This post is all about the ultimate 30 day productivity challenge.
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If your productivity has taken a hit recently, or you’re too overwhelmed with work, or feel like you’re always busy but never getting enough done, you’re going to love this 30 day productivity challenge and all the genius tips inside it!
You know, not too long ago, I hit a major productivity roadblock. I wasn’t able to find the motivation to get anything for WEEKS. But that’s precisely when I stumbled upon the magic of the productivity challenges.
Slow, but steady progress counts!
Let me tell you a little secret – trying to go from 0 to 100% productive in a day, never works! I’ve been there, done that, and trust me, it’s a recipe for disaster.
But when you focus on making slow progress – one day at a time; the results are amazing. That’s what makes this 30-day challenge so special – it’s a tried and true method to gradually transform you into your most productive self.
You just need to finish one small task everyday and see the results unfold. You’ll feel like you’re accomplishing something everyday!
But wait, there’s more! Over the next 30 days, you get to play around with different productivity techniques, figuring out what works best for you. It’s like having a productivity playground at your disposal!
P.S. I know 30 days is a big time to commit to something. And honestly without any accountability and purpose you are most likely to quit within the first 2 weeks! Trust me, I’ve been there.
That’s why I’ve divided this challenge into 2 levels – Beginner level and Boss level (yep, I couldn’t come up with better names, haha) So, you can take the 10 day productivity challenge first to get the taste of what it would feel like, see the results and get some motivation to continue the 30 day challenge.
This post is all about the ultimate 30-Day Productivity Challenge that’s about to change the game for you!🚀
30 Day Productivity Challenge
Day 1 – start tracking your time for the next 7 days
I learned this technique from the book ‘168 hrs’. Basically, for the next 7 days, you just need to start tracking what you’re doing every hour of the day.
Set alarms to track your work every hour, if you have to. But try to get as accurate as possible.
When I started doing this, I was thinking ‘what good could it do?’ but I was shocked to see how much awareness it brought. It really helped me shift my mindset from ‘I don’t have enough time’ to ‘I have time but I’m spending it on useless stuff’. Trust me, this mindset shift is key.
day 2 – Start getting up 30 mins earlier
30 mins early is a reasonable time to convince yourself for. Use those 30 mins wisely. Try to build some productive habits.
Whether you go on a walk, journal to get some mental clarity, or read a book.
You can also use this time to start your work day early. I don’t know about you but my morning work hours are always the most productive ones.
The world is more quiet, you’re able to focus more and produce better results.
Also, finishing your most important task in the morning takes off the pressure and gives you more time freedom during the day.
Related Post : Morning Routine Ideas – 8 Things to Do Before 8 A.M.
day 3 – prepare for the next day before you sleep
You can do this on the night of Day 2 only.
Basically, prepare for the next day the night before. Brain dump all your tasks. Set your priorities, create a schedule. And check if you have any meetings.
It works way better than planning your days in the morning. Because it helps you wake up with the right mindset as you already know what your day is going to look like.
day 4 – follow the 15 min rule
Day 4 of the 30-Day Productivity Challenge is a game-changer, especially if you struggle with procrastination. And always put off starting a new task.
The next time you catch yourself putting off a task, challenge your brain to devote just 15 minutes to it.
What usually happens is, once you get started with the task, you’d most likely want to continue doing it after the 15 minutes, because you’re already in the zone and don’t want to break the momentum.
day 5 – List oNLY 3 things that need to get done tomorrow
This is a fun task on your 30 day productivity challenge. Today, brain dump all the tasks you want to get done.
Now, cut your to-do list in half. Yep, this’ll look like a difficult task. But it’ll actually make you realize that half of the things on that list are not even important.
Next, pick your top 3 priorities. My coach always says, ‘If everything is a priority, nothing is a priority’ And it couldn’t be more true.
If you are giving equal importance to everything on your list, you’re more likely to get caught up in the busy work.
day 6 – Close open loops
I’m sure you have at least 10 unfinished tasks going on in the back of your mind. You’ve no idea how much mental space and energy these open tasks take.
