In the pursuit of personal effectiveness, we often sacrifice our mental health. An incomplete to-do list guarantees stress, a spoiled mood and fits of self-flagellation. However, today efficiency is the key to success. How to be productive, while remaining in harmony with yourself? Here are some suggestions.

1. Write down

No matter how trivial it may sound, keep records of tasks on paper. This way you reduce the level of anxiety and do not forget anything.

The Eisenhower matrix consists of four quadrants, the basis of which are two axes - this is the axis of importance (vertical) and the axis of urgency (horizontal). As a result, it turns out that each quadrant is distinguished by its quality indicators. All tasks and matters are recorded in each quadrant, due to which an extremely clear and objective picture of what should be done in the first place, what - in the second, and what should not be done at all is formed. All this is quite simple, but it will not be superfluous to give a few explanations in any case.

2. Set priorities

A day has 24 hours, a week – 7 days. We are not able to manage time, but we can manage our energy and decide what exactly to spend it on. An effective planning system will help you do this, by which you divide tasks according to criteria of importance and urgency.

Start the day with important and urgent tasks. Then attention should be paid to important, but not urgent matters. As a rule, you can delegate some tasks and completely ignore the rest.

3. Include rest in the schedule

It is very important not to forget to restore strength for further victories. Even if we are productive in the morning, concentration weakens over time, the focus of attention becomes scattered and it takes time to restore energy.

But, distracting from work, we feel guilty, which is unlikely to help restore strength. Therefore, make the rest legal, allow yourself a short break and rather include it in a to-do list. This way you will replenish energy reserves without experiencing remorse because it was a planned break and it did not stretch out for the whole day.

4. When embarking on a new task, think why you are doing it

Sometimes we fall into the trap of the “to-do list” when crossing-out of tasks in a diary becomes a goal in itself. Ask yourself: “If I don’t do this right now, what will happen?” Perhaps it is worth deleting this item or returning to it later.

5. Use the rule of two minutes

If the task can be completed in two minutes, do it right away. It will take much more time and effort to write it into a planner and to get to the bottom of things again.

6. Work in productive time

Each person has his own peak productivity time. Analyze your effectiveness during the day and try to organize the schedule so that the most important and responsible tasks fall at this time.

7. Turn off notifications

All. Or almost all. SMS about promotional deals, mailing lists, messages from friends on Facebook, WhatsApp and Skype. Each notification that you pay attention to not only steals precious seconds of time but also knocks you out of the “flow” state. Unnoticeably this leads to stress.

When you need maximum concentration, it is best to use the Do Not Disturb mode. Believe me, you will not miss anything and will be able to return to messages as soon as you finish the current task.

8. Start the day with something nice

Let it be your morning ritual. A “relaxed” cup of delicious coffee, yoga, reading or your favorite music - any small thing can make your morning a little happier and give a boost of energy for the whole day.

9. Difficult tasks first

There are several different opinions regarding the ranking of top-priority goals. Some experts argue that at first it is better to perform 1-2 simple tasks for getting started and entering the working mode. But it is worth trying a different approach. If you have to do something difficult or not too pleasant, then do it first. This not only allows you to start “eating frogs” with a fresh head and strength but also gives an excellent mood from the work done for the rest of the day.

10. Sleep well, eat healthy and exercise

The body is the “hardware” for your brain, and you will never reach the maximum of your potential unless you take care of your body. Exercise has proven to improve mental abilities, and the lack of quality sleep worsens them.

Always remember: you are a person, not a robot. It is necessary to remain in harmony with oneself, because without peace of mind it is difficult to set goals and achieve them, no matter how significant they are.

Plan and remember that your mental health is your top priority.