How to be productive is the question that comes to our minds whenever we are doing any work. So let us know what exactly productivity means? Is it the ability to achieve your goals?
What is Productivity?
Productivity is not just about checking boxes off your to-do list. It’s about making sure you’re getting the right things done, in the right time frame, successfully and effectively. Having a sound productivity system in order, and an effective workflow you enjoy is valuable not only for your work but for your personal life also.
Being productive is a choice you can make. You could look up every single productivity tip, hack, strategy, method, and system on the planet, but none of them will work if you don’t first CHOOSE to put them into action. You can’t become more productive just by reading how to be productive. You can’t have a ridiculously productive day only by thinking you will.
It starts by setting realistic goals first, breaking those goals down into actionable tasks, and at the end of it all, questioning yourself, “did I accomplish something meaningful with a measurable impact from what I set out to do?”
With that being said the following are some of the effective ways with which we can become more productive at what we do.
1. Make a Schedule
Assign a fixed time to a task, schedule it, and stick to it. It works because it touches on so many aspects of behavior: single-tasking and focuses on achieving more and feel less stressed, prioritizing work to observe deadlines, frequent feelings of accomplishment, and being transparent so people can see what you’re doing will help.
The tricky bit is estimating how long they’ll take, but this skill improves rapidly with practice.
2. How to be productive by Prioritising
The modern worker has a thousand things to do at any one time. These should be ruthlessly and methodically prioritized. Otherwise, you’ll consistently add less value at work. Find ways to avoid being distracted by tasks that jump to the front of the queue like social media etc. You also need a system for prioritizing tasks – a simple one will do, and will always be better than none.
So list out the tasks you have and, whether it’s a score out of 10 or color coding, do it and stick to it.
3. Start saying NO
Stop trying to please everyone. It is much easier said than done, we know, but by overloading yourself with work, not only keep you at risk, being unable to complete tasks and meet deadlines – the quality of all of your work is affected.
Sometimes it’s best to politely decline so that you can focus on the most critical task.
4. Take breaks
A short break every 30 minutes is ideal. Nobody, not even highly productive people, can focus for long hours. It simply isn’t possible. No matter how many efficient habits you build, you can’t maintain distraction-free focus for that long.
That’s why taking breaks is so important, and research shows it makes people more productive. Even breaks that are just a few minutes long can help you recharge and come up with new ideas.
5. Handle the Distractions
Don’t let the devices control you. We check our phones uncountable times a day in the present day and age. Even having your phone in sight, without touching it, has been shown to reduce performance in tests, according to a study at the University of Southern Maine.
Clear your desk of distracting devices and see how much more you can do, with fewer distractions.
6. Sleep well
We all know sleep is essential for the proper running of every bodily function. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormones, and wrecks your ability to concentrate, control impulses, emotionally regulate, retain information, and basically everything necessary for productivity, and functioning as a human being in general.
Do your health as well as your work a favor, and get a decent night’s sleep, every night.
7. Be realistic
Perfectionism is an enemy to productivity. In setting goals, we should choose ones that stretch us, but that still reside in the realm of possibility.
Having goals that are too lofty will demotivate us because we won’t believe we can achieve them and can harm our progress. Instead, setting realistic goals will give us more incentive to pursue them and allow us to enjoy the success of completing them.
8. Just start
Don’t sit around and wait for the correct time to start! Starting a task can be the most daunting part, and we end up wasting time procrastinating and worrying about what could go wrong. Often we just don’t want to get going.
The secret to getting started is ensuring you have broken your large, overwhelming tasks into small manageable chunks and then getting to work on the first one.
9. Bad habits
The overwhelming majority of things that prevent us from being productive are just a result of bad habits. We open Facebook and other social networking sites, and the next thing we know most of the time has disappeared.
We forget to eat well again, so we’re sluggish throughout the day. We don’t schedule tasks, so we get lost and overwhelmed. Make an effort to break your bad habits, and you’ll reap the benefits in the long run, with higher productivity and improved quality of life in general.
10. Start loving your work
You’re happier, more productive, and more efficient when doing something you LOVE. Sometimes you may struggle to love your job and its challenges, but having a positive attitude will help.
Use your initiative to find the parts of your job you enjoy doing, and make those a more significant part of your role.
11. Don’t multitask
It’s a common misconception that multitasking can make you more productive. The truth is we can only really do one thing at a time, and when we try to multitask, we are just switching back and forth between different projects. Every time you make that switch, you lose time and focus.
To be truly productive, pick one task and work on it until the completion, then move on to something else.
12. Use the 80/20 rule
Also known as the Pareto principle, the 80/20 rule states that eighty percent of the results come from twenty percent of the action. We tend to work with our heads down while forgetting about the big picture.
To be productive, however, you need to determine what activities are bringing you the best results and then focus on them. Productive people know which actions drive the best results. They focus on those actions and ignore everything else.
13. Know when you are most productive
It seems pretty straightforward, but I’ve been surprised by how many people ignore their own body’s signs of productivity. Some people are naturally more creative in the morning.
Some people rock it at 2:00 a.m. I am not going to argue that one is better than the other. I want you to embrace your own body and utilize that time to conquer the most important parts of your day.