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Daily Habits That Increase Productivity

Be more productive. Make the most of the day.

I’ve read research and listened to podcasts and Ted Talks. I have combined what I learned from books, websites and podcasts with trial and error to find what works for me on a day-to day-basis. I have created habits that have proven to increase productivity: 9 TRIED AND TRUE HABITS THAT INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY

Good morning fitfam! Hugs, hellos, how are yous and all the other things friends and family do when they get together.

Is it just me or does the last time we got together seem like longer than a week ago?

A few days ago my daughter made a comment about not ever wanting to have the problem that mom has, wanting to do too much.  Her comment stuck with me. Is wanting TO DO a problem? Is it too much? Sure, sometimes it feels overwhelming, but all in all wanting TO DO isn’t a problem. In fact, it’s an energizing joy.

If I begin to feel overwhelmed and feeling like wanting TO DO is too much, I see that as a sign that something is off. Maybe I need a break or I need to do a self check and make some changes.

Alyssa’s comment meshed perfectly with this week’s topic, Habits of Highly Productive People. I’ve read research and listened to podcasts and Ted Talks. I have combined what I learned from books, websites and podcasts with trial and error to find what works for me on a day-to day-basis. I have created habits that have proven to increase productivity:


  1. Plan all of your meals a week ahead and do the grocery shopping with a list. I’ve been doing this so long I can’t imagine starting a week without a menu.
  2. Don’t multitask and keep your head in the game. Give what you’re doing 100% of your mind and effort. There was a time when I thought multitasking was a strength. Looking back, multitasking at the time served me well.
  3. When your body needs to rest. Rest. You’re asking a lot out of your body on a daily basis. Don’t hesitate to give it what it needs.
  4. Use a multi-tiered to-do list based on priorities. My to-do list on steroids.
  5. Get up early and count on this time as [almost] guaranteed to be uninterrupted. I wouldn’t have it any other way. 7 days a week.
  6. Make physical activity a priority more days of the week than not. There are too many physical and mental benefits not to.
  7. Do something daily that calms the mind and body. Give your body what it needs.
  8. Start everyday with a morning routine. My routine is what makes early morning my favorite part of the day.
  9. Surround yourself with supportive and/or like minded people. The energy and positive mindset are contagious.


Lets chat.

What habits do you have (or want to start) that increase productivity and make the most of your day? Do you think wanting TO DO is a problem? How do you know your to-dos are too much?

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  1. I’m excited to say I do most of these! Sadly I can’t get up earlier than everyone else…my boys are up at 5 am and I just can’t get myself out of bed earlier than that so I have become a night owl. And I have come to embrace the REST from working out! My body likes the rest and performs so much better when I allow myself to take rest days and even unplanned rest days!

    1. Hi Sue. I look forward to my Friday rest day. I remember when it was a struggle to make myself rest and I definitely didn’t like it. My how things have changed 🙂

  2. Yes! Rest! I’ve taken extra rest days this week because I was too exhausted to do anything.

  3. Hi Jill,
    I love your tips for productivity – especially for waking up early. I cherish my mornings to myself 🙂

  4. I love your list, Jill! I do all of these pretty regularly… but need to work on the “calming” one. 😉 Sometimes my calming and my physical fitness go hand-in-hand while trail running.

    1. Hi Naomi. Ahh…trail running. It amazes me how I can work so hard (when training) and feel so calm when I’m on the trails. Thanks! xoxo

    1. Thank you Diane. You are too sweet! Oh and for the record we will meet again in real life 🙂

  5. Thank you for sharing this! I know from my own experience his difficult it can be to be productive when you’re surrounded by procrastinators. Sigh. Need to find some like minded people 🙂

    1. Hi jenn. You found like minded friends here! It’s true. Surround yourself with people that see life the way you do or at least open to and supportive of the way you see life.

  6. I love the early mornings also – you can hear a pin drop at my house and it is wonderful. I get things done and have a chance to reflect on the day. Great tips!!

    1. Hi Natalie. Ahhh…the quiet alone is reason enough to get up before everyone else.

    1. Hi Sami. It’s hard for me to believe that there was a time when I thought multitasking was a strength. Honestly though, as a mom, when my kids were little, multitasking had its place and served me well. At least I think so 🙂

  7. Love this post! For me, I need lists and routines due to my ADHD, they help me stay better on track. Listening to my body more is something I’ve been working on more and more as well.
    And, supportive people are definitely the backbone of a successful person.

  8. you’re daughter is wise. but so are you. I think wanting to do too much is a good problem. Learning how to filter and balance life is another. Working on that as we speak… needed these tips.

    1. Thanks Lindsay. It’s not the first time one of my kids have made me stop and think.

  9. I do plan all my meals for the week..it is one less thing that i have to stress about. But my plate is really full right now…I think after the marathon, things will lighten up a bit.

    1. Things always lighten up after a training cycle. You feel like you have endless amounts of extra time.

  10. Love these tips Jill. I’m with you on so many of them. Lately, I’ve been getting up when my alarm rings (it’s tough), getting some tea and just taking a minute to relax. Plus, I’m all about my todo list and planner!

  11. All good tips Jill – especially getting up early to have uninterrupted time! I’ve still got to work on resting when my body needs it – can’t be go-go-go all of the time, right?

    1. Hi Michelle. I learned the hard that go go go catches up with you in one way or another. Your body will tell you to slow down in subtle ways and if we don’t’ list our body will get our attention in less than subtle ways.

