Eliminate Overwhelm With These 26 Proven Productivity Tips

Today, I’m continuing my productivity tip two-part compilation from my podcast, Productivity Paradox. The podcast just turned one year old… and I wanted to create a list of my top tips to share with you all. The best part is, that any of these tips can be applied to the different areas of any lifestyle!

CLICK HERE if you haven’t read my first post that included episodes 001-026! And now we’ll begin where we left off… with episode 027!

 

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27. Eating the Elephant: Creating Personalized Systems

Top Tip: Use my 3-step quick guide to stop eating the frog (which is doing your most despised or hardest task first) and start Eating the Elephant. When you do this, you’re breaking your big goal down into bite-sized pieces, which will build your confidence and momentum!

  • Assess: Reflect on your relationship to the elephant. Is it your personal goal or is someone else pushing it off on you? When you look at your ultimate goal, what is it you want to achieve? Look at where you are in relation to that goal. Next, ask yourself what your obstacle is in getting to that elephant. Look internally and see what is holding you back.
  • Break It Down: Figure out a sub-task of the larger task. Go into it with the expectation of how long you’re going to work – it could be 10 minutes or 40 minutes. You can even put on a podcast or music, depending on the task.
  • Celebrate Your Wins: Reward yourself when you do your work and after your focus time. Commit to stay focused during your set time.

 

28. Walk Away From Perfection

Top Tip: Keep note of your accomplishments. Write down what you get done at the end of each day. You’ll start to feel more accomplished, regardless of whether those things turned out perfectly or not.

When we take note of what went right and what we completed, instated of focusing on how things didn’t go perfectly, we not only become grateful, we can see how much we really did accomplish. I encourage you to actually eliminate the word ‘perfect’ from your vocabulary as well, and see how that can help shift your mindset.

 

29. Batching Tasks: Your Best Work in Less Time

Top Tip: Categorize your task into either Action or Context. Action means that they are similar activities (calls, emails). Context means they are grouped by situations, surroundings or tools (taking photos, grocery shopping, shipping products).

You can also grab a free download from that episode and start batching tasks right away, so that you work more effectively in the time that you have.

 

30. Why Eating the Frog Doesn’t Work

Top Tip: Don’t tackle your biggest, most dreaded task on your list right off the bat. Instead, complete a task you WANT to get done that you gain momentum.

 

  • Use the formula: action, inspiration, motivation, repeat.
  • Make your weekly master list at the beginning of the week, but create your daily to-do list as each day comes.
  • Figure out the smallest task you can accomplish to move you forward and then just do it. Use that as your springboard.

 

31. Creating Habits: The Formula for Success

Top Tip: Use cue, routine, and reward – The formula you need to create good habits.

For example, while you already have a good habit of brushing your teeth, maybe you’d like to start flossing. First, create a CUE for yourself: Set out your floss by your toothbrush. Seeing this cue and following through with it each time for around 2 months or so will create your ROUTINE. Be sure to REWARD yourself right after you complete your flossing routine each night. This can be any form of little reward you would like!

 

32. Habits: The Four Tendencies with Gretchen Rubin

Top Tip: Figure out if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger or Rebel so that you can understand how to best create habits for your lifestyle, and learn about loopholes you might be using to get out of completing those good habits.

In episode 032, I talked with Gretchen Rubin all about creating and cultivating good habits, what the four tendencies are and loopholes we may find so that we don’t implement real routines. Take the quiz to see which tendency you fall under and reflect on how you’re doing with creating good habits for yourself.

 

33. Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work: The Priority List

Top Tip: Get rid of the traditional to-do list and start making a priority list instead. Your to-do list is just a long list of items you need to accomplish… and when you don’t, it feels overwhelming and you’re wondering what happened. With the Priority List System, you can categorize each task so you understand where it falls as a priority:

  • Immediate: important & urgent
    • You don’t want to spend all your time here because you’re working from an urgent, defensive place.
    • Examples might be a term paper with an eminent deadline, an email from your boss that requires you to work quickly on changes to a project, or your car breaking down.
  • Important: important and non-urgent
    • This is where you want to spend the majority of your time. These are tasks that are important because they work towards fulfilling your long term goals or your mission and they don’t have a pressing deadline.
    • Examples of priority two tasks include creating a budget plan, taking a course to improve yourself, working on long-term projects.
  • Insignificant: unimportant and urgent
    • We want to spend as little time as possible in this tier. These tasks are still loud and urgent to finish but they don’t really help you focus on your mission or end goals.

I know this can take some to get use to since we’ve all been using the traditional to-do list for so long, but trust me, once you start implementing this system, it can transform your productivity.

 

34. Ask Tonya: Customizing Systems to Your Lifestyle

Top Tip: Understand that if your system isn’t personalized to you and your lifestyle & environment, it won’t work nearly as well. We can’t always do what everyone else is doing and hope it works for us too… everyone is different. Take some time to integrate systems at home and work that help you be more productive.

In this episode, I answer listener questions about maintaining productivity even with a hectic schedule, how to implement monotasking at work, ways to get organized at home and much more.

