The Secret to a More Productive You: 6 Ways to Boost Productivity In Life and Work

Without realizing it, you may be wasting over 20 hours of your productive time every week. That’s enough time to have a second job!

Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to boost productivity whether you’re at work or home.

By using the time you were wasting to be more productive, you can start to get results faster and have more time to enjoy. Keep reading to learn six secrets of productivity.

1. Set Goals

The first thing you need to do if you’re going to be more productive is to set goals for yourself. This will allow you to know where you’re going and what you should be doing.

Set a few big goals that will take at least a year to accomplish. Then, break those down into smaller monthly and weekly goals to make it more manageable. Don’t forget to write them down so you don’t forget them.

2. Make Lists

Creating lists will help you see what you need to do and will encourage you to keep working to cross everything off at the end of the day. It also prevents you from forgetting anything that needs to be done.

Feel free to add both big and small tasks to your list. Every item you cross off, even if it only took you five minutes to do, will motivate you to keep going.

3. Eliminate Distractions

Take some time to identify the things that distract you so you can eliminate them from your workspace.

For example, if you find yourself wasting 20 minutes on Facebook first thing in the morning, consider leaving your phone in another room so you can start your day off right.

4. Reward Productivity

As you reach your goals for the day, week, or month, reward yourself. It’s a good idea to set up a reward when you create the goal so you know what you’re working toward in addition to simply achieving the goal.

Make sure the rewards don’t negate the accomplishments, however. Spending $500 on a night out on the town, for example, isn’t a good reward for earning an extra $300 in commissions that week.

5. Use Peak Times

Keep track of when you’re the most productive. If you’re a morning person, this is likely the first few hours after you wake up. Otherwise, it may not be until after lunch or even later in the evening.

Once you identify the times of days in which you’re most productive, block them off in your schedule and use them to do the most important tasks of the day.

6. Batch Tasks

You’d be surprised at how much time you waste by checking your email ten times a day. Instead, you can save time and be more productive by batching tasks like this.

Ready to Boost Productivity in Your Life?

Now you know six ways to boost productivity in your life or at your workplace. Doing these things can change the way you work and help you do more than you thought possible.

One of the best ways to use all of these productivity hacks is to use a tool that keeps them all in one place. Check out our app to start reaching your goals today.

Being Productive vs. Being Busy: What’s the Difference?

By Elisi Studios

At first glance, being productive and being busy appears to be the same thing. We see someone who is working with something at their desk or someone else heading somewhere with a determined look on their face and are often impressed. However, it turns out that one of those people is being productive while the other is simply being busy. What’s the difference?

Being Busy as a Form of Lazy

There are some people who, depending on their personalities and the circumstances that they’re presented with, get into the habit of being busy as a purposeful means to pass time in the easiest way possible. This is a form of self-imposed busy work. It’s especially common amongst those who are paid on an hourly basis as they often don’t have an outside incentive to be productive during their time. As long as the hours are put in, that’s what matters to them.

Having Too Many Plates

Then there are those who are as productive as they can be, but they have put their energies into too many plates at once. They were always taught to give 100%, and they have defined that to also mean that they must be as involved in as many different areas as possible. However, the result of that is that something needs to give, and that is often something that shouldn’t be what’s giving, like family and self-care.

Benefits of Being Productive

Something that surprises many is that moving their focus from being busy to being productive really does allow them to do more with less with the things that are not as important but that are still important. In other words, spending more time with family might result in less time at the office. However, being able to physically and mentally recuperate from how busy they were before often allowed them to be much more productive at work with the time that they did spend there.

Working Smarter

This is the biggest difference between the two. It’s not simply the hardest-working person who experiences successes in life. It’s the one who works smarter and who focuses on what’s truly important to them when they look deep within themselves. Is joining yet another committee worth spending even less time with your family, with working on your physical health, taking some “me time”?

It’s okay to say, “No.” Of course, if you feel bad about passing up on something, communicate that too, but, if it’s in your own best interests and in the best interests of those you care for if you don’t partake in it, politely turn it down, and focus your time on what does interest you, what calms you and what centers you.

