It takes just 15 minutes to transform from a state of inactivity to an efficient productive beast doing tasks that you’ve always avoided.
The secret to this wonderful and useful self-development skill? A simple read through of the article to gain 27 ways on how to increase your productivity in just 15 minutes.
WHY BEING PRODUCTIVE AND EFFICIENT IS SO IMPORTANT TO SELF-GROWTH
Efficiency helps us Save Time
Let’s take an example – imagine you set your washing machine to wash your clothes and it took a total of 45 minutes of time.
Now wash the same set of clothes manually, you’ll probably begin by giving 100 excuses. In the end, you’ll be left with a pile of dirty clothes lying around.
A machine is programmed to be efficient hence it finishes at the specific time. A human being is distracted, has emotions, feels tired, and is constantly procrastinating.
But imagine if we were even 50% as efficient as a machine, how many tasks could we complete in a day?
- We’d clean the entire house spick and span
- We’d have the work files on the desk of our boss the next morning
- We’d arrive on time at every event and occasion
- We’d complete our life goals
- We’d earn more money through acquiring more knowledge
- There would be freedom from ever having to see another dirty dish in the sink
All these advantages and yet human beings are inefficient for the sole reason of acquiring a short-term stress release from being lazy. Productivity is gained when we utilize our time to the maximum.
If there was a piggy bank to collect time, you’d be saving several minutes or even hours into your daily hourglass.
This time can then be used for your own recreational purposes or be invested in learning knowledge to grow your mind and physical being.
Efficiency teaches us Accountability
Have you ever had days when you didn’t know the entire day has gone by and you realize you just spent it by watching cat videos on YouTube?
Doesn’t it truly kill you inside as a human being?
You promise yourself that the next day would be twice as productive to make up for the loss of today. At the end of the next day, it’s the same emotion filled with regret and remorse except you’ve now concluded that you need help.
Do you know why this level of inefficiency occurs to people? Because they lack any accountability for their lives.
When we’re responsible we don’t allow time to pass us without paying attention to it.
Time management is a core requirement for responsibility and productivity plays a major role in ensuring time is valued.
The reasons many of us feel the need to procrastinate and lose all accountability are due to several factors like –
- Too much work stress
- Not being inspired enough
- Being distracted by social-media and entertainment
- No control over your daily life
- High expectations from yourself
- Large goals that aren’t achieved due to non-existent milestones
- Inability to manage finances
We are responsible when all these factors are taken care of and when our life returns to normalcy.
These issues only persist when we lack any form of productivity in our life.
We need to take the time to sit down and relist our goals.
Prioritize important tasks from those that are less important. Shut out all forms of distraction.
By focusing on productivity, we eliminate clutter from our lives one by one and detangle our life from these occurrences.
Efficiency improves Sociability
Have you ever had to turn down the weekend party scene with your friends because you had too much work on your desk?
Were you thinking of the project back in the office when having Thanksgiving dinner with your family?
Inefficiency diminishes your social skills and reduces your lifestyle to that of a worker bee. Imagine collecting nectar from flowers all day and not having any form of communication with your co-workers.
Your boss thinks you’re antisocial, your colleagues think you’re a psychopath, and your family back home thinks that you’ve lost all affection for them.
Is this a price you’re willing to pay for dealing with inefficiency?
In a case study titled “Impact of Workplace Quality on Employee’s Productivity”, researchers found that employees with a low form of sociability were considered eyesores by their bosses and co-workers as they didn’t contribute much to the culture of the company.
In turn, this caused a massive level of dissatisfaction with employees and their families.
The vicious cycle of inefficiency is proven in the above study and it demonstrates how important it is for individuals to reassess their lives and bring in a change.
Not just any change, but progress towards productive lifestyles.
Employees who completed their work on time had more time on their hands to socialize with co-workers and spend quality time with their family.
Tweaking your productivity levels can certainly add a level of quality to your personal and professional life.
27 EFFICIENT WAYS TO IMPROVE YOURSELF WITHIN 15-MINUTES
1. Take a Stroll in a Park
As simple as that. Just get up and begin moving towards the direction of the nearest park in your vicinity.
Walking contributes to metabolic activity.
With working individuals glued to their laptop screens, a lot of fatal diseases make their way into our lives.
All it takes is a light walk in the park to breathe in the fresh oxygen and to absorb the serenity of the real world.
Being absorbed in a digital world, makes us forget that there is a life beyond our plastic screens.
2. Arrange Books on the Shelf
When was the last time you decided to arrange your bookshelf or alphabetically place your books back in the rack?
