How to Improve Your Productivity
Business experts claim to have productivity hacks that help you get more work done in a shorter time. Certainly, there are good-sense practices you can apply to increase productivity such as the 80/20 rule and single-tasking.
Being able to make the most of our time is crucial. We don’t suggest you work more hours but work smarter. Improving productivity isn’t quantum physics. All that it requires is tweaking a few small aspects of your daily life.
This post will walk you through effective strategies you can implement to become more efficient. What is crucial, don’t consider these tips as hacks. It’s all about building new good habits that will help you be better, more focused, and productive.
Set personal time limits
Setting yourself time limits is a practical approach when it comes to productivity. Sometimes you may find yourself in the situation of putting tasks off just because they don’t have specified deadlines or they are uninteresting. Try giving yourself deadlines, and you will get all such kinds of tasks completed instead of dwindling around them. This strategy will help you keep focused and meet your goals. At the end of the week, you’ll be surprised to find out how productive you can be.
Take breaks & time out
It feels and sounds counterintuitive, yet giving yourself time to rest and recharge is extremely important to maintaining high efficiency and focus, creativity, and memory. Researches reveal that short breaks during long-term tasks make a big difference in your performance. They help you support a constant level of performance.
Take a minimum of 30 minutes for lunch every day and a few 5-minute breaks to distract from work. Taking short breaks away from your screen and the task you are working on will help you improve concentration and keep motivation for longer. Ultimately you will get more done.
If you feel that your brain is completely fried or you are physically too tired, give yourself a time out. Take a vacation to have a good rest, recharge, and boost yourself.
Cut out your distractions
Get rid of all the things that waste your time. We have become so addicted to smartphone usage, constantly being online and looking at something that we get lost in for hours. People tap, swipe, and click their phones an average of 2,617 times per day without including the time we spend checking emails, watching cute videos on Youtube, or browsing Instagram feed. We are so used to smartphones that feel uncomfortable if it isn’t close at hand. Try to cut the usage out during working hours:
Turn off email notifications
It’s hard to resist the allure of an email or text message. Turn off phone notifications during work hours and instead build in time for checking email.
Get off social media
Discipline yourself to stop spending a huge amount of time seeing what your friends had for lunch yesterday. Schedule time for this.
Get rid of non-relevant websites
Having multiple web browsers and sites open on your computer steals your focus and therefore reduces productivity.
While mobile phones and social media are our number one time-waster, we can be just as easily distracted by our colleagues at the office or by our family members & friends if one works remotely. One wants to take a coffee with you and the other just popped in for a chat. These brief interruptions may seem innocuous, but they influence your work pattern and lead to a decrease in your efficiency. What can you do to minimize them:
- Set office hours to let your coworkers know when you are available
- Work alongside productive colleagues to lessen the chance of being interrupted unnecessarily
- Work from home for time-sensitive projects
- Set boundaries with interrupting coworkers so that they know when you need to concentrate on the task at hand
Plan your workday with a to-do list
If you feel overwhelmed with your workload, it’s always useful to write it all down. This helps you to split your workload up while capturing all tasks that are streaming in. Activities will always be coming endlessly, put them off unless they are urgent. This approach contributes to better concentration on the critical task at hand. Furthermore, a simple daily action list gives you clarity on the things you need to do, helps set realistic targets, and keeps you focused on the current task.
Finish your working day by making a list of the top 5 most important things you have to achieve the next day. Bonus: Crossing each completed task off your list will bring a sense of satisfaction. Planning by creating to-do lists is a tried-and-true method in organizing your days and getting things done.
Complete the most dreaded tasks first
Whichever activity you are dreading the most is the one you should complete first in the morning. We talk about the most crucial task on your to-do list and the one you are most likely to procrastinate on. Don’t wait until the last minute to complete it. Once you finish it you will free yourself from stress and constant thought about that daunting task. Plus, the rest of the tasks will be less daunting and easier to complete. When you have more than one essential task always start with the most challenging one.
Use productivity & automation tools
There are numerous software and hardware tailored to different lifestyles and interests that help optimize your time and effort. Leverage the tools that are designed to help you stay productive. Here are a few of them:
- Beeminder. This app visualizes your goals and assists in setting measurable goals.
- Toggle software keeps track of the time you spend on particular tasks and allows you to review how wisely you have spent your time.
- Evernote allows you to capture, organize, and find the needed information across multiple platforms.
Today you can find a variety of applications aimed at automating simple tasks to increase productivity. There are workflow tools for remote teams like Hive, marketing and sales – Salesforce, human resources – WebHR, IT – Jira, finance – Bill.com.
Pulling it all together
If you feel the need to improve your productivity, don’t put in longer hours or pack more into your already tight schedule. Take a step back to think about the ways you can work smarter.
Increasing productivity can be achieved by implementing these effective strategies, but sometimes what businesses need is automation tools or applications that save employees from countless repetitive tasks every day. We have mentioned a few applications you are welcome to use. In case you can’t find the right app, we can help you build a custom software tool that will meet your every need.