 

35. Automations: Systems that Work for You

Top Tip: When creating your automations calendar, don’t pile a bunch of things onto a single day. Make sure that you’re keeping the harmony in your planning.

When you’re doing the automations calendar, think about tasks that possibly go together so you could batch items together. Have one day that’s dedicated to cleaning and another day that’s dedicated to most of your cooking for the week. I have a download for you that will help… get yours for free here and start scheduling your automated tasks to boost productivity at work and home.

 

36. Adding Springboards to Your Productivity Systems

Top Tip: Use both delegation and automation as a springboard to allow yourself the time and motivation you wouldn’t have otherwise.

 

  • Delegate bits of your tasks or processes to others – employees, children, spouses, friends, etc. This will give you momentum to get started on what you need to do.
  • Automate your springboards. For example, if you want to exercise more, but your home gym or workout area is always messy, plan to clean that room every Monday (or whichever day that works best for you) so that you’re motivated to get in your workout.

 

37. Delegating at Work & Home: How to Empower Your Team

Top Tip: Use my Process of Delegation worksheet to get started delegating. Make a list of tasks you want to delegate and a list of your teammates (at work AND home) alongside that using the download. Tips for delegating:

 

 

  • Think about the skills and development of each of your teammates in order to decide who to delegate to.
  • Decide your outcomes. How important is it that the task is done a certain way? How thoroughly do you want it done?
  • Make sure you have the supplies and resources needed for the delegation. When everyone has what they need for the task, it will get done.
  • Anticipate questions. People on your team will have questions if this is the first time they’re completing it. Be ready with answers to help them work effectively.

 

38. Technology Apps That Streamline Your Productivity

Top Tip: In this episode, I go over my favorite apps that I use at work with my team and in my home life. I suggest listening to 038 to get all the details and tips on how to get started with these apps and to understand how they can help streamline areas of your life.

My favorite apps include:

 

 

 

39. Ask Tonya: Keeping Systems Running During Busy Seasons

Top Tip: I know that keeping up with your routines and systems in the different areas of your life can be difficult… add the holidays and busier times in the mix, and things can fall out of place. My favorite tip here is for us to adjust our expectations.

Look over your busy seasons in advance and don’t schedule in items during the months where you’re much busier at work or at home. This will only stress you out. I have automations throughout my entire year, but when December comes, I only have one or two things on that list so I can focus on family time and on the busy time at the studio.

 

40. Working Towards Big Goals & Dreams

Top Tip: Ask yourself, “Am I in a growth mindset or a fixed mindset?”

This factor is extremely important when pursuing your dreams and finding fulfillment. It could be that if you’re unsatisfied and aren’t making much progress on the path toward what you want, that you need to ask yourself this question. But don’t stop there. Don’t just ask yourself the question and feel unsure how to handle it. Look at how you can change that fixed mindset, even if it’s starting with little steps and seeking support from loved ones.

 

41. How is Fear Holding You Back?

Top Tip: The 5 steps for managing your fear download will be really helpful if you have either of the two types of fear I go over in this podcast episode (survival and perception). These 5 quick steps will help you in combating your fears and using them to propel you forward towards your goals and dreams.

  • Step 1: Define the risk. Write down the risk you’re considering.
  • Step 2: Define the worst-case scenario. Write down all of the worst-case scenarios that could possibly happen if you take the risk. Be specific and go for a high number of scenarios.
  • Step 3: Minimizing the risk. Write down what you could do to minimize the possibility of each negative outcome that you came up with.
  • Step 4: Make a plan for those worst-case scenarios. Write down all the things you could do to get back on track if that negative outcome even happened at all.
  • Step 5: Fear reversal. Stimulate your worst fears as a way to inoculate yourself against your fears. Maybe they’ve been blown a little bit out of proportion and aren’t as bad as you imagine.

 

42. How to Fail Successfully

Top Tip: ‘Get Good’ at Failure. You have to learn to embrace failure and get kind of good at it. When you fail, take a step back and apply what you’ve learned and reset and keep moving forward.

No one else knows what’s right for you. There’s so much advice out there on the steps to take on your path, and so many sources that say: this is exactly what you have to do to be successful. But then you try them and they just don’t work for you. Listen to the parts that are true for you, and disregard what isn’t. You just need to navigate your path in your own way.

 

43. Analysis Paralysis: Stop Overthinking Your Goals

Top Tip: In this episode, I gave you 5 ways you can stop analysis paralysis and overthinking your goals so much that it prevented you from actually taking action. A couple of my favorites are:

 

  • Combat Decision Fatigue: Structure your day in a way that allows you to have the most brain power when you need it. You can do this through automations and try to tackle your important tasks in the morning.
  • Limit Information You Consume: Stay focused by limiting your tabs open, books you’re using for research, number of people you consult, etc. Set a deadline for your decision. I know deadlines are hard to stick to, so find an accountability partner to check in with you!

