When we work, every minute counts. Every minute has to count. While our time to work each day is limited, we can change the way we approach our tasks to be more productive.
Here are 10 ways to boost productivity and achieve more in less time.
1. Multitasking is a no-no
Many people still believe that multitasking enables them to complete several tasks faster; however, multiple studies have debunked the popular productivity myth, as those who claim they can successfully divide their focus between different tasks at once are not accomplishing more. Multitasking results in stressful work dynamics. Multitaskers tend to perform worse than people who single-task. Therefore, do not juggle multiple tasks. Focus on one task at a time to finish it faster.
2. Small goals lead to big success
There are no definite tricks to guarantee our success, but setting small, achievable goals allows us to breathe and not feel overwhelmed when faced with high-priority, crucial projects. If you have difficulties starting a seemingly monumental project, you can break it into smaller chunks. The goal is to set small targets that you can finish and easily track. Accomplishing small goals helps you build confidence and momentum. A few wins under your belt can surely motivate you to complete your project.
3. A to-do list prepares you
Preparing a to-do list prepares you. A to-do list does not only reduce stress and eliminates the potential feeling of being overpowered by tasks, but also helps you prioritize, stay organized, and be more productive, by enabling you to set realistic goals. A well-built and thought-out to-do list is your key to achieve efficiency. When you are done with your to-do list, the next challenge is to abide by it. Take note that your to-do list should complement your work style and not go against your natural work rhythm. Nevertheless, you can challenge yourself by creating a daily plan that pushes you out of your own comfort zone to sharpen your management and work skills.
4. Be proactive, not reactive
Being productive is an invaluable trait that takes time to learn. Former U.S. President, Dwight Eisenhower, said, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” Therefore, it is strategic and advantageous to stick to plans, attempt to anticipate events, develop organizational skills, and practice self-discipline. Do not let circumstances and conditions overwhelm and control you. Practice being proactive by clarifying your priorities and committing to them.
5. Distractions are a hindrance to productivity
Distractions come in different forms, but their common goal is to derail us from completing our tasks. Email notifications, phone calls, social media updates, and even nonurgent house chores are some of the usual distractions we encounter daily. Eliminate or minimize distractions by being proactive in denying them power over you. Ignore them. If you find yourself browsing through social media while working, keep your phone a few feet away from you; a no-phone policy while working is an effective strategy. If you cannot ignore opening every new email, set email notifications off for a period of time. While our propensity to become distracted is primal, we should not let distractions take over us.
6. Accomplish more using digital tools
Productivity is a product of our commitment to achieve our goals and the tools we utilize to attain them. By using appropriate digital tools based on our skills, needs, and task requirements, we equip ourselves with the right instruments to complete every task better and faster, resulting in a higher productivity rate. From secure cloud storage and communication software to project management tools and electronic signature applications, digital tools offer innumerous benefits to boost our productivity.
7. A routine establishes a productivity pattern
When you set a routine, you can sensibly plan your day-to-day activities and create a schedule to distribute and manage your time and energy properly. Establishing a productivity pattern is a prudent attempt to maximize your resources and minimize interruptions. While building a habit takes time and effort, a well-founded routine has significant effects on your productivity. Moreover, a routine contributes to the improvement of your physical and mental health, enhances flexibility and adaptability, allows you to prioritize, and reinforces the value of progress. Establish a daily, tailor-made workflow that encourages you to succeed; a routine that does not stress you and is not detrimental to your well-being. Nevertheless, determine the goals you need to achieve before creating a routine.
8. Taking breaks is important
While taking breaks seems counterproductive, in reality, it allows you to relax your mind and reset your focus. Consider taking a break as an opportunity to refresh your mind, boost your mood, and improve your concentration. Working at a task without breaks leads to a decline in performance. Moreover, our brains can only consume and absorb a certain amount of information before we lose focus. Breaks combat work fatigue and burnout and serve as your breather. Take a short walk. Go outside to buy your afternoon coffee. Do a few stretching exercises. Do short activities that enliven you and promote productivity.
9. Your work setup matters
Our workspace impacts the way we do our work and staying focused on our tasks is difficult when we feel uncomfortable. Therefore, maintaining an uncluttered and cozy work area encourages productivity. You may invest in an ergonomic desk and chair to prevent being distracted by annoying body aches and pains while you work. Add elements that assist you in your tasks, such as office supplies, and items that make your space more alive, such as houseplants and photos. Regularly clean and organize your workspace to avoid any mess and unnecessary distractions.
10. Evaluate to determines success
You need to evaluate your work processes and patterns to determine the overall success of your products or output. Evaluation provides opportunities to let you assess your workstyle to determine the processes that do not contribute to your productivity. Do away with any processes that impact your workstyle negatively to make room for potentially beneficial ones. Also, evaluate your tasks based on your objectives to determine the effectiveness of your approaches to achieve productivity.
As you follow the tips above, keep in mind that being productive requires being intentional with how you undertake your tasks.