Take some time today to close all these open loops.
Make a list of all the unfinished tasks hanging at the back of your mind.
Now, you don’t need to finish all of them today. Hell, some of them might not even be relevant right now.
But at least schedule the time when you’re going to take care of each task.
day 7 – Turn off your notifications
This is such a simple thing to do and I can guarantee that it’s going to drastically improve your productivity.
It’s not a secret that our phones are the biggest source of distraction for us. And while I can’t ask you to throw it away while working (it’s not practically possible for me as well), I can ask you to turn off your notifications.
If you want to go one step further, use an app like Freedom that’ll block all the notifications and apps on your phone for a certain period of time, so you won’t be able to scroll through Instagram while working, even if you wanted to.
day 8 – create a ta-da list
This task on the 30 day productivity challenge list has more mental benefits.
If you’re always busy and feel like you’re not getting enough done, try this. At the end of the day, make a ta-da list, i.e., a list of all the things you got done today.
Including the simplest of your accomplishments. It’ll help you realize that you’re actually getting more done than what you give yourself credit for!
day 9 – analyze your time tracking sheet and see where you’re spending your time
Remember the time tracking sheet you made on Day 1? It’s time to analyze that.
Look at all the things you’ve spent your time on, over the past week, and assign different categories to each hourly task, like work, travel, leisure, sleep.
And notice what are the main categories you’re spending your time on. And do they align with your goals?
If not, use this information to manage your time better.
day 10 – set specific goals
You’re more likely to waste your time doing the busy work (instead of the important stuff), if you’re not clear on your goals.
So, take some time today and come up with 4-5 monthly (or yearly) goals. This could be anything from a fitness goal to a career goal.
Now, divide these goals into bite sized action steps, so you know how you need to spend your time in order to achieve your goals. It’ll also help you easily track your progress.
This exercise, in general, will give you so much confidence and will make your big fat goals seem more achievable.
Boss Level – 30 day productivity challenge
Now that you’ve completed your 10 day productivity challenge, seen the results, and are motivated to commit for the next 30 days, you can start this challenge.
day 11 – introduce focus hours
I learned about this concept from my coach, Faith Mariah. Basically, schedule 1-2 hrs in your day where you sit down with 0 distractions and only focus on the task at hand.
You’ll be shocked to see how much more you can get done in just 1 hr focus block. If you’re a beginner, start small by scheduling 1-2 focus hr sessions per week.
Pro tip – Don’t try to schedule a 5 hr focus block everyday, haha. It’s not practical and honestly, if you’re really working with a 100% focus you won’t need 5 hrs to get sh*t done.
day 12- start setting deadlines
I don’t know about you, but I perform better when I have strict deadlines scheduled.
In fact, having no deadlines just makes us procrastinate the task for later.
So, start setting deadlines for all the pending tasks on your list. Also, set a specific deadline for the goals you set on Day 10.
A simple way to add some urgency to your everyday schedule is to have a work cut off time. For eg, Closing work at 6 pm.
And follow these deadlines strictly. Trust me, when I introduced a 6 pm work cut off time to my schedule, I started getting twice as much done during 4-6 pm.
day 13 – start going on after-work walks
It’s funny how I’m asking you to work less in a productivity challenge, but it’s important to learn how to maintain a work-life balance while staying productive.
That’s why, once you introduce a work cut off time, start having an evening routine. You can use your evenings to focus on your hobbies, fitness, or rest.
I lovee going on after work evening walks. They really help me get out of the work mode and clear my mind. And it’s a fun way to get some movement in your days.
After Work Walk Essentials
day 14 – Start doing a weekly check-in
Congrats, you’re 2 weeks into the 30 day productivity challenge!
It’s time to do a weekly check-in. Basically, take some time to look back on your previous week and analyze your thoughts, actions and results.
This might seem like a boring thing to do, but trust me, these check-ins alone can increase your productivity 3 folds.
