We have busy lives. It includes our uncompromising work ethic, demanding jobs, excessive workloads, coping up with the latest tech, planning for the next 6 months, family obligations, blah blah blah.
Ok, I’m not saying all this isn’t important. But, perhaps in doing all this, you feel you don’t have enough time to manage everything, even if you put them in your memos or sticky notes on the fridge. There is so much you do but can’t seem to get the time out. You know what, maybe it’s time you check back with your time management skills.
We aren’t born brilliant with the skill to manage time properly, so don’t blame yourself if you think you’re not good at it. But what you can do is to learn how to boost your productivity and achieve more in less time!
Take a look at these 16 ways to you can follow in your daily regime to improve your productivity and add hours to your benefit:
1. Call it a break!
You can’t be working like a powerhouse round the clock. You’re not a machine. Tell yourself that. Do yourself a favor and divide your working hours in short breaks to keep that productivity intact. Research shows that you are most between 8:00 am in the morning till 2:00 pm at noon.
2. Set the timer.
Three steps in what you need to do: split your different tasks, estimate the time you’ll need to accomplish them, and set a timer for each of these tasks. When time’s up, move onto the next task and finish the previous at the end of all other tasks.
3. Pay no attention to distractions.
By distractions, I also mean to point out at that smartphone of yours, your email notifications, your Facebook and Twitter, Messenger chat, in fact, everything that could deviate your attention from your task.
4. Love what you do.
This is a simple formula. If you love something, you’d put in your best efforts to make it happen for the best of you. If you don’t cherish it, you might be doing it, but without the necessary passion to accomplish it. Enjoying what you do is one way you can improve your productivity.
For example, if you have a job that you don’t love, you might go every day but perhaps loath the whole idea of waking up every morning to go to work.
Ask yourself this, do I love what I’m doing? Your heart will tell you.
5. Complete those dreadful tasks first and then move to the next task.
Ok, so whatever task you have had in your list, but perhaps have been dreading the most, it’s best to get it done first and that too during your productive hours.
It’s a common practice that people mostly check their emails first thing in the morning. Once they’re done, they have already expended all their energy by then.
Tasks like checking emails first in the morning aren’t a productive approach. As an alternative, finish the difficult tasks first because you feel more energetic and have a go-getter attitude in the morning.
6. Use Apps to Focus and Block Distractions.
Read this article and check out the listed apps that can help you sustain your focus and block all kinds of distractions.
7. Carry a notebook at all times.
Carry a notebook with you all the time. This way, you will be able to write down anything important that comes to your mind, your thoughts, to-dos, or any kind of ideas anytime, anywhere. Make this a practice, trust me, you’d thank me for this.
8. Write a journal to your own personal development and achievements.
Writing a journal will not only help you express your thoughts and write about your daily affairs, but it will also help you feel accountable for improving yourself and keep working towards your personal growth.
When you note down all your big or small achievements every day, it will motivate you to do better the next day. Also, read your previous day’s achievement every morning to revitalize yourself.
9. Write your to-do-list every day.
It’s best to plan for the next day a night earlier. This will remind you of the most important tasks when you wake up the next day.
10. Think about your productive-self regularly.
Mindfulness is another key to a productive you. Throughout the day, simply repeat to yourself, “I am making the best use of my time and I will continue to.”
11. Get extra R and R.
Rest and Relax… don’t forget this mantra. If you’re a workaholic who works on weekends as well, you need to remind yourself that you are more important than everything else. Proper sleep, rest and a relaxed time will relax your mind, body, and soul to help you perform better.
12. Exercise to stay fit.
Various researches done over the years have proven that exercise helps the mind to stay active and healthy. A healthy you is a happy you.
If you don’t have time for a gym, walk. You can even walk your way to work or avail your lunch break for a short walk at lunch. Even simple desk exercises can help maximize your productivity.
13. Organize your work station.
Are you an organized person? If not, you should become one if you want to be more productive. With piles of waste paper lying down you, or empty soda cans or coffee mugs will not only take extra space on your desk but clutter your mind as well.
Keep it neat and simple, organize your workspace, and trust me when I say this, you’d be so less burdened.
14. Learn to say “No”.
Don’t be a “Yes sir” all the time. Sometimes committing to do something that you are later unable to will not only put undue pressure on you but make you become irresponsible in front of others. The safest and smartest thing to do is to learn to say nowhere you should. This is for your own sanity, Bob.
15. Set SMART goals.
To stay motivated, you need to set goals that are challenging yet achievable. The best goal setting framework is the SMART goal setting.
This is what I mean by SMART:
S – specific, significant, stretching
M – measurable, meaningful, motivational
A – agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented
R – realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented
T – time-based, time-bound, timely, tangible, traceable
16. Reward yourself.
Rewarding is one way to show appreciation. So, if you achieve something, don’t you deserve a reward yourself? Of course, you do!
To stay motivated for everything that you do, reward yourself from time to time.
Celebrate your wins, no matter big or small, because after all, you struggled to achieve them.
I can go on and on but, I’d leave the rest for you guys to share what you think can help you stay productive and achieve more. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.