13 Small Changes You Can Make Today To Boost Long-Term Productivity

These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invitation-only organization made up of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue annually and have created tens of thousands of jobs. More information at yec.co.

1. Start keeping a diary

Make it a habit to journal every night. What you write, you learn. By summarizing your thoughts, emotions, successes, and failures, you open your mind to ways you can improve both your personal and professional life. Keeping a journal can help you focus on what’s important, in the office and at home. True productivity isn’t about efficiency, it’s about prioritizing what’s important. – Josh AwadDepression Alliance

2. Make a list of goals every day

Making a list of your daily goals can help you in several ways. It can help you organize your day more effectively because all your tasks are ready for you. It can help you enjoy the feeling of completing small challenges. Finally, it serves as an overview of what you did that day, month and year. You can use that to measure your productivity and how your work has changed. – Matt DoyleExcel builders

3. Set strict time blocks for social media and email

Social media, YouTube, Slack and email are a huge time suck, whether it’s on your phone, tablet or computer. I have strict rules about when I can access social media or email. This helps me stay focused. When I’m tempted to break up, I remind myself that I can just wait and check social media later. – Jason Khoo, Zupo

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4. Don’t be reactionary

Don’t allow yourself to be reactionary until later in the day. This means no social media or email until you are taken care of. When you read a story in the news, you get an emotional response. When you read an email, you have to respond (by replying). Save that for later. Instead, spend the first part of the day focusing on taking action toward what you need to accomplish. – Rana GujralBehavioral signals

Business leader giving pep talk to a team member

5. Focus on others

I often find myself just thinking about my responsibilities from the moment I get up until I go to bed. However, I have found that when I focus on the needs of others around me, my day becomes increasingly happier and more productive. Looking for opportunities to serve or brighten someone’s day helps me remember and appreciate the important things in life. Go serve a family member, colleague or stranger. – Colton GardnerNeighbour

6. Go to bed early

Not getting enough sleep affects every part of your day, especially your work. You will feel tired, cloudy and possibly irritable if you don’t spend enough time resting. Make sure you establish a new routine and go to bed earlier to increase productivity and happiness. – Stephanie WellsFormidable shapes

7. Set intentions

If you wake up in the morning and don’t have good intentions, you’re more likely to feel disoriented about the day ahead. You want to make sure you know what to expect so that you are prepared for what lies ahead. Make sure you set intentions for everything you want to accomplish during the day and see how it affects your productivity. – Jared AtchisonWPForms

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8. Write down your “success list.”

What helped me manage all five of my businesses while staying fit and traveling the world monthly was simply writing down my daily success list. I called it a “success list” instead of a to-do list to improve my mindset. For every task I complete, I feel more rewarded and successful, which in turn increases my productivity. Make every hour count in your day! – Fritz ColcolABN Circle

9. Sit up straight and smile

Being aware of your facial expressions and posture will do wonders for your daily productivity, happiness, and ultimately your health. Sitting upright and smiling releases dopamine and serotonin (positive hormones) in your brain. Make this a habit by setting reminders. Over time, you will notice that your mood improves, allowing you to do your best work. – Karlo TanjuakioGoLeanSixSigma.com

Entrepreneur having a short break, breaking up

10. Take lots of short breaks

While it may seem productive to work for four hours straight, working in four one-hour periods with short breaks in between is a much better strategy. This prevents mental burnout and can keep your energy levels consistent throughout the day. I recommend looking into something like the Pomodoro Method for more research. – Bryce WelkerAccounting Institute of Success

11. Hold walking meetings

An easy way to make your days more productive is to book walking meetings. You’ll get a nice step count, an increase in your overall health and well-being. In addition, walking often makes you think better, which means you are likely to make better decisions. Moreover, you can do this face-to-face or by telephone. – Aaron SelkrigSelkrig performance unit

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12. Always be networking

Talk to a new person every day for a week. I think we get so caught up in the same cycle that it can be easy to not interact with different people. You never know what story and experience the person on the bus or in life coming up behind you for coffee might have to share. You think you know what your day will be like until you meet new people and expand your horizons. – Jared WeitzUnited Capital Source Inc.

13. Exercise more

Sometimes I get busy and say, “I’m going to the gym tomorrow,” only to realize I haven’t been to the gym in months. When I go to the gym for an hour a day, three days a week, for a little cardio and strength training, I feel so much better. Words cannot describe the energy, productivity and happiness I feel once I get my body back into the rhythm of training. – John TurnerSeedProd LLC

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