Here are a few journal prompts to help you get started :
- What time of the day are you the most productive?
- What routines and systems helped you stay productive?
- What habits or routines drained your energy?
- How can you improve in the next week?
- What limiting beliefs you have about time?
day 15 – create a productivity hack list
No matter what you do, there are still going to be days where you don’t feel like doing anything.
This productivity hack list will help you on those days. Basically, make a list of things that make you feel motivated and inspire you to start working.
For me, whenever I want to get back on track after being unproductive for 2-3 days, morning routines are my go-to. That alone helps me build momentum to START working. Another silly thing that inspires me, is watching my favorite youtube videos, lol!
So, be more mindful today and make a list of things that motivate you vs what drains your energy.
day 16 – for the next 5 days, produce twice as much output
This concept is called a push week, where in you try to produce twice as much output in the same amt of time.
The main reason why push weeks work, is that things usually take as much time as you give them. For eg, if you schedule 2 hrs to write an email, you will take 2 hrs to write it, review it & edit it. But if you only have 20 mins to write the same mail, you will finish it in 20 mins!
This push week will help you push yourself to the maximum of your potential. It’ll change your mindset about time scarcity, and will help you find new ways to get things done faster.
You don’t need to continue the push week after these 5 days but doing this will automatically improve your productivity on the normal days as well.
day 17 – time block/schedule your week
Take some time today to plan out your weeks. You can either time block your weeks or simply assign tasks to each weekday, depending on what your prefer.
I’ve noticed that planning my weeks gives me more mental clarity and increases my productivity during the week. I no longer have to worry about ‘What to do, when?’
I talk about the exact weekly planning method I use that hardly takes 1 hr and organizes my entire week, inside the course, ‘Take Your Weekends Back’.
Also, use all the productivity hacks that you’ve learned so far – like scheduling focus hours or having a work cut off time.
Related Post : The Best Weekly Planning Checklist For Adults
day 18 – schedule time for breaks
Productivity and rest go hand in hand! And I truly believe that the better you rest, the more productive you are!
That’s why I’d encourage you to actually schedule breaks and rest days in your week.
What happens with you is that you spend your ‘work time’ getting distracted and procrastinating tasks,
and spend your ‘rest time’ feeling guilty about not taking a break and worrying about our to-do lists.
That’s doing you no good.
Instead, plan your rest days and make sure you’re doing things that energize you and help you recharge.
Related Post – The Best Lazy Sunday Reset Routine
day 19 – come up with 5 things to automate or delegate
This is a genius productivity technique that most people are not good at.
Spend some time today to look at all the areas of your life, and come up with at least 5 places where you can automate or delegate certain tasks.
Now, I know the easiest way to delegate tasks is to hire someone else to do it for you. But if that’s not feasible, you can ask your friends to help you out, or use technology to automate them.
For eg, ask your husband to clean the house in the morning, or set up automated email replies, or use AI to update your resume.
day 20 – create a productivity corner
You can’t be your most productive self, when you’re lying on the couch, sitting like a banana.
Talking for personal experience here! It’s easier to get in the ~zone~ & get sh*t done when you’re sitting at your work desk. Isn’t it?
I know it’s hard to see how your productivity will be directly affected by this. But trust me, it’s more of a mental thing.
Sitting on your work desk signals your brain that it’s time to get work done, the same way that sitting on your couch signals your brain to relax a bit.
Related Post : The Best Minimal Desk Layout For Productivity
day 21 – do a digital cleanse
If you’ve been procrastinating cleaning your laptop for a while, this is your sign to do it. 😉
Organize your files, delete photos, unsubscribe from unnecessary mail, reorganize your bookmarks, and clean out your drive.
If you feel like you have a lot to clean out, maybe just divide it out over the next few days.
Trust me, it’ll make you feel so much more organized. I recently set up my Notion boards and I just feel like a completely new person, haha.
