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Simple Ways to Increase Productivity in Our Lives

Does this picture look familiar to you? You’re not the only one who can relate. COVID-19 has many of us feeling: stretched too thin, overwhelmed, and that we are nowhere near as productive as we want to be or were prior to the pandemic. 

However, there are straightforward, effective habits that we can implement into our lives to alleviate those feelings AND enhance our productivity levels! 

Read along to learn about  five ways that can be easily incorporated into your day-to-day busy lives to help promote productivity!

5 Ways to Increase Daily Productivity

1. Break Down Larger Tasks Into Smaller, More Reasonable Tasks:

This method has personally been extremely helpful to me. I often found that, prior to utilizing this technique, I would make to-do lists that included many large tasks.

They often looked like:

  • Finish assignment A 
  • Finish assignment B
  • Study for test A 
  • Study for test B
  • Laundry
  • Go grocery shopping

While there may be nothing wrong with said list to some people, the average person may find merely looking at this list to be overwhelming. We want to avoid that and make our daily lists manageable. 

To accomplish this, consider setting specific, smaller tasks for yourself to tailor a to-do list based on what should be prioritized like: 

  • Finish Section 1 of assignment A 
  • Finish researching section 2 of assignment B 
  • Study first chapter for test A 
  • Create a grocery list

You will find that, by prioritizing a smaller amount of tasks AND setting a specific intention for each goal, you are actually able tick more boxes off of your list! 


This method is also beneficial when dealing with a larger task at hand. Break it up! Make a list of an outline of steps you need to follow in order to complete your task and achieve that end product you have in mind instead of simply writing down “Finish X task.” (Take it “one step at a time,” literally) 

2. Experiment With Your Work/School Routine:
  • See what time of day you are able to offer the most focus to completing your tasks

You may be surprised! Everyone is different. Some may find working early in the morning to be the best option, while others may discover an increase in their productivity in the afternoon or after dinner at night.

  • Engage in a quick exercise/stretch routine before you start working on your daily obligations 
  • Find/make your own study and work playlist of songs that help you focus 
  • Try out the Pomodoro technique 
The Pomodoro technique, in short, is fully focusing and working on your task for 25 minute intervals with short breaks in between (5 minutes), and a longer break every once in a while (20 minutes).
Tweak the Pomodoro technique and cater it to you by changing how long your work intervals are (depending on how long you are able to stay fully focused on your task) and how often you take breaks! 
3. Take Breaks:

While this may seem contradictory to being productive, taking short breaks throughout the day are necessary. After all, taking care of yourself allows you to avoid the dreaded “pandemic burnout” I am sure we have all experienced or have come close to experiencing in this unprecedented time we are in. 

Utilize this time in your day to:

  • go for a short walk
  • do a quick exercise routine
  • make yourself a snack
  • meditate (there are lots of guided meditations online!) 
  • read a few pages of a book you’re interested in
  • watch a short video 

Whatever activity you choose to engage in during this short period of time, ensure that it is not related to the tasks you have at hand (and that it make you smile). Think of this time as a way for your mind to re-energize itself. Give yourself that much needed break you deserve! 

4. Manage Distractions:

This point may be more relevant than ever, as most of us have been working and studying from home due to the pandemic. As we have most likely discovered by now, the work environments that we situate ourselves in impacts our overall focus. 

A couple of ways you can deal with daily distractions that may interfere with your productivity levels: 

  • Put your phone in another room/lock it and turn off notifications while you engage in your work


  • Set aside a “distraction paper” for thoughts/ideas that you think about whilst working that do not pertain to your task
  • Find a work environment that works for you! 
Maybe you work better at home alone, maybe you don’t. Maybe you find that your focus increases when you work outside taking in the fresh air (now that the weather is nicer).  Perhaps you find it helpful to be in study calls with friends to hold yourself accountable. The only way to find out what environment you work best in, is through experimenting! 
5. List Down Daily Accomplishments:

This is, almost literally, giving yourself that pat on the back that you deserve. Looking back on your daily accomplishments is reminiscing on the highlights of your day! It is extremely gratifying.

It could be a list of something as simple as: 

  • Drank six glasses of water today
  • Cooked a delicious meal
  • Caught up on my assignments 

While this is a habit that everyone can reap the benefits of, it is most especially worth trying this out if you find you are critical about your  accomplishments and not getting enough done daily. 

Simply putting that down on paper, really puts into perspective just how much we were able to get done and achieve throughout the day. Otherwise, these small accomplishments can often go unnoticed and are overshadowed by what we perhaps did not get done throughout the day. Give yourself credit! 

It also gives us that burst of motivation that follows us into the following day! 

I want to emphasize that, most importantly, of utmost importance on our to-do lists everyday in big letters should be to: “DO SOMETHING NICE FOR YOURSELF.” 

After all, taking care of yourself is the first and MOST VITAL STEP  you can take in helping you take care of all the other commitments you have in your life. 


I hope you give some of these a try! 

Note: The Free Your Mind Mental Health Society is an independent youth-led organization. The contents of this blog are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In the event of a medical emergency, please call your doctor or 911 or other local emergency numbers immediately

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