Keep Things Simple

If you want to be productive, not busy, simply keep your life, well, simple. Whenever possible, focus on one task at a time. Of course, multitasking will be necessary from time to time, but minimize it, and don’t take pride in being able to do it for long periods of time. That type of work is too taxing. Also, you cannot dive deep into something and really hit the flow of productivity if you’re constantly switching tasks.

Want to Get More Done? Here is How to Stay Productive Every Day

By Elisi Studios

If you get distracted it can take you around 23 minutes to get back on track. We live in a world full of distractions. It may be more fun to interact with the distractions instead of doing what’s important. 

Below we’ll look at how to stay productive in a world where you want to do everything but work. 

Focus on One Task

When you multitask you may believe you’re getting more done. Yet, you’ll find if you do the tasks separately not only will you get them done faster, but you’ll do them better as well. 

When you do one task at a time it’ll help better focus your mind and keep you on track.

Perhaps you’re multitasking and don’t even realize it. This could be listening to music or having a movie or show on in the background. Try to turn off the noise as it’s just another distraction.

Try doing your most difficult task first. That way all tasks after will feel like a breeze. If you do the simple tasks first you may find you don’t have the energy to do the more difficult task later. 

Change Your Environment

Maybe you’re completing your tasks in a location where there is a lot of foot traffic or noise. Perhaps you’re too comfortable in your current space and can’t force yourself to work. If either of these is true, try finding a new location to get your work done. 

Put Devices Away

Another form of distraction is devices. When you need to get something done, make sure your phone or tablet isn’t near you. You’ll be more likely to avoid the temptation of looking at them. 

Turn off notifications as well. The sounds can draw you towards your phone and distract you from your tasks. 

Make a Schedule

One way to get yourself to be productive is to create a routine. Make a schedule of what you would like to get done each day. If there is something you need to do every day, make sure it never leaves your calendar. 

Once you have everything in your schedule, create deadlines for yourself. Make sure to write the deadlines down, otherwise, you’re less likely to follow them. 

Get up Earlier

To start the day right you need to get a good night’s sleep. Otherwise, you won’t have the energy to get through the day. 

Once you get up in the morning, try setting your alarm clock 15 minutes earlier. Then you may not feel as rushed to get things done in the morning. Your levels of stress will be reduced. 

You can fit in time to exercise, drink coffee, take a shower, anything that will help get your mind more motivated. 

Take Short Breaks

Remember to leave time for breaks in your schedule. Working all day isn’t realistic. You’ll be more stressed and fatigued. 

Do the opposite of what you had been doing. If you were sitting, get up and walk around, and vice versa. Try to keep from thinking about the task you were doing before to get the full benefit of the break.

Try taking five-minute breaks throughout the day. 

How to Stay Productive in a Fast-Paced World

Hopefully, you have a better idea of how to stay productive now. It may not seem like these methods work at first, but remember you need to do them continuously to make them a habit. There is no quick fix. 

Review our blog to learn other habits you can start to improve your life. 

How You Can Use The Daily Habits of Successful People To Improve Your Life

By Elisi Studios

There’s a book by Tom Corely, called “Change Your Habits, Change Your Life.” In it, he talks about the research he’s done into successful people (and their habits) over the last five years.

He found nine consistent habits that crossed racial borders, family backgrounds, and geographical areas.

To hear all nine, you’ll have to read the book, but we’re giving you a peek at our three favorite daily habits of successful people, below.

The Daily Habits of Successful People

According to Tom (and us!), successful people …

1. Get Up Early

Not all old-timey sayings are true, but “The early bird gets the worm” just might be.

Researchers have found that when you get up early, you get the best head start on the day.

Some people even posit that the first hour of your day defines how the rest of your day will go. So if you want to be successful, try getting up 15 minutes earlier than usual tomorrow, and 15 minutes earlier the next.

Eventually, when you reach a full hour earlier each day, use that time to set yourself up for success.

2. Never Stop Learning

If you think you were done learning after you graduated from school, you were wrong. Successful people are always chasing some kind of knowledge or another, whether or not it’s relevant to their work life.

