3 Small Steps Towards Productivity

I will refrain from giving some vague advice like telling you to “set goals” or “make a plan”. Although those tips may work for some people, they are not actionable and do not give instant results for the average Joe.

I put together 3 simple tips everybody can try and see instant results. So, here are 3 actionable productivity tips that I personally use when I genuinely know that if I don’t get sh*t done quick, I’ll be screwed.

1– Cellphone away from bed

the farther the better.

If you are one of those people who like to hit the snooze button over and over again, then this tip is for you.

Before going to bed, leave your cellphone (or your alarm clock) somewhere you will not be able to reach once you wake up in the morning. This way, once that alarm goes off you will definitely have to get up, walk and kill the alarm. Congrats you just got out of the bed the minute you woke up! No snoozing, no lame excuses.

2– Forest app

don’t be so cruel and save some trees.

If checking your e-mail or your Instagram likes has become a habit, then this mobile application will help you big time!

Forest is an app helping you put down your phone. Whenever you want to focus, set the timer and plant a tree. The tree will be growing during that set period.

Let’s say you set the timer for 60 minutes. This means your tree will grow in 60 minutes. You can set the timer for longer periods to grow larger trees. If you leave Forest before the tree is fully grown then the tree dies. Meaning that you cannot go to any other application on your phone for 60 minutes. Pretty neat.

Forest also keeps statistics of how many hours you stayed focus each day. This gives you an incentive to actually stay focused longer and more frequently. It’s just a great mobile app to increase productivity.

3– Social media diet

my phone after I delete all the social media apps.

Here is the best tip I will give to all of you who want to cut their time spent on social media. I am not going to say “delete all your social media accounts” — that wouldn’t be realistic. Instead, I suggest you start a diet.

You don’t have to starve yourself, it’s only a diet.

I found out that the best way to get into a social media diet –and also keep up with it which is the harder part– is to delete those social media apps on your phone. Don’t worry, you will still be able to connect from your laptop or any other device if you need to. However, all the distraction will not be in arms reach anymore.

I came up with this idea when my girlfriend told me that I was spending too much time on my phone checking my social media accounts. She was right. But I didn’t want to give it all up for good, I like Instagram quite a lot for instance.

So now what I do is whenever I’m traveling I download Instagram and post pictures of my travels. That’s the productive part of Instagram and I like it, I like the photo map feature where I can see all the places I’ve been to.

However, as soon as I come back home I delete Instagram because I no longer will be posting picture but instead just be scrolling down endlessly. Nothing productive. Pure waste of time.

This will not be a huge commitment since your accounts will be there still. But don’t underestimate it either, it’s a small step with a big effect towards liberation from social media. Try it and see instant results.