 

044: Ask Tonya: Making Time for Goals

Top Tip: We all have those big dreams and goals we talk about to our family, friends or partner… and yet we don’t take action to make it happen. I know so many struggle with this, so in this episode I was really happy to answer Susanne’s question about her dream of moving to Ireland for part of the listener Q+A. I went into more detail , but I gave her these 4 quick tips that I think can help anyone who has been procrastinating their dream:

  • Add images of your dream for inspiration. Put them on your bathroom mirror, in your wallet, anywhere where you’ll see them often. Make it so the idea of Ireland is always around you. So you can start visualizing what life would really be like for you there. Visualization is a powerful tool. And the more you begin to visualize yourself there, the more real it becomes in your mind.
  • Ask yourself… ‘why?’ Why do you want to move to Ireland? Why does the idea of this move excite you? Write out a statement saying why you want to move, and what you are going to do there, put it where you and your husband will see it often.
  • Create a fear list. You can use that download that I had back in episode 41 to help guide you on this. Take a look at what your fears are, because I want you to begin to look these fears square in the eye. Acknowledge them. Think about what, truly, is the worst case scenario, and is it really that bad? If the worst case scenario were to happen, would you be able to recover? Spoiler alert, the answer is yes. What we want to do is find a reason for you to keep moving forward towards this goal that is stronger than the doubt and the fear that you are feeling right now.
  • Figure out what small action you need to take first, and then do it. Maybe your first step is to tell a friend. Maybe it’s to contact a real estate agent who will get the real timeline going on getting a house in Ireland or selling your place in Austria. Start with just a few small steps, and get the momentum going. This is a beautiful dream that you have, and I really hope that you start moving forward, so you can accomplish it.

 

045: The Power of Choice

Top Tip: Review your options by making a list of all the possible courses of action. Don’t evaluate each option, just write them down. Know that you always have a choice… even if that choice isn’t your favorite or first pick. 

You can evaluate them later after your initial brain dump but sometimes it helps just to sit down and come up with all the options that are possible. You might be surprised how many choices you really have.

 

046: No Barriers with Erik Weihenmayer Pt. 1

Top Tip: My top tip for this episode comes right from Erik, who is a blind adventurer who has climbed Mt. Everest, tackled the Seven Summits and kayaked the Grand Canyon. He says, “What’s within you is stronger than what’s in your way.”

This quote has stuck with me because I really believe in it. What is it that may be in your way right now? How can you look within you to use your strengths to fight your roadblock?

 

047: No Barriers with Erik Weihenmayer Pt. 2

Top Tip: Don’t let ‘invisible barriers’ stand in your way.

Realize that sometimes your fears may be largely in you head. These are perception fears. Erik’s tip for combating this is actually to go back to the beginning in order to move forward. This is about acclimating your brain to the situation and taking small steps in the right direction to get to where you know you want to be.

 

048: Fight Overwhelm: How to Narrow in On Your Ideas

Top Tip: The first step is understanding why you may not be focusing in on one idea and working towards it. Once we know why we’re feeling stuck and not taking action, we can begin to move forward.

Realize some of your reasons may be that your idea doesn’t feel complete, you say it’s too hard, or that you’re focused on others’ ideas.

 

049: How to Boost Your Creativity & Work Effectively

Top Tip: Separate the creative process from the incubation process.

For example, the research and writing phase: don’t try to research and write an article at the same time. Instead, gather materials and then write. You can consume more inspiration, take it all in, and then get into work mode. In this episode, I give a few other tips that really work well for me (and are proven to work for others too!) so I don’t have my creativity blocked.

 

050: Pursuing & Achieving Big Dreams with Niki Nakayama

Top Tip: In this episode, I talked with world famous chef, Niki Nakayama, about how she opened up her own highly acclaimed restaurant, n/naka. The advice that Niki gave was to let criticism to motivate you, instead of having a negative experience and quitting.

This is easier said than done, but that’s why this tip is a lot about mindset. Niki experienced negativity and doubt from different people, some being her family members. But she didn’t let that stop her. She used it to fuel her fire. I suggest watching Niki in Chef’s Table on Netflix (view the trailer here!) because I know her story will inspire you.

 

051: How to Get Motivated To Start Your Passion Project

Top Tip: Eliminate the word ‘lazy’ from your vocabulary entirely + use my most popular worksheet.

Using the word ‘lazy’ is more of an excuse than a real reason you may not be working towards your goals. Not only that, it sets the stage for negativity and feeling unmotivated. In this episode, I also shared my most popular download… the ACTION Roadmap. Use this worksheet to get started on ANY goal or project!

 

052: Choose How You Spend Your Day

Top Tip: Learn to rethink the word ‘busy.’

This is my number one tip in this episode and in the blog post I dedicated to choosing how we spend our days. Know that not everything is a priority. We need to take a hard look at the items on our list every day and make a decision if they are truly important, and pushing us to our goals.

 

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I hope you’ve enjoyed the 52 productivity tips from the first year of Productivity Paradox! I go into a lot more detail in each episode and email you every free download that goes along with it. If you haven’t yet, sign up here to get those emails sent right to your inbox every week when a new episode goes live!

 

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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton