It’s the first month of an entirely new decade, so now is the absolute perfect time to start being more productive and smart with your time. These are things you can definitely keep up with throughout the year and stuff that’ll become second nature to you after a few months. There’s no time like the present, so here’s your ultimate guide on how to be more productive in 2020.
To-do lists (and stop-doing lists!)
To-do lists are my absolute favourite thing to do and the satisfaction of ticking things off it when they’re completed is such a good feeling. When people hear ‘to-do list’, they think of it as just a list of mundane tasks that all require effort and brain power - so they shy away from getting the task done. This is the wrong way to think about it! To-do lists can have absolutely anything on them, something like ‘make a healthy breakfast’. This is something fun to do and once you’ve done it, tick it off and that’s a task done!
Put small, achievable things on there that you can tick off - it’ll give the illusion of being really productive (which you obviously are), but when you see it in front of you all ticked off, it’s a great feeling. Try to do one at the start of each week for your week ahead so you know exactly what needs to be done.
The other side of this is to also create a stop-doing list. This doesn’t have to be nearly as often as a to-do list, maybe just a one off. Make a list of things to absolutely STOP doing in 2020. For example, stop giving people so much of yourself if they give you nothing in return, stop buying a new top for every single night out you go on and stop avoiding looking at your bank balance - It’s as simple as that!!
Organise your digital life
This basically means delete all your old texts from Dominos and get rid of all those junk emails. Your phone is obviously a huge part of everyday life, so if your phone’s cluttered your life might be cluttered too! Start by going through your old conversations on apps, delete or save but be brutal - do you really need to keep that drunk text you got from someone you met on a night out 2 years ago?
Then go through your email folders and if you can, delete as many as possible that you definitely don’t need. After this, go through each app and decide if you really use it or not. The ones you do use, go through and delete anything past a year ago - it’s all old news to you now!
Give your gallery a good cleanse while you’re at it. Obviously keep all your memories and photoshoots with your besties and family on there, but delete things that don’t add anything to your life. Plus, you’ll be freeing up storage on your phone so it’s a win-win situation!
Regularly cleaning your living space
A clean living space means a clear mind. There’s nothing worse than coming home from a busy, crammed day to flat/room that’s untidy and dirty - you can’t relax properly! Dedicate one night a week that you know you’ll have free to give your living space a thorough sorting out. Start by putting all your clothes away, then everything on your desks/window sill and then give all the surfaces a good clean. Do it a room at a time in order of priority and finish with a quick hoover! Clear out your fridge and throw away expired products, clean your shower and toilet and change your bedding. You’ll honestly feel like you can breathe better if your house/room is tidy, and you can finally relax and feel comfortable in it.
Take your lunch to work with you
Think about it, if you spent £5 a day on your lunch, that’s £25 a week, which equates to £100 you’ve saved at the end of the month! Instead, why not buy all the things you need got for lunch and make your lunch at home. It’ll last so much longer and you’ll get your money’s worth by far. It’s a small thing that would improve your finances and stretch your money in the best way.
Buy a calendar
This calendar won’t only be for knowing what days are when, but a chance for you to write down all the things you need to remember over the next month. It can be anything small or big. For example, your appointments, when you’ll clean your living space, when to change your bedding, when your bills come out, your days off, remembering to ring someone, remembering something important you have to do in 2 weeks time. Use this as your ultimate guide to never forgetting anything and keeping your life in order. Put it somewhere where you’ll see it every morning and you know straight away what needs to be done and what’s coming up for you - organisation with minimal effort required!
Self-care decade is HERE
If you can’t look after yourself now, when can you?! Now is the time to focus on you and what you deserve - mentally and physically. Designate evenings every week to yourself, to have a real wind down after your day. Get a cup of tea, put on a face mask, moisturise and put on your fave romantic film. Other nights, write a list of your goals and have a nice warm bath. Basically anything to make yourself feel looked after, productive and better about yourself on the inside as well as outside. Doing this regularly will change your outlook on life - I promise! When you feel better in yourself, it shows through in your actions and behaviours, ultimately leading to a happier life. You’re the most important person in your life, so treat yourself accordingly.
A good morning routine
Did you know the first hour of your day is the most important? It sets up the tone for the next 24 hours - so make it count! Start by setting yourself a reasonable time to wake up - not too late. Don’t hit the snooze button, just fight it and get up. The longer you snooze, the harder it will be to pull yourself out of bed, but when you do it’s not nearly as bad as you imagine it.
Don’t go to immediately grab your phone to lie in bed and browse for ages when you could be using that time more productively. Try doing a good stretch, a few breathing exercises or even a brief walk.
Get yourself a good healthy breakfast - try to include some fruit and other nutritional things in there. Plan it the night before so you know exactly what you’re going to have and you know what needs to be done! If you’ve decided you don’t have time for this, simply prep it and take it to the office and make it there!
Picking what you’re going to wear the night before too will also speed up your morning. There’s nothing worse when you’re already in a rush and then you have to conjure up an outfit that doesn’t include the joggers you’ve been wearing for the past week and your hoodie that has spaghetti stains on it. Do yourself a favour and plan it! You’ll only need a couple of minutes to get dressed which will surely knock off a load of time. Try to keep this up - consistency is key!
Reflect on things
Take some time out to reflect on things by keeping a diary up to date. It definitely doesn’t have to be high maintenance, you could write in it once every week or two weeks. Write anything you want, what you’ve been up to, how your mental health has been the past week or so, how you’ve felt, what’s happened in your life, goals for the future, your career, what your next big steps are, the list is endless! Turn your phone off and really get stuck into it for an hour or so.
Not only will this help get everything out for you, it’ll be refreshing to look back on if you keep them up for a few years and you can go back and read them again. It will be a reminder of how far you’ve come and what you’ve achieved, which is amazing to see the proof!
Give yourself time to do nothing
What’s important to note is giving yourself some time to do absolutely nothing. Being busy is great, it keeps you occupied and productive. But there definitely comes a point where too much is too much and you need a breather! So give yourself some time either alone or with someone close to just sit around, relax, watch your fave things and eat some good food. After that, it’s guaranteed you’ll feel refreshed, replenished and ready to take on anything.
Start your 2020 right by following these tips. Try to keep them up and let us know how you get on with them! 2020 is definitely the year to treat yourself right, so start ASAP.