Last month, my wife and I added a new addition to our family. Needless to say, my time to run a business, write everyday, and try to build out a personal brand is spread pretty thin.

In order to combat this, I have been testing out an array of motivational tactics and productivity tips that have done wonders for my coaching clients in order to get moving again. Now, I know what you are thinking, “Oh God, not another post on productivity,” but bear with me. The list below are tips that do not get a lot play, yet if implemented into your routine, can be extremely effective.

1.Make a motivational call before sitting down to work:

If you are anything like me, nothing energizes me more than speaking with people who are going after it.

Jim Rohn was dead right when saying, “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” However, I bet the last person you spent time with plays a key role in your current state-of-mind also.

So take advantage of the people that lift you up and schedule time to speak with them prior to sitting down to do your most important work to get a boost. Try it just once and let me know how it goes in the comments below. Immediate game changer.

Speaking of using the power of human contact to be more productive……..

2.Include telling others what they mean to you into your morning routine:

Like a lot of people I tend to get overwhelmed in the morning with things that I have to do. However, I have found that the faster I get out of my own head, and into the hearts of those I care about, the more impactful my days are.

If this resonates with you, give reaching out to those you care about and telling them what they mean to you a shot in the mornings. You may just find that this element of human contact is exactly what is needed to make your morning routine successful so you can kick off the day with energy and a smile.

Quick side: I am amazed how human contact is nowhere to be seen on all the viral morning routine articles. Try complimenting people tomorrow morning on your way to work and take note of how great you feel.

3. Make it a point to reach out to one new person a week:

Being self-motivated and productive is great. But more times than not how effective you are depends on the size of your network and how well you are able to communicate your ideas. It just so happens reaching out to speak with one new person a week takes care of both.

Not only that, the clients of mine that have been consistently doing this have reported back that they have never been more present in their conversations. This may sound like an odd side-effect, but when was the last time you were not fully present when speaking to someone you want to build a relationship with?

4. Write your resumé (CV) imagining it is 2023/2028 and put it smack dab in front of your computer:

I have a buddy who at a young age worked on some pieces for The Wall Street Journal, BBC and CNN. Not bad for a 25 year old who has his heart set on being a foreign correspondent.

But do you want to know what he is doing in 2018?

He is working in a newsroom busting out 20 articles a day earning half of what he did as a freelance.

You want to know why?

Because he understands that one year only represents 2% of his career so he is using this year to set him properly up for the remaining 98%.

He is making contacts. He is learning how the game is played. He is learning how to think faster on his feet. In short, he is taking the time to sharpen his tools today to be more efficient in tomorrow.

Knowing where you want to be in the future is important, but not as important as identifying the necessary, and sometimes, unsexy steps that you need to take to get there. So try writing out exactly where you want to be and exactly what path you need to take and make it visible to serve as a reminder.

5. Write out the items on your to-do list individually on notecards:

In order to combat the feeling of being overwhelmed, instead of writing out a list of the 8 or so items you have to do each day, try writing them out on individual note cards. Then prioritize them between “must-do’s” and “time-allowing” and address them one at a time so you can give each one your full attention.

This will help you to give 100% attention to each item and again, be more present in the moment which we all know is the key to being productive.

6. Schedule your day around your “Keystone Habit”:

In the book, “The Power of Habit,” Charles Duhigg coined the term, “Keystone Habits.”

Essentially these are habits that people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives.

For me personally, running, is my keystone habit as it helps me to make better food choices going forward, gives me clarity when I write, and helps me to be more patient.

I used to always run first thing in the morning. However, recently I have been switching it up determining on what I have going on each day and reserve the energy boost around key moments — before meeting with a client, sitting down to write or giving a presentation — and it has made a world of difference.

Establishing good habits is important. However, so is when you choose to do them.

7. Make a list of the things that, “Do not make you feel worse after doing”:

noah kagan, CEO of Appsumo and what seems to be an all-around cool guy, once wrote a post about the importance of identifying things that you, “Do not feel worse after doing.”

For example, going to the gym sucks, but have you ever finished exercising and thought to yourself that you feel worse after going?

Make a list of 10 small things you, “Do not feel worse after doing,” and plug them into your day during the times that you need a boost. It can be as simple as calling your partner and saying, “I love you.”

8. Make time to be thoughtful:

Think about the people in your life that took the time to write out handwritten holiday cards this past year. They seem to be doing alright for themselves right? Not a coincidence.

The people in my life who are the most productive are also the most thoughtful. Money just happens to be a byproduct of what they do and who they are. These same people make their calls, but they also take two days out of their schedule to hop on a plane to meet a potential client face to face, if only for an hour lunch.

There is real power in doing something that others recognise took time on your part.