7 Simple Self-Improvement Habits for a Productive Year

Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash

We all want to be more productive in our day-to-day lives. But the question is, how? The answer is simple: by implementing some self-improvement habits. If you are looking for some new habits to break into your routine, here are 7 simple tips, and this article will provide you with some of the best ones that you can fit into your life with ease.

#1 Setting Clear Goals

Many people set their goals on things that they actually want. They often use the SMART model to set their goal. The acronym stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. A goal should always be specific and measurable.

  • Specific — goals should be clear and understandable to everyone.
  • Measurable — goals should have a tangible outcome that can be measured in a quantitative way.
  • Achievable — goals should be at a level that you know you can achieve with the resources available to you.
  • Realistic — goals should align with your organization’s vision and objectives.
  • Time-bound — goals should have an end date or a process to achieve them.

#2 Turning Off Distractions

Following through with your goals is a key attribute of successful people. It is very difficult to accomplish your goals without strong willpower and perseverance. One of the most important skills that you need to learn is how to turn off distractions and stay focused on what you’re doing.

How to Turn Off Distractions

Distractions can be a habit, and changing habits takes time. It is recommended to use an app like “Self-Control” or “Coordinates”.

The Self Control app has been designed by the company StayFocusd. The app can be downloaded from the App Store and is available on all major web browsers. The app restricts access to websites for a set period of time which can be extended or shortened depending on what you are trying to achieve.

We should not think of this as a replacement for human willpower. It can provide assistance to people who are trying to stay away from their screens by restricting their access to certain sites, for example, social media sites, for a set period of time.

#3 Plan Ahead

One of the best ways to plan ahead is to think about what you want to achieve in the long term. You’ll be able to see your progress as you work towards developing a strong foundation for your future.

Additionally, if you take small steps in the process to ensure that your goal is achievable, you will find that you will feel less overwhelmed and more confident about your progress.

Steps to Plan Ahead

When planning ahead, one should ask themselves the following questions:

  • What do you need?
  • Why do you need it?
  • How will it be used?
  • How long will the plan last?

Answering these questions before you actually take action and put a plan into motion is paramount as it will save you a lot of wasted time and effort. Once you have thought about these questions, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to run everything by someone else.

#4 Checklists and To-Do Lists

People are always looking for new ways to be more productive. There are numerous lists of goals people can create to better organize themselves, the most common being the to-do list.

However, there is a lesser-known method of achieving goals that has been proven to work — checklists. Checklists have been shown to increase productivity by streamlining tasks and reducing errors.

Difference Between To-Do and Checklists

To-Do lists are a great way to keep track of all tasks that need to be completed. They allow the user to organize items into the order of importance or urgency. A to-do list accomplishes these goals:

  • Reminding you of tasks or ideas you might otherwise forget about
  • Making sure that tasks get done
  • Keeping track of what you’ve already accomplished

A checklist is a list of items that you need in order to accomplish your to-do list and is very helpful to have. You don’t want to get started doing things and then have to stop in the middle of everything because you don’t have something simple like a $0.50 bolt from the hardware store.

#5 Getting Good Sleep

Getting enough sleep is important for good health. While we do not know the exact reason, studies show that an average of 8 hours of sleep a day can give you many health benefits and also help you live longer.

Sleep is a state where the body rests and heals itself, so it’s necessary to get enough rest every single day. However, not all people are aware of how much sleep they need or when they should go to bed.

The time you should go to bed differs from person to person and it depends on your needs and habits. But in general, it’s best if you go to bed before midnight because studies have shown that this will give you a better quality of sleep compared with going to bed after 12 am.

#6 Eating a Healthy Diet

Eating healthy is something that is commonly recommended to us by health professionals because it can help us maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, and many more benefits.

Although eating healthy is good for our health, it might not always be easy to do. For example, people who are on a tight budget can’t afford all the groceries that are needed to have a well-balanced diet. The same goes for people who live in an area where there are few fresh food options available.

Alternatives for Healthy Eating

If you are on a budget or no fresh options are available to you, you could try alternative solutions like intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting is a popular weight-loss strategy that is loved by many people because it improves mental clarity, helps regulate blood sugar levels, and makes dieting feel more sustainable. This eating pattern typically consists of 8 hours of eating within a day followed by 16 hours of fasting.

Intermittent fasting has been studied extensively and it has been found that the practice can promote weight loss, reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and other age-related diseases.

#7 Exercising Regularly

The potential benefits of exercise are numerous. Exercise makes people feel happier, more energetic, and more productive. It also helps to clear the mind, improve moods and relieve stress. Plus, by getting more exercise people are less likely to get sick or injured so they save on medical bills in the long run.

Happier and More Energetic

Exercising regularly makes you happier, more energetic, and productive. There is scientific research that says that exercising increases the release of endorphins in the body which makes us feel good and happy. When this feeling builds up, it can be converted into energy and motivation to increase productivity.

Better Mood and Less Stress

It is important to exercise regularly in order to improve your mental health. Exercising regularly has been shown to relieve stress, reduce anxiety, and increase energy levels.

The reason for this is the same endorphins that make you feel happier and more energetic also combat stress. Some studies have even shown endorphins to be just as effective as anti-depressants.

Less Illness and Injury

Studies have shown that when you exercise, your heart rate increases, which boosts the immune system. This means you are better protected against illnesses and injuries that could otherwise have compromised your immunity.

Some types of exercise like weight training can even protect you against injury. When you lift weights, your bone density increases rapidly which means you might not notice immediate weight loss.

This increased bone density makes it much less likely for you to get seriously injured because your bones have adapted to take more punishment than what you put them through in daily life.



I am an eclectic writer with many interests and topics that go through my head daily. I am extremely passionate about my craft and always want to push further.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Gary Mike Adams

I am an eclectic writer with many interests and topics that go through my head daily. I am extremely passionate about my craft and always want to push further.