This isn’t a new concept. In fact, you can find quotes about this from as far back as the ancient Greeks, Albert Einstein, and even The Office character Michael Scott.

So count this as permission to learn a new skill or pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read.

Even if all you have time for is an audiobook you listen to on your commute, get some new ideas in your head. You’ll be shocked just how much this small habit impacts your daily performance.

3. Prioritize Sleep

You’ve always known that you should be getting eight hours of sleep – even if you know you’ll only really get seven.

Sleep is more important than you’ve ever given it credit for, no matter how many articles you read.

For more about how dangerous being sleep-deprived really is, you can check out Ariana Huffington’s book.

In it, she talks about how to get better sleep, the emotional, physical, and work-based reasons we should, along with what can happen if we don’t. It’s eye-opening (about needing to close your eyes).

Make Your Time Work for You

No matter who they asked, who did the research, or what field these successful people were in, they all understood one thing. Time is the most precious resource we have.

Finding more of it, or making your use of it more effective (like by being more rested) is one of the most common daily habits of successful people.

Do you feel successful? We want you to. That’s why we created the Elisi app! Give it a try and see how you can up your productivity today.

How to Effectively Harness the Power of Bullet Points

By Elisi Studios

Writing in a journal can help heal physical wounds faster. If you’re an avid journal writer, you’ll likely know the benefits that this practice brings, such as mental clarity and a boost to memory.

But, have you ever considered writing a bullet journal? Such a practice could help you stay organized and help you to get more work done.

Drawing attention to important information and helping your habits stay on track by creating mini headlines, explore how to use bullet points effectively.

1. Keep Them Short

Your bullet points should be short. If you can say something in three words, why say it in ten? This will help draw your attention to the point, remind you of exactly what you need to do, and help you effectively do it.

You can then explain your bullet point further below the header if you need some extra clarity.

2. Keep Them Concise 

There is no point in having a short bullet point if it isn’t concise and to the point. You should keep all of your bullet points easy to understand. 

Remove any words which detract from the main point. As you skim your bullet journal, it’s important that your points are concise to keep you focused!

Furthermore, your bullet points should be used for only the most important points. Don’t add irrelevant points as these will detract your attention.

3. Limit Bullet Points

If you’re bullet journaling to help you stay on track, you will find that it’s important to keep your points focused. 

Therefore, limit those which can’t be achieved that day. Your bullet journal should help you move throughout your day and remind you of what you need to do. It should not hinder you and have you pondering exactly what you meant earlier. 

4. Reduce Punctuation

You’ll find that when you have poor grammar, it’ll be harder to focus on the bullet point at hand. 

This is not quite as important as having short bullet points. But, you may find that although you felt called to add 10 exclamation points, they’re actually distracting!

You wouldn’t write a work email with terrible punctuation as it will make you look bad, so don’t do this in your bullet journal.  

5. Do What Feels Right

After building the habit of bullet journaling, you’ll find what works best for you. Over the first few weeks, you’ll quickly figure out whether doodling helps you focus or whether having more white space keeps you focused. 

Then, when you’ve found the magic formula for bullet journaling, stick to it! This habit has huge benefits such as boosting your creativity, keeping you on schedule, and improving your mental health.

Bullet Points Are Popular for a Reason

You may be wondering whether using bullet points is the right option for you. But, it’s certainly worth a try. 

Nowadays, a lot of the content we read online is written in bullet point format. This is because it works at keeping our attention. So, it should work in your own journal too! 

If you’ve found this article useful, it may be time for you to invest in your own bullet journal. Try our online bullet journal today.

How to Choose Lifestyle Habits That Improve Your Life

By Elisi Studios

Have you been thinking about changing your life for better? Maybe you’re unhappy or one of the 900 million people that feel unfulfilled. Maybe you’re ready to feel more successful. 

Whatever the case, it never hurts to work on ourselves and there are simple lifestyle habits that you can adopt to do so.

Keep reading to learn how to choose the best lifestyle habits to reach your personal goals and improve your life.

First, Figure Out the Important Things

The first step in choosing lifestyle habits that will improve your life is to figure out what you want to improve in the first place.