Picking up books and putting them back in the racks is a great way to get some light exercise and organize your home.
The next time you reach for a book, you won’t have to look behind your couch to find what you are looking for.
3. Look up your Credit Score
In a recent poll conducted, only 9 percent out of 2000 participants checked their credit score. A credit score is an important resource to keep tabs on.
Knowing your credit score has several benefits –
- You pay attention to your expenses
- You make the necessary changes to ensure the credit score stays green
- A high credit score enables several benefits like better interest rates on securing loans
It takes just 10 minutes to check your credit score.
4. Create a Monthly Budget
Writing down your monthly budget can be done in under 15 minutes.
Since there are 12 months in a year, you’ll only have to do it once a month and your spending plan is complete.
A monthly budget generally includes –
- Grocery Items
- Healthcare products
- Gas Refill
- Bill Payments
- Tools & Services
- Emergency Items
Once you’ve got the cost it takes to procure all the items, you’ll have a healthy habit of tracking your expenses.
And who knows, you might surprise yourself by saving more money to spoil yourself.
5. Offer Gratitude to a Friend or a Family member
Did you ever wish to thank someone from your past but didn’t find the inner courage to do so?
There’s nothing more painful than to live a life of regret and having not done something nice such as conveying gratitude.
All it takes is a few minutes to pick up the phone and to dial their number.
Positive things like saying gratitude has a profound effect on our emotions. We stay happier throughout the day when we’ve made someone else’s day.
6. Listen to some Quiet Music
Classical music, according to a report, was found to alleviate moods and improve the way people think. Other forms of quiet music include –
- Ambient background tracks to keep the creativity going
- Jazz and Blues are great genres to keep the mental world stimulated
- People even use natural sounds of winds and rain to evoke creativity
- Light trance is also great for reading and researching content
Mellow music is usually preferred over loud music as it provides the brain with much-needed motivation while you work.
Loud music usually ends up breaking your concentration and hence, is ill-advised.
7. Create a Daily To-do List
Are you often finding yourself in the middle of something but can’t seem to remember what you should be doing?
A ‘To-do’ list is an answer to people that suffer from short attention spans.
Managing your tasks keeps you efficient and promotes effective time management.
Knowing exactly what you should be doing will save you precious time in avoiding distractions and getting straight to the task.
8. Read 5-10 Pages of a Book
While a book might take a little more than a few hours to complete, especially if it’s a small book with over a few hundred pages.
Instead, we advise you to read a few pages enough to complete 15 minutes of activity.
If books aren’t your thing, you could search for blogs in your expertise and spend time reading through them to learn something new.
Reading is a habit that every person should cultivate, and it doesn’t matter if it’s through the digital medium or physical format.
9. Listen to an Audiobook
Audiobooks are a great alternative to traditional reading. The benefit with an audiobook is you can multi-task and still consume information without having to dedicate your time to it.
Let’s say you take the local train to commute and you haven’t got a place to sit back and relax with a book, that’s when an audiobook comes in handy as you can listen to it while you travel.
Similarly, an audiobook can be utilized when exercising, trekking, and even biking across. Something a book can never match.
10. Take up a Speed Typing test
Aren’t you curious how many words you can type in a minute?
We bet you’d like to know the answer to it. By going over to The Typing Cat, you’ll learn various statistics related to typing that demonstrates time taken, errors made, accuracy, etc.
If you want to go one step ahead and put your typing skills to test against other speed typists around the world, then visit Type Racer.
Type racer like the name states is a website that has high scores recorded daily as well as an all-time high score of the fastest typists in the world.
Starting a race puts you against 3 other typists who are given the same phrase to type. The one who completes the phrase first is given the most score.
11. Take a Nice Nap
You can’t go wrong with this one. Taking a power nap to refresh yourself provides you with all the energy you need to stay alert if you’ve missed out on some shut-eye.
A 15-minute power nap provides the following benefits.
- Instantly boosts brain activity upon awakening to achieve productivity
- People that took power naps enjoyed a healthy heart
- Lack of sleep has shown to damage vital organs like the liver and lungs, a quick power nap provides instant recovery and repairs cell damage
- Power naps provide stress-relief and increase the immunity levels in the body
The next time, you feel guilty about taking a power nap. Don’t be.
12. Sip coffee at a nearby Café with a buddy
Conversations happen over a coffee and a small 15-minute break with a work buddy is enough to share stories and relive untold experiences.
Coffee also contains caffeine which is great for temporarily eliminating the symptoms of fatigue and sleep.
Studies have shown that individuals that take coffee breaks boost their productivity over employees that don’t.