  12. I really try to do all of these! My problem with early morning now, is that the time is taken up with my training and I feel like I’d love to use it for other things. I also want to be more consistent with meal planning to make evenings easier.

    1. How much longer is your training? After that will you be able to use the morning for the “other things”? I can’t imagine starting a week without a meal plan.

  13. Dave keeps me accountable, otherwise I would just be whirlwind of ideas and half completed projects. Always been that way. I’m more of a night owl instead o f a morning person, but I’m trying hard to change that because it’s not working with my 5am classes I am teaching – eeek!! I agree with the multi-tasking! My other advice would be set a timer for social media!

    1. Hi Sam. I’m still working on managing social media better and more efficiently. How does your timer system work? Although the recent opportunities that have crossed my path may change all of that for me 🙂

  14. I love doing! lol. we are cut from the same cloth – it is so invigorating. But like you, I think it’s important to create routines/systems/habits so that it all runs smoothly, without being overwhelming. And, the menu planning is something I really need to get dialed in. I wing it all too often! Much love!

    1. Hi Jess. It’s amazing how 2 such different people can be so much alike. I can’t imagine starting a week without a meal plan. Much love xoxo

  15. I totally agree – If you can get your meals prepped, you are golden! 🙂

    Kara @ Fit Chick Nextdoor

  16. Great tips!! I love to wake up early and get my workout in, that way I know that it gets done for the day. It also makes me feel more productive afterwards.

  17. Great tips, Jill! Meal planning helps me a lot – it saves time at the grocery store and at meal time. I think I started doing it back when I got my first apartment in college and it’s been a habit ever since.

    1. Hi Laura. I can’t imagine starting a week without a meal plan. I’ve been weekly meal planning for years. It’s definitely a habit now.

    1. Hi Deborah. We do what works for us right. I can’t imagine starting a week without a meal plan. After years of weekly meal planning it’s a habit.

  18. Meal prepping is the best!! Keeps me sane.. And reminding myself to take a rest is also important.. If I try to do too many things at once I just burn myself out!

    1. Hi Liz. The trick is to rest before the burn out. Preventing burn out takes less time than recovering from it. I can’t imagine starting a week without a meal plan.

  19. If I don’t take the time to plan my meals AND premake lunches, I’m a disaster. I’ve also started to plan more of my days, so I can be productive and then that helps to eliminate stress in the evenings.

    1. Hi Ange. That’s a huge reason I do some of the things I do. To prevent stress. I can’t imagine starting a week without a meal plan.

  20. I’m definitely guilty of trying to do too much, but I try to make Saturdays free days – no to do list – just relax and enjoy family and friends!

  21. Great list! Meal planning is my life saver! I love the idea of getting up early before everyone else, but with a baby who is still occasionally up in the night, I also love the idea of sleeping a little longer. 🙂 It will come, and I look forward to the day when I can get some quiet morning me-time!

    1. You’re right Nancy. It will come. Maybe focus on other changes or productivity hacks for now.

    1. Me too Kathyrn. It’s like my definition of relaxing is never to do nothing. My husband on the other hand? Doing nothing is his favorite way to relax. And that’s ok haha

  22. Love it! I get up at 5 with my son, not ideal as I don’t get t with a baby and toddler that just isn’t a possibility. As soon as I embraced getting up at 5 and using that as “me” time while he plays I started loving it!

    1. Love me time. It makes me better at being all the other things I have to be. Thanks Hil!

    1. That’s true Giselle. Things don’t have to be as complicated as we sometimes make them.

  23. This is a great list! I nees to try your multi tier to do list.

  24. I get up super early to start getting things done – I like to accomplish a bunch of my to-do list before 9 or 10 am! It feels great knowing I have done so much before a lot of people even wake up!

  25. I’m with ya on the getting up early. I do it every day of the week, even weekends! It’s MY time interrupted, and I am SO productive then.

    1. Me too Chelsea. My weekday mornings are no different than weekend mornings except no work.

  26. I think I’m productive but maybe a little clustered in my approach, definitely something I need to work on! 😛

  27. My two calendars and many to-do lists are life savers when it comes to achieving everything I want to get done each week. When you have three jobs and a blog you gotta make lists!!

    1. Hi Bri. I’ve been an avid list maker for as long as I can remember. I don’t know how people manage without lists.

  28. All awesome things! I especially love to do something that calms me, wake up early, plan our meals ahead, and make exercise a priority. So important to keep everything in order so that order can be maintained!

  29. I wake up early every day (well, I would do that anyway) but it helps me get a start to my day and some quiet time to focus!

  30. My favorite of these is waking up early! I get up each weekday at 5am and usually have almost 2 hours of uninterrupted time that is QUIET…and my house is never quiet! I want to add some meditation to my morning routine though. I think just 5-7 min would help!

    1. Hi Allie. You might be surprised by how just 5-7 minutes of meditation can make a big difference.

  31. I think I have a multi-tasking problem, and have a difficulty concentrating on 1 task to get it done, then I have 5 or 6 projects on the go that never seem to get it done. This totally applies to blogging, I focus on nothing and try to do everything! I should break it down to daily tasks then I’d get more done.Planning meals weekly, that would be good to. Great tips here Jill, I need some tips on staying on task!

    1. I know Lucie. I’ve been there. Old habits are hard to break but you can do it. Start with change at a time.

  32. Between 2 young kids, the blog, other businesses, and life in general, I’m always looking for tips to increase productivity! Thanks for sharing!

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