Because you searched for “how to be more productive” that means you have a doubt about your productivity.
Peter Drucker an Austrian-American author and management consultant defined productivity as the achievement of maximum output from all sorts of available resources.
This definition can be employed in countries, organizations, and individuals. However, for more general understanding productivity in an individual’s life is prioritizing tasks to reach our goals.
Being productive implies taking action toward our goals, avoiding things that add no value, and constantly having time to step into new endeavors.
So it is worth all the hype because it is productivity that will define our success in career and all aspects of life.
Have a look at the below 15 tips to enhance productivity!
15 Ways to Be More Productive Everyday
You don’t need to follow all the things below, but at least you should follow 4 to 5 listed tasks to be more productive.
1. Wake Up Early and Follow a “Morning Routine”
When it comes to sleep like everything quality is superior to quantity. Adults should aim to get six or more hours of sleep at night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. However, if it’s between 4 am until 10 or 11 am, it will not help at all.
Research conducted by Christoph Randler in 2011 showed that those who wake up early in the morning are more persistent and determined, which are two traits essential to being productive.
In order to avoid procrastination, making the bed as soon as we get out of it helps a lot. To be more productive, you should engage in healthy morning activities, such as watching the sunrise, exercising, yoga, and eating a nutritious breakfast.
If you are not sure what could be a productive morning routine, check the article on “best things to do in the morning“.
2. From To-do List Break Tasks into Smaller Pieces
A to-do list is useful to stay on track, but it’s not always helpful in combating procrastination.
Why? Our mind tells us that we can’t complete some jobs because it thinks they are difficult or time-consuming, so it distracts us and convinces us that we’re not able to perform them.
That has left me feeling like a dysfunctional person. My schedule was congested for a long time due to the enormous chores that made me abandon other opportunities. So, I decided to look for a solution, and I found it in tackling one part/section at a time.
I broke larger projects into doable pieces so that my mind is less burdened. To budding enthusiasts, I suggest a division of a large task by logically prioritizing its sections, start from the most important one.
3. Use 80/20 Rule: Focus on Most Important Tasks First
80/20 rule is also called Pareto Principle which stresses giving priority to those 20% tasks which can generate 80% output.
What a bang, right?
It was for me because before this I consider every part of a task equally important but now, I know that they seem but they are not equal in terms of outputs. I am quoting a personal example from the time when I started building an affiliate website.
After wasting months thinking about it needs consistent free time, I started doing it. The main elements of the website are design, efficiency, and content.
At first, they were all equal for me and I wasted more than a month fine-tuning the design of the website. Next? I passed by some websites with so so design but better performance than mine.
The 20% to get 80% output was not designed, it was content. So, identify that 20% carefully by analyzing your market.
4. Stop Multitasking
Multitasking is great to get more done in less time but do you know it decreases efficiency?
Multitasking decreases the efficiency hence, output/productivity. To avoid multitasking keeping a to-do list and staying with one task at a time is helpful. More precisely organize your workspace and keep things relevant to the current task on your desk.
For example, starting with my writing schedule I try not to open more than one topic at a time. It keeps me focused on the topic, offers better analysis abilities, and enhanced performance.
Not out, multitasking is thrilling. It makes us feel a sense of achievement but what we are sacrificing for that is premium quality output. So, it is better to welcome slight boredom and sticking to one task at a time.
I read a book called “The ONE Thing” by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan where there are 5 big ideas of the book. One of them is “Multitasking is a lie”.
5. Fill the Tank-Recharge/Take a Break When You Need
Working from home sometimes makes us overwork ourselves. Being a freelancer starting from 8 to 9 am and work until 6 to 7 pm was normal for me. At the start, I don’t even have a closing time. But with time I realized the importance of schedule and small breaks. Initially, I started taking a break only when my mind denies to focus anymore but now, I have scheduled breaks like five minutes every hour and 30 minutes during noon.
Getting break only when the mind denies focusing indicates the need for a better plan. A plan with regular breaks which you can take to do basic body stretches, or to have a power nap in the noon. Both these strategies are highly efficient to start fresh and to be more productive. You can also water your indoor plants, can prepare and enjoy a quick healthy snack, or can take a round of your home.
Taking breaks to eliminate fatigue and make us come back to work with more energy and new ideas and if you are working in an office environment you can convince your boss about having small breaks during work hours.
In an office, you can find a friend to have a break together but do not let his/her choices affect your needs. For example, he/she might need a break in mid-morning while you need it at noon.
In an office setup you might not have an area to move a lot but during your break times leave your chair and move as much as possible, try organizing your desk, try some neck and shoulder stretch and the rest is specific to your environment. You can configure activities as per your environment to be more active and productive.
