No matter what your job title is, one thing everyone reading this will be looking to achieve is high levels of productivity. There is no career or business whereby this is undesirable.
However, equally, it can be very hard to achieve. After all, it is difficult to stay fully motivated and work to the highest levels of efficiency at all times. Luckily, we have some great ideas to help you out. Read on to discover some of the easy changes that you can make to start being more productive today.
Take a break – This may sound like the worst suggestion you have ever heard! How is taking a break supposed to help you get more done? Well, rest and recovery are critical if you are going to be able to perform at your peak. Research shows that we can concentrate for about an hour and a half maximum before we require a break so we can reverse our mind. Simply having a five-minute walk or even reading a chapter in a book will be enough to give you the mental break that is required so you can get back to intense focus and get more done.
Don’t focus on deadlines; focus on timelines – This is where a lot of people go wrong. They focus on when a task is due in, rather than creating a timeline, which will indicate how much time needs to be put in for a specific project or task. For each of your projects, you should put together a timeline and make sure you schedule every milestone or component into your calendar so that you stay on track.
Break down big tasks into lots of smaller tasks – This leads on from the former point regarding creating milestones. If you have a big task, you can end up feeling somewhat paralysed because you just think about how much work you need to get done, rather than doing it. This is why you need to break down projects into smaller tasks so that you can manage them and you stay motivated.
Make use of a productivity planner – One of the easiest ways to start being more productive is to use a productivity planner. A productivity planner will help you to manage your time better while also making you accountable. It is presented like a journal, and it will present you with details on how to use it and what information to include. For example, you may need to write down your commitments, as well as writing down some of the things you will do to make sure you use your planner every day.
Download one of the many apps that are available to boost productivity – If keeping a productivity journal is not your sort of thing, why not go for the more digital approach and download an app instead? There are many different apps that are designed to increase productivity available on the app store today. This includes everything from Evernote, which is great for taking notes, to Aviary, which will make photo editing a breeze while you are on the go. No matter what job role you have, there is bound to be an app that has been created to make your life easier.
Turn off your email pop-up – You will be surprised by how much of a difference this makes. If you have an email pop up on your screen, you are going to be tempted to reply to it straight away. You will at least look at the notification, and in most cases you will want to know what the message is all about. However, what happens is that you have continual interruptions throughout the day, which stop you from getting anything done. Instead, you should allocate yourself set times throughout the day for checking and replying to emails. Outside of these time periods, you should not open your email account.
Say goodbye to multi-tasking – A lot of people assume that the most efficient way to get more done is to multi-task. But this is not the case. When you multitask, you end ups spreading yourself too thinly and getting confused. We are designed to focus on one thing at a time. Do something, and then move onto the next task.
Create an environment whereby there are no distractions – Did you know that the average employee is interrupted 56 times every day? If you can cut out interruptions, your productivity will sky rocket. But, of course, this is a lot easier said than done. The former point regarding turning off your email notifications will help. You should also put all electronic devices away and turn off your social media notifications too.
Schedule a couple of productivity sprints every day – A productivity sprint is a block of time when you are going to focus on one of your priorities instensively. Usually, this will last for around 90 minutes. Intensely focusing means that nothing else enters your mind, that all distractions are out of the way, the door is shut, and there is nothing stopping you from working to your peak ability and speed.
Skip the to-do list and schedule priorities into your calendar instead – Creating a to-do list may seem effective, but all that happens is it gets bigger and bigger, and more difficult to manage. Instead, you need to plot how you are going to use your time. This is why it is a good idea to schedule work priorities into your calendar as if they are meetings with important clients. This will ensure that nothing gets in the way of you completing the priorities you have for that day.
Plan the night before – Once you are finished on work the last thing you want to do is think about work! We get it. However, planning the night before can make a massive difference, so it is certainly worth dedicating 10 minutes or so of your evening to this. You should pick your top two areas of focus for the next day. These should be vital tasks or projects that are going to contribute to the results you are responsible for. You need to make sure you do not pick more than two. If you do, you are only going to overwhelm yourself and give yourself too much to do to the point whereby it is not manageable.
Get rid of clutter – Last but not least, fi there is one thing that prohibits people from working clearly it is clutter. A disorganised workspace creates a disorganised mind. You will feel irritated and stressed, and you won’t be able to concentrate fully on the task at hand. Once you get rid of all of the physical clutter and you have a clean working environment, all of the mental clutter will evaporate as well and you will be able to work much more efficiently.
As you can see, there are so many different ways you can start being more productive today. If you follow the advice that has been provided, you should be able to notice a considerable difference to your working day. It is all about working smarter, rather than working harder!