1. Tackle procrastination head-on.
A YouGov survey of 2,000 adults revealed that we spend, on average, 218 minutes procrastinating every day — that's 55 days of lost time each year. In general, putting things off makes you less happy, wealthy, and healthy, and more likely to make mistakes in comparison to those who get things done on time.
So how can you make yourself get moving? Try a technique called "eating the frog" — we promise it's nowhere near as unpleasant as it sounds.
"Eating the frog" means picking the one important thing on your to-do list you're most likely to procrastinate on and doing it first thing. Once you've accomplished this task, you'll gain all the momentum you need to do everything else on the list.
2. Take control of your email.
The average US worker spends 20.5 hours each week checking email. That's more than 1,000 hours each year — enough time to have learned two dozen languages or hiked the Appalachian Trail 100 times...or written a best-selling novel, probably!
By finding a way to get that email organized, you can save yourself valuable time and lots of headaches. Find an email app that matches your organization style and stick to it! If you thrive on to-do lists, try Sortd; if your main issue is finding the will to respond to emails, give Georgias Templates a try; and if you find yourself forgetting about important emails, check out FollowUpThen.
3. Find a way to get organized that is actually effective for you.
You have an endless to-do list, always feel like you're forgetting something, and can't find a system to organize your life. Sound familiar? We've got a solution: the bullet journal.
New York magazine says that a bullet journal can help you get out of your head, freeing up precious mental real estate. It allows you to track the past, organize the present, and prepare for the future. Importantly, it's an adaptable system meant to be curated based on what works for you.
All you need to start is a notebook and a pen. Then you can follow the steps outline at BulletJournal.com to create your journal. Remember to make it your own — the system only works if it works for you! You may just find yourself more organized AND more relaxed.
4. Get your financial house in order (without working too hard).
The average American doesn't have enough money saved, and that can cause a lot of stress. If you're able to stay in a good place financially, you'll have less anxiety overall and be freed up to get more out of life.
Investing money doesn't have to be tedious or even something you think about much. Try micro-investing — Acorns will do it for you! This app rounds up any purchase you make to the nearest dollar and invests the extra money for you. Have peace of mind that you're saving for the future without breaking your daily routine.
If you're looking to get a little more serious, download Betterment. This app helps you manage your portfolio, review your investing goals, and easily check your balances.
One final tip: Consider life insurance. It may not seem like something you need to think about now, but it's an investment that protects you and your family. There are also certain policies which give you access to funds you can borrow against for things you need down the line.
5. Try proven methods to increase your productivity.
We're always multitasking in an effort to get stuff done — but finding ways to stick with one thing and finish it can make you more productive overall. For those who don't feel you're making the most of your time, we recommend the Pomodoro Technique.
Loved by editors, lawyers, managers, teachers, and parents, the Pomodoro Technique is like running sprints...but at your desk (or wherever you’re working). It makes sure you remain consistently productive and builds in breaks that help you maintain stamina. Here's how it works.
This technique is proven to help improve attention span and concentration, bolster motivation, keep you creative, and ultimately, free up your mind to be able to live at the top of your game.