Consider the things that are most important to you in life. Maybe it’s your family. Maybe it’s improving your career. Maybe it’s bettering your health or mindset.

Whatever they are, write down the top three things that you want to work on. This will help you plan your new lifestyle habits to fit your individual goals.

Now, What Are Your Passions?

A key to self-improvement is reuniting with or finding things you love. Too often people lose themselves and their lives become less fulfilling because they forget to spend time dedicated to their passions (outside of work).

Write down some of your favorite things and hobbies. Then, you can plan how to include them into your daily or weekly routine.

Set Goals

Now that you know what is important to you and what things you love, you can set goals to include them in your new lifestyle habits to improve your life. 

Goals are extremely important on the journey to self-improvement. They give us motivation and keep us focused. Be sure to set small goals, so you can have many successes along your journey to your large goal–a better life.

In your goals, you should include the things from the first two steps. For example, let’s say your family is one of the things you listed as important to you and you’re passionate about traveling. You can set a large goal to take a family trip, as well as small goals such as spending an hour each day with your family and putting a certain amount of money toward a travel fund each paycheck.

Plan, Plan, Plan

One of the most important lifestyle habits of successful and happy people is planning. Successful people plan each day, each week, and month.

Being organized will not only make you feel less stressed and more in control, but it will also make you feel super accomplished with you accomplish everything you had planned for the day and week.

We don’t recommend planning more than a month or two at a time though, because that can become overwhelming and cause more stress.

Get Up Early

Another important lifestyle habit to adopt is waking up early. The morning is a great time to think about your day, plan, and look back on your progress. It also always you to get a head start on the day which means you’ll have more time for yourself and your goals. 

Plus, everyone needs alone time to reflect. The morning is a great time to dedicate to this because you’ll find it very peaceful and (usually) quiet.

Let’s Start Your New Lifestyle Habits

Now that you know how to choose lifestyle habits that improve your life, you’re ready to get started. The best way to start is to get a digital bullet journal. A bullet journal allows you to plan, keep to-do lists, and track your daily habits. And, it’s all online so you have it wherever you go on any device.

Learn more about our digital bullet journal and try out here.

Jot These Down: 7 Amazing Mental Health Benefits to Journaling

By Elisi Studios

Most successful people keep a journal. But you don’t have to be the next Bill Gates or Walt Disney to enjoy journaling. According to the University of Rochester, journaling can ease stress, anxiety, and depression.

Here are 7 of the top health mental health benefits you can enjoy when you start a daily journaling habit.

Ease Anxiety

What’s a good way to get rid of the swirling thoughts running rampant through your head? Putting them on paper. Many people can get relief from their anxiety by releasing their thoughts. Take time to look at your anxiety. How many of your worries do you need to worry about now? Can you make changes to your behavior that would help them go away? You can find more tips to fight anxiety here.

Fight Depression

Like anxiety, journaling can help fight depression. Every day take time to list the things you’re grateful for or something that made you happy. Talk about one good thing that happened to you every day. Want more tips to boost your mood? Check out parts one and two here.

Clarify Your Thoughts and Feelings

This may seem like a weird mental health benefit, but it is. When you’re struggling with a big decision, journaling can help you weigh your pros and cons. Once everything is on paper, you can come to the best solution. Sometimes having an answer can provide peace and relief.

Release Your Stresses

What’s stressing you out? Are you mad at someone? Has someone hurt you? Write about it in your journal, and let it go. Use your journaling practice to forgive people who have done you wrong.

Organize Your Priorities

Overwhelmed with everything you have to do? Write it down and prioritize your list! Once things are on paper, your brain doesn’t have to hold on to that information anymore, so it can relax and let go. On top of that, you feel more in control because you know what you have to focus on first.

Improve Immune Function

One of the most surprising health benefits is an improved immune system. That’s right! Regular journaling can actually help keep you from getting sick. It can provide relief for those with autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. Improved immune systems could come from relieving stress and anxiety, but it’s hard to say. Nonetheless, it’s a benefit we can all enjoy.

