Productivity. It’s something we push for, measure, and desire greatly in our work and in our business. High productivity is valuable for many reasons, not only because it yields incredible outcomes, including such possibilities as increased sales, reduced workloads, and an overall better quality of work. No matter whether you’re running a business, enrolled in a program of study, or simply needing more motivation for your daily tasks, productivity is something that can absolutely be improved.
Boosting your productivity is not something that will necessary happen overnight. It takes effort and a dedication to implementing new skills and methods into your everyday life. But if you’re serious about doing your very best work, your productivity level is something you should begin honing today. Here are 8 ways you can start improving your productivity right now.
1. Prioritise your tasks.
One of the easiest steps you can take towards increasing your productivity is by changing the order in which you do things. Most of us start our days by checking email and logging into social media; this quickly leads you down the path of distraction. It can also cause you to fritter away your early morning energy responding to a litany of messages, rapidly draining you and making the remainder of the day feel insurmountable. Before letting such unimportant things carry you away, focus first and foremost on the most important tasks you have to do. Once those are completed, the rest of the day will seem much more manageable.
2. Work in shorter and more meaningful intervals.
Slogging away for hours sounds like it would get a lot done, right? Wrong. Overworking oneself actually results in a marked decrease in productivity. As you continue to plow onward without a break, your attention begins to wander and your mind starts to fog. Thus, the quality of your work starts to plummet substantially. Instead, concentrate on tackling projects in much smaller intervals, and work with a single-minded intensity. You’ll be surprised at how much more you can accomplish with this approach.
3. Schedule true breaks.
To work in meaningful intervals, it is necessary to schedule specific breaks into your day. For many, 15 minutes does the trick, allowing you enough time to unwind and recharge without growing tired and falling prey to procrastination. But to get the most benefit from these short breaks, you must ensure they are true breaks. This means that for 15 minutes, or whatever time you’ve set aside, you must leave work behind as much as possible. Getting sucked into chatting with coworkers during a break keeps you stuck in the same space and clouds your mindset. Browsing email or the web can often bring on fatigue. Rather, take a brisk walk, meditate in your office, or even read a book. If possible, get away from your desk and avoid screens/technology as much as is feasible.
4. Delegate when necessary.
Productivity doesn’t mean taking on a thousand tasks all by yourself. Instead, productivity is when you are your most efficient and effective, and in a vast majority of cases, you are more effective when you are able to give 100% to a single project. To allow you to do this, you will likely need to delegate tasks and responsibilities to other members of your team. When done appropriately, such delegation can make everyone’s workload more efficient and help the organisation as a whole to run better.
5. Set an appointed time for checking and responding to emails.
Do you check emails constantly throughout the day? This little habit could be zapping your productivity. Endlessly responding to a flow of emails keeps you embedded in the world of multitasking, which can actually make you less productive overall. To avoid this problem, close up that open tab with your mailbox or turn off email notifications on your devices. Once you’ve taken that small step, choose specific times each day that you will check and respond to your messages. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon may be ideal times to fit this in: you’ll give yourself enough breathing room to start your day (and delve into those vital tasks) before checking email, and you’ll also ensure you aren’t finding out about a crisis five minutes before it’s time to head out the door.
6. Don’t ignore your body.
As you focus on giving your all at work, it is so easy to forget about taking care of yourself mentally and physically. However, doing so is a necessity, and may contribute to your productivity more than you think. Sitting at your desk and dreaming of lunch? If you frequently feel famished, you may not be eating regularly enough to keep yourself satiated and energised. Listen to your hungry body and feed it when necessary, choosing nutritious and wholesome foods that will support you. Sugary foods or giant coffees may give you a quick boost, but the inevitable energy crash will wreak havoc on your productivity. As well, it is paramount to remain hydrated throughout your workday. If you’re not getting enough water, your energy and attention will be debilitated. So stay hydrated and well-fed, and your work will thank you.
7. Use lists and break tasks down into steps.
Endless to-do lists may seem overwhelming, but when used properly, lists are an excellent way to stay focused and on task. When you arrive to begin your day, make a list of all items that must be completed, prioritising those that are most important. Visualising your obligations like this can be very helpful, and crossing items off the list as you finish them is a real motivator. Take advantage of technology and seek out one of the dozens of high quality task management programs on the web to help keep you on your toes. If you prefer traditional pen and paper, that’s fine too.
8. Focus on the bigger picture.
The number one way to super-charge your productivity is to focus on what truly matters. Day-to-day chores can seem meaningless and mundane and it is easy to get discouraged. But the most productive people always bear in mind the larger picture: their end goals. Use photos, art, or anything else that inspires you to remember your goals and what you are working for and towards and post it visibly in your workspace. This might be photos of your family, motivational quotes, or even a simple list of your big dreams. Keeping these within sight helps them seem within reach, and reminds you to give it your all, even on days when you feel like giving up.
Published by: LMIT