Whether you are a stay at home mom, CEO, self-employed or just an employee, your ultimate goal at the end of each day is to feel a sense of accomplishment. To be successful and competitive in any industry, more often than not, it downs to one thing: productivity. Productivity is an iterative process which is a result of working smart and managing your time wisely. With that in mind, you can significantly improve your productivity by following the guide below, “10 tips to increase your productivity.”
1. Prior planning
Planning your day ahead is a total game changer. It’s important to know how you’d want your day to roll around in advance, even before you start. Creating a to-do list the night before lets you prioritize your tasks ahead of time which in turn, keeps you on track all day long.
When you list your tasks in order of importance, it becomes easy to tackle both simple and complicated tasks. For large tasks, it’s advisable to break them into smaller ones before getting started. To avoid losing focus on other tasks on the list, you can put a timer on each task. Then once you complete a task and you are fully satisfied with the results, cross it off from your list. This gives you not only a sense of accomplishment but also a clear picture of your progress.
2. Block out distractions
This is probably one of the most difficult things to do because distractions are everywhere and inevitable. In this day and age, almost everyone has a Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and other social networking accounts. Other distractions include: emails open all day, multiple web browsers open on your computer and notifications among others. When you have work to do, all you have to do is weed out distractions or simply, disconnect! To increase your productivity, means resisting the urge to visit social media when you are supposed to be working. So, if you notice that you’re falling behind on your work, always remember that your best work comes in silence.
3. Take a break to refresh
Productivity is not measured by the number of hours you put into work but by how much you are able to achieve without sacrificing your health. You tend to lose more energy by sitting still for long hours at your desk. Taking a 10-15 minute break during a long task can help you recharge and refresh. Have lunch, do some light reading, listen to soul soothing music, walk around or do something that may help relax your mind. In fact, according to Florida State University, the top performing individuals work for less than 4.5 hours per day.
4. Organize your office
A clustered desk can be a huge barrier to your productivity. A disorganized desk makes it quite difficult to find a misplaced piece of paper amongst the piles. Such endeavors waste valuable time that would otherwise have been put to good use. You can optimize your time by keeping your work space clean, clear of junk and using apps that help you organize your emails.
5. Don’t procrastinate
It’s said that procrastination is a thief of time. Avoid putting tasks off, which may be completed within the day, until tomorrow unless it is for a good course. Usually, starting is the hardest part but, the best way to get something done is to begin and once you get the hang of it, everything else becomes a walk in the park. Don’t blame your inefficiency on things like, slow computers, colleagues or deadlines. Instead, look for creative solutions to get your way around the problems. That way you get to concentrate more on things that boost your productivity.
6. Set goals and make them known
It all begins with loving what you do because it’s the ultimate way to boost your creativity. After which you get to set some exciting yet reachable goals. If there’s one thing you wouldn’t want to do is to set extremely high goals that seem unachievable because they demotivate you leaving you frustrated and stressed. Tell your friends, workmates, and family about your goals and this way you instantly hold you accountable. Then finally, start working towards achieving your goals.
7. Focus on result-oriented tasks
According to Pareto’s low, 80 percent of the result-based output is from 20 percent of the inputs. Thus, you should put more efforts on prioritizing on activities that give you better and satisfactory results. As it’s important to accomplish the most crucial tasks first, setting a self-imposed deadline helps you focus more and meet your goals. When you give yourself a deadline and stick to it, it motivates you to work a little harder. This push keeps you on your toes which, in turn, ensures that all tasks are completed and delivered on time.
8. Too much TV can be dangerous!
Did you know that the average America spends at least 4 hours per day glued to the television? There are countless existing/upcoming interesting TV shows today, and the desire to keep up with your favorite show is so intense that you can’t help it. However, sitting down all day watching TV doesn’t get the work done. So, simply put, turn off your TV. Commit a few hours to getting as much work done as you can, and this will set the tone for your day. And when you are fatigued, switch on the TV and watch a show to get refreshed.
9. Consult and or Outsource
If you have a project that is just too big that you keep putting it off or you simply aren’t sure where to begin, consulting or outsourcing could help. If you are consulting, a better way to handle such a task is by breaking it down into small, manageable segments. Then delegate a part of it to a colleague who can help you complete your work before the deadline. Make sure to give him/her all the resources and relevant documents required to get the job done. You can also decide to outsource from reliable, trustworthy companies.
10. Avoid unplanned for and unnecessary meetings
Meetings take a lot of our time and even with this knowledge, we unexplainably book and attend them. Meetings are not such a bad thing after all because that’s where we get to network and somewhat, keep up with the current trends in the industry. However, knowing what meeting is important to attend or not can greatly add value to your time. If the aim of the meeting can be met through other means such as phone call or email, say no to such meetings.
It’s not rocket science to boost your productivity. Simply plan your days in advance, set goals, monitor your results and of course follow the tips above. By doing so, you are guaranteed of better, happier and successful days at work, home, you name it!