Improve Your Memory

Daily journaling can improve your memory. It forces you to practice active recall about things that happened during your day. But reviewing your journal can also help you recall – in your own words – things that happened a long time ago.

Journaling Provides A Wealth of Health Benefits

Whether you tried keeping a journal before, you can always start journaling today. You may enjoy keeping a fancy leather-bound journal and a nice pen. Many people struggle to carry their journal daily and thus drop their habit.

But you can start a journaling habit today, right on your phone. Download the Elisi App and start journaling today!

Achieving A Work-Life Balance Using The GTD Technique

By Elisi Studios

People waste a lot of time. How much? One study involving small business owners discovered they wasted an average of almost 22 hours every week.

You might be wasting time right now, reading this to distract yourself from whatever it is you know you should be doing. Do you struggle to make the most out of your day? A productivity system may provide the discipline you need to stay on track.

Getting Things Done, or GTD, is a technique that can boost your productivity. Never heard of it? Written almost twenty years ago, it’s still considered one of the best books on productivity.

We’ll cover the basics.

What is the GTD System?

The Getting Things Done system doesn’t try to tell you how to do your work. Instead, it focuses on how you organize and tackle your daily obligations. The idea is, without organization, you won’t know where or what to begin.

Trying to remember everything is — well, it’s a waste of time. David Allen, the creator of the system, advocates the use of a to-do list or work calendar. This way, you can concentrate on the task and avoid being overwhelmed.

The Five GTD Methods

There’s a lot to unpack from the GTD methodology. It was a self-help book after all. But when trimmed down to its five basic tenets, it’s easy to understand.

1. Capture

Stop relying on your head to keep everything straight. The first step of the GTD process is to capture every task at hand. And by capture, we mean to get them out of your head and written down on a piece of paper.

Your organizational system doesn’t matter. Choose what fits your fancy. The important part is to, without fail, jot down even the most trivial of tasks.

Whatever you use, make sure it’s convenient and available. The worst thing you can do is tell yourself you’ll write it down later — and then forget.

2. Clarify

Since you’re listing tasks as soon as they come to your head, they’ll need some clarification. Perhaps you remembered you need to finish a college essay. Don’t leave it on your to-do list as complete college essay.

That doesn’t give you a good place to start. Break it into pieces, such as researchessayconstruct outline, and so forth.

3. Organize

Now that you’ve broken your tasks into smaller parts, take some time to prioritize them. Remember to consider the deadlines of these projects, as well as your workload.

During this step, you should also categorize similar actions. Have a lot of writing to do? Clump those assignments together.

4. Reflect

Priorities change. As more tasks spring up, you may realize an assignment was not as stressing as it was before. You should spend a few times each day skimming through your list and making changes should you find them necessary.

As well as looking for changes, you should reflect on your current tasks. If you don’t look at your list to keep yourself organized, then what’s the point of making one?

5. Engage

With an organized list full of simple actions, you’ll know which task to start first. Keep your priority system in mind and work through your list at your leisure. Not only does this system erase the anxiety that comes with disorganization, but it also gives you the clear guidance you need to get started.

And getting started is everything.

Stay Organized With Elisi

The entire GTD system is hinged on the use of an intelligent and convenient planner. Simply put: Taking notes on your phone won’t be good enough.

Instead, consider the Elisi app. It’s a comprehensive digital journal that features a calendar, a to-do list, notes, and more. Try the Elisi app and see how it can increase your productivity.

Pomodoro Timer, A Time Management Tool You Should Try

By Elisi Studio

Time management is of the essence, and it’ll take some focus and concentration to put these sorts of practices into place.

Thankfully, there are plenty of time management tools that will help you out tremendously. Regardless of what sort of task you are focusing on, the tips in this article will help you get focused and stay focused.

Start with these tips so that you can use everything from apps to Pomodoro Timers to get help.

1. Use Time Management Tools on Your Phone or in Your Web Browser

There are several apps you can put onto your phone that will help you focus. Some of these apps you can look into include Forest, Wunderlist, Evernote, and Elisi.

