3 Steps to Increase Productivity (They Are Not What You Think)

We all have to do lists.

Maybe even multiple.

Perhaps you have a fancy app, or you somehow are super human and manage it all in your head (props to you, sister).

And while I wish I could just tell you that the fastest way to get them all done is to just delete them all off your list, I don’t think that would actually get you where you wanted to be.

Maybe your list is a mix of things you’d rather not do but kind of have to; feed yourself or others, clean the house, finish the work project, etc…

Or maybe somewhere on the list you even have things you love to do, but right now they feel like a chore amongst all the other must-dos.

So while we can all agree that sometimes we just have to do them, I would also invite you to look at how doing things from force or pushing can be an energy leak.

So what other way is there? What if you could actually get energy back from knocking things off your list? What if you could find pleasure from your to do list?

Guess what… you can.

I know those last few lines sounded a little cheesy, but honestly, I’m obsessed with infusing pleasure and enjoyment into everything I do. But, before I share these tips, I just want to be clear. Doing things this way takes practice. It’s not how we’ve been taught to do things. And I realize a lot of you might scoff at the idea of putting pleasure before everything else, but it’s actually kind of life changing. So go with me on this.

I find I get more done, and, I also get it done faster. So without further ado, here are a few simple tricks I practice regularly and teach all of my clients.

1. How can you infuse the task with pleasure or fun?

The next time you have to do some bookkeeping or paperwork, could you light some candles, snuggle under a warm blanket or pour a glass of your favorite sparkling beverage? Can you listen to your favorite podcast while grocery shopping or working out?

Another hack I like to keep in my back pocket is what I call “bookending.” Some tasks just won’t be that fun, so what I like to do is bookend it with 5-10 minutes before and after with something that is pleasurable. Dancing, a funny video, a quick call to someone you love. Find what works and instead of seeing it as a reward or distraction, it’s just a mandatory part of getting things done.

2. Remember why you’re doing it.

I know some of the more monotonous tasks can just become a chore in our minds, but what if you can tap into the larger impact the task has? When you get groceries for yourself and loved ones, you can make nourishing meals. Having nourishing meals means you have energy to do the things you need to do. Go as far as you can and feel free to be totally ridiculous. It helps bring us back into purpose and gratitude and makes it a lot easier.

3. Throw a quick temper tantrum, then go do it.

Sound silly? Good. As adults, we get so good at suppressing emotions. But it can cause us to disconnect from our bodies which leads to a serious decrease in pleasure and power. So instead, do what babies do. Throw a tantrum, let yourself flail a little, whine, groan, punch the air, and move the energy and emotions out of your body. For an added bonus, when you’re done, start to dance, swing your hips back and forth, or take a few deep breaths. All of this builds energy that can help us take that energy into the next task.

There you have it—the not so boring hacks to getting more done. It’s counter to the very masculine, structured way many of us have been taught to approach life/work/business.

It’s body-based, allows us to honor our emotions, and is just way more fun.

I hope you try these out and enjoy them. Share them with women in your life. And create your own ways to bring more fun and pleasure into everything you do.

Julia Wells is a Women’s Empowerment Coach who helps leaders find their voices, lean into their fears, and become a greater force for good in the world. She is fiercely committed to sisterhood and creating communities where women feel safe, supported, and seen. Julia landed in the Bay Area when she ditched corporate to explore entrepreneurship. She feels most alive when singing obnoxiously in the car, chasing a sunset, or practicing Buti Yoga.