Just be sure not to overload yourself with caffeine as it isn’t necessarily great for health in high doses.
13. Write a letter to your future yourself
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to communicate with yourself from the past?
Why not write a letter to your future self?
It could be a simple greeting or a complicated letter mentioning all the goals and places that you’d like to travel.
Here’s a sample letter to give you an idea.
This is your past self from the year 2019 writing to inquire how things are in the future?
Have you managed to get the promotion that you always wanted? Or did you switch jobs?
Have they finally managed to invent flying cars?
How about global warming? Is it still threatening the planet?
Do you still live in the same old apartment by Charles Avenue?
Well, it was great talking to you.
This is me signing out.
Your clone from the past.
Writing a letter to your future self provides you with insight on how things were and it’s a humorous exchange between one version of you and an older version of you.
14. Take an IQ Test
An IQ test takes just between 10-15 minutes of your time and gives a complete analysis of your cognitive abilities.
It’s a good idea to understand your strengths and weaknesses. The test helps you evaluate the areas that you’re weak at. This allows you to focus on that aspect and improve it.
IQ tests also serve as a boasting challenge among work colleagues. Having the highest IQ in your office will surely earn some brownie points among the senior management.
Maybe, you’ll be consulted often for your wisdom and be the star of the office.
Apart from all the technical and statistical data, IQ tests are fun to take as the questions test your neurological reasoning skills.
15. Go on a Hugging Spree
A hug is among the warmest ways for humans to show love and affection to one another. Even by hugging a stranger, you’ll put a smile on their face for simply showing that they aren’t alone in the world.
Here are some of the benefits gained from hugging one another.
- Hugging significantly lowers stress and blood pressure
- Hugging promotes relaxation and relieves tension within the nerves
- A hug develops deep relationships and builds trust between colleagues
- Hugging displays humility and a high-level of patience by the hugger
Hugging doesn’t cost a thing and kids especially love to be hugged. Don’t spare the furry friends either!
Visualization isn’t daydreaming but quite the opposite — you spend time reflecting on yourself and making wiser choices as you’ve already relieved the outcome in your mind.
Let’s say you’ve got an interview in 20 minutes. By simply closing your eyes and imagining you are sitting in front of the interviewer, you can come up with multiple scenarios to answer a single question.
Now had you not visualized before going in, you’d have spent your time being nervous and sweating buckets.
This causes your confidence to drop and the moment the interviewer gets one good look at you, you can be rest assured, you won’t be shortlisted.
17. Get in a quick Workout
When you think workout, do you think ‘Gym’?
To get in a workout, you don’t necessarily need to be in a gym. You can perform standing workouts right where you’re at.
Here are a few exercises that can be done by anyone.
- Jumping Jacks are a great way to provide you with a full body workout.
- Burpees are another great workout to consider to burn out those nasty fat levels
- The good old pushup that can be done on any surface is great for intermediate individuals
- Pullups on a bar are another great workout but are mostly left for advanced fitness enthusiasts
And there you have it, you’ve completed simple exercises and got in your daily workout in just a little over 15 minutes.
18. Write down a Diet/Grocery list
We earlier discussed fitness. What goes hand in glove with fitness? Of course, a good diet plan.
The body is sculpted in the kitchen and not in the gym. So, pay special attention to the type of food that you put into your body.
Food acts as fuel to the body and the more organic food you eat, the more nutrition goes into your body.
Likewise, by consuming fried and salty foods, one puts themselves at risk of developing heart problems and other fatal health conditions.
A diet list can be written in under 10 minutes and will provide you with a guide on what to eat.
Further below, we will discuss on meal prep and combined with a solid diet, you’re all set to conquer the fitness world.
19. Write down your worries
We’ve all got our own personal demons to wrestle with. Whether they come in the form of debt, harassment, or past trauma. Worries weigh us down and prevent us from enjoying life to the fullest.
That’s why it’s necessary to solve these worries once and for all and exorcize these demons for good.
Take a yellow notepad and write down the top 3 worries that you’ve got in your mind presently.
Let’s say you write down –
- Outstanding Debt
Now we are getting somewhere. Your worries are out in the open for you to solve them.
Let’s start with – Alcoholism. Begin by signing up to support groups that specialize in alcoholics. With the support of others, you’ll surely make large strides in kicking your habit off.
Next, we move on to debt. By saving every little penny and not spending on unnecessary holidays and parties, you’ll save much more money than you think. Slowly, begin to pay off your debt until your debt free.