Related Post : How To Organize Your Life In One Week
day 22 – Start reading a productivity book
I recently read 2 productivity books during 75 hard and they really helped me shift my mindset around time and bring more awareness to how I’m actually spending my time.
Take some time out today to read a productivity book. You can learn new productivity hacks from these experts who’ve studied time and they have facts backing up their theories.
Books I Read
day 23 – batch similar tasks
Today, batch your similar tasks together. For eg, instead of checking your mail 10x a day, schedule them to check only twice.
I don’t know about you but it’s really hard for my brain to immediately switch from content creation to admin tasks. That’s why batching similar tasks works well.
I usually schedule my blog & email writing days together. And keep my designing & admin days separate.
Also, it has been a week since you did your last weekly check-in. So, don’t forget to do that as well.
day 24 – Single tasking
I know you might thinking that replying to an email while attending meetings & having lunch is a great idea, but it’s really not.
Multitasking does not improve your productivity, in most cases. In fact, by doing this you’d neither be able to give your valuable input in the meetings, and would take a long time to write an email.
Practice single tasking today. You’d actually be able to get more done in less time if you are mindful and focused.
day 25 – schedule some time to Brainstorm ideas
This is one of my favorite task in the 30 day productivity challenge.
In today’s world, we’re always on the go-go-go mode, finishing one task after the other. But sometimes, it’s important to calm down and just focus on your thoughts.
Schedule 30 mins today to sit down with a notebook and brain dump new ideas to improve your productivity and life, in general.
This is specially useful if you’ve been stuck with a problem for a few days now. Taking out time to calm down and brain dump ideas will help you come up with innovative solutions.
day 26 – create a night-time routine
If you have a habit of taking your laptops to bed and working till you sleep, this is going to be a good challenge for you.
Create a relaxing night time routine that helps you unwind and prepare for the next day.
Put your phone away one hour before you sleep. Use that time to do something relaxing like taking a bath, reading, journaling your thoughts out.
Also, look at your to-do list for the next day.
You’ll automatically notice the difference in your quality of sleep and energy the next day.
Related Post : Best Evening Routine Checklist For Busy Adults
day 27 – Minimize workplace distractions
Honestly, our workplace is full of distractions. The biggest one, is obviously our phone.
Try to minimize these distractions today.
Apart from restricting your phone, you can also opt out of unnecessary meetings, organize your workplace and set better boundaries to improve productivity.
day 28 – plan a self care/rest day
I can’t emphasize on this enough, but I hope by the end of this challenge you realize that rest is as important (if not more) as being productive.
Plan a self care day for yourself today. The goal is to have a rest day and be fcking unapologetic about it. Doesn’t matter if all you do for self care is sleep and dance in your room.
If that’s something that makes you feel happy and refreshed, so be it!
Related Post : 15 Weekly Self Care Day Ideas
day 29 – have a social media detox day
This might be a tough one, but I hope you don’t quit after coming so far!
A social media detox, is kind of a fast where for a day you won’t use any social media apps what so ever.
It’ll help you bring awareness to a) how addicting these apps are. Throughout the day, you’ll find your fingers automatically tapping the Instagram button. (Happens with me all the time!)
b) how much time is getting wasted on these apps.
Pro tip – Make a list of things to do during this social media fast. Don’t just leave yourself to sit there getting bored. You can spend time reading, puzzling or hanging out in real life.
day 30 – Celebrate your accomplishments
Finally, the last day of the 30 day productivity challenge!
I’m sure that during this challenge, you would’ve had multiple moments that were challenging, didn’t made as much sense and made you want to quit.
Most people quit at this moment, but if you have pushed through those moments, Congratulations! I’m sure you’ve found a new sense of productivity in the past month.
So, to cheer yourself up, create a list of accomplishments and things you’re proud of. It’s important to take some time and acknowledge your achievements before moving on!
Done with the 30 day productivity challenge! I hope you learned some new productivity hacks that work for you and developed a productive mindset to carry with yourself going forward.