If you want to use a time management timer, there are also apps that can let you make use of the Pomodoro technique. By striking this balance with your workflow, you’ll get the most out of these strategies.

Whether you download an app on your phone or use a web browser as a timer, you’ll have the help that you need.

2. Learn the Pomodoro Technique and Use it Regularly

The Pomodoro technique is one of the best productivity hacks that you can use on a regular basis.

With this technique, you are on and active for 25 minutes and take breaks of about 5 minutes.

The science behind this technique is that experts say your brain can’t focus for much longer than 25 minutes at a time. By voluntarily taking a break and then getting back to work, you will keep your mind fresh and avoid burnout.

3. Go For a Walk and Get Outside During Your Breaks

To really get the most out of the Pomodoro technique, be sure that you are moving your body and getting some fresh air.

When you walk, you increase your blood flow, which also increases the blood flow to your brain. You can also rejuvenate yourself by going outside and taking in some sunshine.

Both of these matters can keep you fresh and energized so that you feel great when it is time to go back to work.

4. Add a Meditation Practice to Your Time Management

The mental and productivity benefits of meditation can’t be overstated.

When you add meditation to some of your breaks, you will have more clarity and better cognitive function. Doing this will help you sustain an inner peace that will also carry you throughout every workday with a positive mindset.

Get the Most From Your Time Management

When you put these time management tools to use, you’ll be able to earn more money, study more and get more done.

Whether you work a 9-to-5 office job, are your own boss, or just want to study hard and retain the information for an exam, these tips have you covered. You’ll be able to maximize on this by not only using the Pomodoro technique but also incorporating some apps or tools that can be helpful.

Consider these tips so that you have a time management system that serves you.

4 Self-Management Skills You Can Easily Incorporate Into Your Life

Remember when you were a child and you thought that when you grew up, you’d be able to do whatever you wanted? How wrong we all were.

For many of us, it’s harder to achieve goals as adults because no one is pushing us. That is, until we learn the self-management skills that let us push ourselves.

Self-Management Skills Everyone Can Use

One of the few guarantees in life is that you will lose motivation every now and then. Keep yourself on track with these self-management techniques.

1. Creating Accountability Systems
Everyone talks about setting clear goals and writing them down. As important as that is, it’s rarely the only thing we need to keep us moving.

Hold yourself accountable for each task. For some people, positive reinforcement works best, so set rewards you can earn. For instance, if you complete this task today, you can watch the new episode of your favorite TV show.

Other people are more motivated by negative consequences. You might tell yourself that if you don’t complete that task, you have to deep-clean your refrigerator.

Use trial and error to find the rewards or consequences that motivate you best. Above all, track them in your planner and follow through with them.

2. Crafting Success-Based Routines
Sometimes we have big goals but we never start the little steps it takes to achieve them. This especially true if we’re working toward multiple goals at the same time.

Set up a daily routine that includes steps toward each of your goals. This might include an exercise regimen, reaching out to business contacts, organizing one area of your home each day, and more.

When you have that routine, keep track and hold yourself accountable. A bullet journal is a simple way to see your progress.

3. Managing Stress
As important as motivation is, you can’t solve all of life’s problems by working harder. In fact, pushing yourself too hard and burning out will do more harm than good in the long run.

Make your mental health a priority and include stress management in your daily routine.

There are plenty of helpful options: meditation, exercise, aromatherapy, bubble baths, reading a book, or playing a video game to name a few. Find out what works and make time for it.

4. Being Selectively Social
Self-management isn’t just about you. None of us exist in a vacuum, so the people you surround yourself with will impact your success too.

Keep this in mind as you look around your social group. If there are people in your life who push you to do things that go against your goals, take a step back.

Try making friends with people who have similar goals. This could include your co-workers or other people in your industry. If weight loss or fitness is a key goal for you, get social with other people at your gym.

Being Your Own Boss

Whether you’re your own employer or you just need to hold yourself accountable for your outside goals, self-management is no easy task. In many ways, it’s easier to motivate others than it is to motivate ourselves.

If you’re struggling, the self-management skills above can help you get out of your own way and get on the road to success.

For more help, check out the Elisi self-management app.