Do you have a problem with productivity?
Does it seem to you that time slips through your fingers and it usually turns out that by the end of the day you don’t even have one important finite task completed?
We used to have the same problem and after applying these 5 easy steps it turned out that we were able to find time in our busy schedules to enjoy life while relaxing and spending quality time with our children, as well as have quiet meals with our family every day, but most importantly, we have begun to be satisfied with our work by the end of the day and weren’t worried that yet another day had passed by without getting anything done.
There are many factors that can increase productivity, here are just 5 steps on how to be more productive that will help you work more efficiently while spending less time on things:
1. Reset Your Mind
Step out of the box for a minute and look at the situation from the outside. You’d be surprised at how much clearer things become when you step back to look at things from a different point of view. If you reach a point of deadlock while working on something, it is often good to take a break and think about something else for a while. When you come back to what you were working on earlier, your objectives become more visible and easier to achieve.
It has been scientifically proven that the brain is more effective when it jumps between tasks (it’s not about multitasking), rather than focusing on the same thing for an extended period of time.
That’s why many of the world’s most prominent thinkers and innovators have some type of creative hobby. It allows them to escape from their problems for a while and reset their minds for a period of time to have a fresh approach when they return to their work.
By having a fresh approach, you will work more efficiently and find that those once time-consuming tasks don’t need as much effort and time to complete.
2. Be the Boss of Your Time
Nowadays, most people know that it is absolutely necessary to organise your time by keeping a schedule or some type of calendar. However, most of us simply end up being slaves to our schedule and can’t find the time to do things despite our attempts to organise our time. If you want to prevent this from happening to you, it is important to have good time management skills and set a daily objective, something that will make you feel that you’ve accomplished something at the end of the day. This could be a small or menial task like finishing a report, or it could be a part of a much larger project, such as picking the right tiles for the bathroom you are designing. At the end of the day, you may not be finished your project, but you will be one step closer to achieving your end goal and you will feel satisfied that you were productive.
3. Work smarter, not harder
It is a common misconception that you need to spend a lot of time working on things to be more productive. There is a saying “You can’t have your cake and eat it at the same time”, in this case this is actually far from the truth. You can be more productive and spend less time working by working smarter.
By clearly defining your goals, you will be able to accomplish tasks quicker and more robustly. Once you have established what needs to be done, identify the most difficult or time-consuming tasks, try to avoid putting them off as they will come back to haunt you later. Not to mention, it will be all downhill after you’ve gotten them out of the way.
4. Reduce Interruptions
It is important to stay focused and to minimise all interruptions, such as: email, talkative colleagues, etc. that may keep you from reaching your goal at the end of the day. Research has shown that it sometimes may take our brain up to 45 minutes to return and fully recover from an interruption the mind-set of working on a particular task and to regain the same level of productivity.
Don’t multi-task, stay focused on the task at hand. Can you brush your teeth and have a conversation on the phone at the same time while cooking breakfast? It may be possible for some but sooner or later, it’s a recipe for disaster, as it is easy to lose concentration or to make mistakes. It’s better to stay focused on individual tasks and bang them out one at a time, than to get lost in a maze of issues, tasks, and challenges when multi-tasking.
5. Stop Procrastinating
Most people complain that they don’t have enough time, when the reality is that they practically don’t do anything all day. While others keep finding excuses, such as: I’m bound to fail, there’s no point, it’s a waste of time, etc. to not get off the couch and do something they should have done a couple of days or weeks ago. People who are lazy usually don’t have an active daily routine and therefore find it hard to deal with even the smallest of tasks.
Don’t put off things for tomorrow that you can do today! Tomorrow’s another day and there will be new and exciting challenges waiting for you, so why not make sure that you are ready to face them with a clean slate without any unfinished business from the day before?
|Word or Phrase||Definition or Synonym|
|out of the box||beyond what is considered usual|
|point of view||perspective, outlook|
|deadlock||an impasse, something blocking you from going any further|
|take a break||to stop doing something for a short time|
|prominent||outstanding, famous, well-known|
|fresh approach||a new attitude or way of looking at something|
|time-consuming||taking a lot of time|
|end up||to find yourself in an unexpected situation or place|
|time management skills||ability to organise your time well|
|daily objective||a goal for the day|
|menial task||an unimportant task|
|be one step closer||closer to achieving the goal|
|common misconception||frequent misinterpretation|
|productive||effective, fruitful, high-yielding|
|far from the truth||completely untrue|
|accomplish tasks||get things done|
|downhill||moving towards the bottom|
|out of the way||here: completed, no longer causing a burden|
|reaching your goal||accomplish your objective|
|to lose concentration||to stop focusing|
|stay focused||to be concentrated|
|bang them out||do something fast (often imprecisely)|
|don’t have enough time||don’t have sufficient time|
|keep finding excuses||continue thinking of pretexts or reasons not to do something|
|bound to fail||certain to be unsuccessful|
|a waste of time||not worth doing|
|active daily routine||something you do on a daily basis|
|deal with||to manage successfully|
|a clean slate||an absence of existing restraints|
|unfinished business||incomplete tasks|
What do you think about the advice in this article? Is it useful?
Are you a procrastinator? or a productive person?
Join the discussion!