10 Tips For Increasing Your Productivity
In a constantly go-go society, there rarely seems to be enough time in the day to get all the things done that we hope to. It often feels like we are frequently behind or playing catch up only to barely get things done in the nick of time. It can be an exhausting and never ending cycle.
The good news? It does not always have to be that way. There are several steps that you can take to increase your productivity and manage your time more effectively. This will allow you more time to get more done or perhaps just more time for yourself, which is something we could all use a bit more of.
The following are 10 steps you can take to increase your productivity and time management skills.
Eliminating distractions is typically easier said than done, but it is worth doing all you can to minimize distractions. Distractions are all around us, and one of the most hindering distractions is our phones. When it is time to get to work, put your phone further than an arm's reach away and turn off any notifications on your phone that are not work-related.
Americans spend an average of 5.4 hours of screen time on their phones. That is a shocking amount of time that can really eat away at your productivity. When you limit your screen time, you will be shocked by how much more you can get done.
Another common distraction is an unorganized work environment. A chaotic work environment will limit your brain’s ability to concentrate and process information. Organizing your work environment helps keep you from becoming overwhelmed by boosting your concentration and providing a clear headspace. It is worth taking the time to clean your workspace at the end of each day so you can start the next day off on the right foot.
Listen to Music that Improves Productivity
Music can be a beneficial way to improve your productivity. The type of music that is best for your productivity varies a bit from person to person. However, classical music is generally a good place to start.
The music we enjoy creates dopamine in the brain, and dopamine stimulates our prefrontal cortex. Our prefrontal cortex is responsible for planning, organizing, inhibition control, and attention. Try experimenting with different music to find what works best for you and your productivity.
Set a Timer
Setting a timer is an excellent trick for completing tasks more effectively. It forces you to stay committed to the task at hand and instills an extra level of discipline. It is impressive just how big of a difference this little trick can make in the efficiency of your work.
This may seem counterintuitive but we are not actually meant to be multitaskers. Research has shown that multitasking reduces productivity by as much as 40%. The human brain is ineffective when it comes to focusing on more than one task simultaneously. So stick to giving one task at a time your undivided attention to boost your productivity.
Create To-Do Lists
Write down a to-do list the night before including all the tasks you need to complete the following day. It’s even better if you write them in order of importance so that way you know which tasks to start with as soon as you wake up. A great to-do list will set up and shape your day full of maximum productivity.
This may surprise you but taking short breaks has the ability to boost your memory, concentration and creativity. When you work for too long without a break you tend to experience burnout and become fatigued. Schedule some breaks into your routine and give yourself some rest and refuel.
Learn to Say No
Learning to say no is an absolutely vital skill. Be strategic about what you choose to say yes to and make sure that you are allowing yourself the time it takes to do all that is on your plate while also maintaining your sanity.
When we commit to too much, we are not able to give each task the necessary time they need to do them with excellence. We become exhausted and our productivity begins to decline. Remember that it is okay to say no because it makes your yeses more valuable.
The Two-minute Rule
The two-minute rule is the perfect defense against procrastination. This rule is inspired by a man named David Allen, an author and productivity consultant who wrote the best-selling book, Getting Things Done.
David Allen has his own two-minute rule for improving productivity, which states, “if it takes less than two minutes, then do it now.” He says that it is better to do it right then because it will take longer to review and do it later. It is a great time-management tool for eliminating procrastination and helping you accomplish more throughout the day.
Get Enough Sleep
Don’t sleep on the importance of sleep. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep is imperative for our mental and phyiscal health. Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling tired, less creative, and make it more difficult to stay focused on important projects.
People who are sleep deprived are also more likely to make errors or omissions partially due to increased reaction times. This means that tired employees take more time to react in critical situations and may be more likely to make a mistake.
Working sleep-deprived also causes irritability and increases stress which can cause a multitude of problems. Sleep is absolutely essential if you are to maximize your full potential and productivity each and every day.
Sometimes the hardest part of completing a task is simply beginning it. Rarely will there ever be a perfect moment or perfect conditions so do not wait for them. Do not think too hard about it and just begin. Eventually you will get into the rhythm and be on your way to productivity.
These ten tips are fantastic ways to increase your productivity and live a time efficient lifestyle. Put these into practice and you will see firsthand how these changes can transform your habits for the better.
Author: Alexandra Jaillet