And lastly, if you find yourself procrastinating often, it’s time to read a book on time management and productivity. Listen to seminars from leading experts on how to beat procrastination in a day.
20. Spend Time Meditating
15 minutes is a whole lot of time to complete an entire session of meditative therapy.
Meditation grants you instant peace and that’s why it’s an important habit that should feature in your daily routine.
Here’s a simple meditation technique to calm your anxiety levels.
- Sit on a yoga mat with your back erect and cross your legs
- With your left hand, reach out to your right nostril and block it with a finger
- Now inhale with the help of the other nostril and slowly exhale out
- Feel the warm air escape your body, that’s your anxiety leaving your body
- Now repeat the same with your right hand and left nostril
This breathing exercise is a beginner technique in controlling your inner rage. Meditation has many more techniques to control various negative conditions of the body.
21. Glance through Job Portals
When not working, spend 15 minutes every week to glance through job portals to gain useful information regarding your career.
Information could include blogs regarding your expertise, new job openings with higher pay, and top companies that open spots frequently.
Being informed through job sites is a great way to stay updated about the current salary that is being paid for your job role and if needed you could ask for a hike when you’re being paid lesser than the market rates.
22. Meal Prep
Meal prepping is an activity where people prepare their food well in advance and store them in airtight containers to be consumed at a specific time.
Meal prepping is mainly used to save valuable. By preparing 10 meals in one single session, you save yourself the frustration of ever having to go to a kitchen more than once a week to cook food.
When meal prepping is combined with a healthy diet, you gain a great combination of enjoying a fit and healthy body along with improved time management skills.
Meal preps are generally prepared for all the meals that you consume throughout the day. While some diets require 5 meals a day which would mean 5 different boxes, other diets require 3 meals a day, which is 3 boxes.
Storing the food is easy in the refrigerator and all one must do is heat the food in a microwave before consuming.
23. Write a list of Passive Income Ideas
Passive income is a way to generate revenue without any active supervision. In short, you could be fast asleep in your bed and wake up a millionaire.
The only drawback of passive income is they take a long time to provide a stable income that is of a respectable amount.
Here are some ideas to list down as your passive income ideas
- Write blogs and add Google AdSense to make advertising revenue
- Become an affiliate marketer and sell products for a small percentage of commission going into your account
- If you’ve got talents in writing, try your hand at publishing an eBook at Amazon Kindle, chances are if your book is a hit, you could stand to make thousands of dollars
- If you’re a mobile app developer, simply design useful mobile apps and generate income through ads or product sales
All this with just 15 minutes of your time.
24. Watch an Inspirational Video
Human beings isolate themselves from the world and fall into a world of despair. That’s where inspiration becomes the backbone to motivate and rejuvenate the mind.
YouTube has plenty of motivational videos that will stir up your inner passion and will make you focus on the things that matter.
Watching an inspiring video for 15 minutes is enough to evoke feelings of belief. We too can revolt against the odds that we face and in time, reign as champions.
25. Take your Dog for a Walk
Your loyal canine is an active fitness partner that you can jog with or play a frisbee around. Dogs love to spend time outdoors doing fun activities with their owners.
You could design one activity every day of the week.
Monday – Play fetch near the lake
Tuesday – Frisbee at the park
Wednesday – Go for a light jog and trek in the woods
Thursday – Grooming time
Friday – Boat ride with my furry friend
Saturday — A simple stroll along the park
Sunday – Rest day
You too could have your own calendar for your furry companion and the two of you can spend 15 minutes to complete all the above activities.
26. Share your Expertise
Whether you’re working at home or you’re working in an office environment – take 10 to 15 minutes of your time to provide useful advice to your juniors or create a vlog on YouTube explaining valuable tips to people looking for exactly the information you possess.
By being an expert and teaching your crafts to other youngsters, you’ll undoubtedly gain their trust and dedication.
In the long run, you could have your own fan following for sharing knowledge for free
27. Pay your Bills & Debts
And finally, paying your bills through online methods allows you to keep your weekends free of any tasks.
Make a list of all the bills you’re looking to pay and complete it on the same date every month.
Alongside your bills, if you’ve got any mortgage payments or outstanding loans, it’s necessary to include all these into one fine list.
Keeping a dedicated list of all the bills and debts, let’s you complete all these tasks in a matter of a few minutes, instead of being fined for a premium that you missed.
Bet you didn’t think there were these many ways to increase your productivity in just 15 minutes.
We often take time for granted and never really do the important stuff that makes us grow in our careers as well as our professional lives.
That’s why it’s important to utilize 15 minutes every day to perform at least 1 of the following 27 tricks every day.