan.

Write down as many ideas as you can think of – you can always revise your plan as you go along.

#2- Focus on the next step.

Once you have your basic plan, try to put some of your ideas in order.

What’s going to be step one? What will you do after that? And then after that?

Try to get the flow of things into your head, and it will be easier to imagine how things should fall into place.

Get into the habit of concentrating on getting to that next step. Don’t worry about what you need to do 20 steps into the project. Focus on the next one, get there, and then move on to the step after that. Rinse and repeat.

Let’s say you want to start your own small business selling handmade jewelry online. Make a plan for how to turn this idea into a full-fledge income source. Break the process down into steps and figure out what to do next. For instance, the first step in the process would be research. The next step might be to learn where to find a source for your handmade jewelry.

#3- Dedicate a quiet place for only work.

No matter where you do your “work”, you need a quiet place to write your plans and focus on the task at hand. If you’re easily distracted, then don’t pick a noisy place like a coffeehouse. Find a spot that allows you have the maximum amount of concentration

You don’t need to rent yourself a professional office just yet, but at least clear off a table at home, turn down the stereo, and get cracking! The important thing here is to make sure you set up an environment that’s free from distraction.

#4- Identify the critical tasks and do them first.

Remember that plan I said was so essential? Now that you have an idea of what you need to do, you have to figure out what are the most important things you have to accomplish and take action.

Back to the jewelry store example … sure, you’re going to need the hand-crafted jewelry that you want to sell, but you’re also going to need a way to accept payment online and ways to advertise your business.

Maybe you’ll start out with a PayPal account and what about that website you need? Those things are pretty critical items to cross off the list, and you’ll want to get them out of the way before you dream about how you’re going to spend all the money you earn.

#5- Eliminate distractions.

Eliminating distractions corresponds with having a quiet place dedicated to work, but it includes other things. If you have a friend who is constantly calling you up each night to chit chat, even though they know you’re trying to work on this project, quit answering the phone! It’s only going to waste your time and anger you in the long run.

Unless something is extremely crucial, it can wait until you’re taking a break from your new project.

#6- Outsource/delegate tasks that have a low dollar per hour rate.

This might be your dream jewelry business, but you don’t have to do everything. You can delegate tasks that you feel comfortable letting others do if they are willing to help you out at a rate you can afford.

A lot of parents give their children allowances for helping out around the house, so why not find someone to help you out for a fair? There’s nothing wrong with it.

#7- Figure out how long it’ll take to do a task then try to finish it in half that time.

If I don’t give myself a time limit, I hem and haw and take longer than I should to finish things.

(My dad used to call this the “Underwater Ballet Routine.” )

If you’re going to get your jewelry business off the ground, give yourself a week to finish 10 pieces of jewelry.

Then do it in 3 days.

If you don’t push yourself, no one else will. Best wishes as you improve your productivity!


Like I said, we all have dreams and things we want to do in our life. But there are times where we must concentrate on work. My point is if you’re doing work, you might as well get it done in the most efficient manner possible. Simply implement these seven tips into the time you’re working on a project and you’ll be surprised at how much you can improve your results.

Take Action. Get Results.

14 thoughts on “7 Tips For Increasing Your Productivity”

  1. Hi Steve,

    Found your site via The Infroprenuer James (now I think I might have spelled that wrong!!). Just made a comment on your guest post over there.

    Enjoyed your article – especially the part about outsourcing. I love outsourcing! I am still quite new to it as regards my online work though. AS for having a dedicated work spot, yes I agree you really should have one…but I find I am much more productive when I work outside of my usual work environment… say a coffee shop. Maybe it is one of those things where each person is different?

    Regardless… enjoyed your post, and see myself coming back here regularly!

  2. Thanks for the comment over there Michelle…you gave some great follow-up content.

    I’m really into outsourcing as well…starting to really ramp up this part of my business and pass off the stuff that really consumes my time.

    Actually, I’m also the same way with coffee shops. But I know a lot of people can’t concentrate there. The trick I use is to never pay for Internet connectivity there. So I’m literally forced to ONLY write when I’m there. No checking email, no socializing, and no checking stats 100 times. Just plain ole hard work.

    Anyway, thanks for the comment. I’ll be sure to come on over and check out your site as well…

  3. Xllnt advice Steve. I would add setting boundaries to your list. Have a list of ‘rules’ for yourself and everyone to avoid distraction, interruption, etc. I have rules set up for when I do phone work, when I can be interrupted, when I need quite time, when I go for a run…just to make sure that the important stuff doesn’t get interrupted!!

    Great post!

  4. I love your conclusion and #7 I need to incorporate. As for #5 that’s sometimes the problem which equals my #7 difficulties. Very informative. I see I can learn a lot from you Steve.

  5. @Yolanda— Excellent point there. Actually you just gave me an excellent idea for an article. This is something I do with my life, I just totally forgot to include here. Thanks…

    @Lee- Definitely distractions are really hard to handle. People in my life know I don’t pick up the phone 90% of the time. It pisses them off sometimes but it’s simply a rule that I have to make sure I don’t get sidetracked.

  6. Lee- My words exactly. I’ve always told people in my life that I consider the telephone to be a convenience. If it’s not the right moment for me to talk I’m going to screen my calls. Case closed.

    • I agree. I think one of the only reasons I’ve had some moderate success is I’m constantly planning things about and changing them.

      By the way, I took a look at your site… you definitely have a unique way to organize things. How did you get started in this?

  7. I particularly like the ‘rinse and repeat’ approach! For somebody like me, who loves strategic planning, innovative thinking and dreaming up the next crazy idea – I get really stuck on the ‘step by step achievement thing’ – basically i end up with a million unfinished projects. small tasks: started, finished and filed away, would help with motivation, I’m sure. Gonna try to cut out some ‘noise’ 🙂

    • Jane,

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

      Inspiration will only take you ‘so far’ through a project. The hard part is usually knocking out those final steps. I know what you mean though, the fun part for me also is the “planning” stages where I think up the ideas I like and figure out how I will implement them

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