6. Mind Your Mobile-Turn off Notifications
To be more productive elimination of distractions is crucial. Social media notifications and mobile phones are the biggest distractions.
Sitting on a work desk and craving to check a friend’s Instagram page or scrolling Facebook feed are productivity hammering habits. However, there is a solution to this as several mobile phones are coming with do not disturb mode.
For the mobile phones which do not have this mode try changing the ring tone for the emergency call and turn silent mode on for all other applications and calls.
Keeping it away from the workplace is a better option. Avoiding mobile phones enhances creativity, focus, and thus productivity. The reason is an increase in input time which will lead to better output with other better strategies.
7. Apply Pomodoro Technique: Cultivate Deep Work
Pomodoro is a gift from Francesco Cirillo to the world. It is a time management technique highly effective in increasing focus. One of the best ways to be more productive.
Pomodoro promotes the division of time into 25-minute cycles. After 25 focused minutes, one can take a 5-minute break and after 4 Pomodoro (2 hours) a long break of 15-25 minutes can be scheduled.
This technique is great to cultivate deep work. I was introduced to deep work by Carl Newport’s publication of the same name. He coined this term for distraction-free work which pushes mental capabilities to their limit.
The book got a mixed response but the deep work is becoming rare. Thus, being able to do deep work is a valuable asset and proven to enhance productivity.
8. Be OK with Procrastination
Yes, it is ok to procrastinate as far as it is active procrastination. There are two types of procrastination passive procrastination and active procrastination.
Passive procrastination is the one creating “say no to procrastination” hype.
To get a better understanding it is the one that held me back from writing an eBook even when I was wasting time surfing the internet.
While the active procrastination keeps reminding me to write an eBook when I was doing a lot of other things. Got it?
At first, all of us curse ourselves during active procrastination even when it is not a bad thing. So, being comfortable with active procrastination enhance productivity as it does not let the work pile up and also indicates futuristic plans.
9. Learn to Say “No”
Saying yes to everything and everyone in your life and career make you a people pleaser. A people pleaser’s life’s foundations are laid on people’s opinions about them.
How far such an individual can go? With depression, anxiety, the burden of things left incomplete one can never enjoy life to its full potential.
So, saying “No” to a person or to work is for your wellbeing. I was used to saying yes to all the projects overlooking the current version which destroyed my focus and the quality got worse.
To get back on track I started taking the burden I can handle. Every time you feel uncomfortable saying no remind yourself of the pain that the last yes bring you.
10. Identify Your Personal Work Patterns
Productivity dips during the day are common, and many people try to keep working even if it results in subpar performance. People working in regular office hours can not think of adjusting work and productive time. However, working from home holds an edge in this case.
Morning is the most productive time for most people but it is different for everyone. Simply by being aware of everyday behaviors, energy levels, and concentration, one can discover his/her most productive working hours and patterns.
You can experiment with the identified times to reach the most productive hours of the day. The next step is to schedule everything around that time. It is easy for people to work from home thus such people are more productive than office workers.
11. Use Management App/Software to Help You at Home or Work
There are multiple task and time management applications and software. Software for task management might let you devote additional time to the actual task and less time to the task management aspects.
Tasks are made more efficient thanks to the task management modules, which enable you to track critical milestones, define dependencies, and complete assignments. The other type of software or applications helps to enhance productivity work to link multiple knowledge and working streams.
Such apps help you combine your preferred data in one place so that you do not have to switch platforms to work on a project. One such app is Notion which keeps all notes, tasks, projects, wikis, etc. at one workplace.
12. Learn from Success as well as Mistakes
It is often the case that inexperienced individuals look to others for guidance when they first begin their jobs. They study prominent figures or emulate role models. They turn to others who have had success and can advise them, or they read case studies and biographies of those who succeeded.
An exemplary role model’s accomplishment helps to deliver important lessons on how to follow in their footsteps. However, the gap between the case studies and a person’s scenario does not pay well.
That’s why revisiting your successes and failures is best to grow as a productive person. In this process I usually forget to keep notes from my successful projects which decreases my productivity as I have to repeat the whole process, repeat the mistakes too to reach the time-consuming result. That’s why the ability to analyze success and failure is a blessing.
13. Life is Hard: Ask for Help When Needed
I suffered for a long time because of one concept of mine which is in my subconscious considering myself a superhuman. I messed up all my eating habits, sleep patterns, social life, emotional support thinking that nothing would happen even if I am not getting enough of these.
But, the first to break the fantasy were health issues. After that, I understood that I need food, proper sleep, and emotional support to survive as I am not at all a superhuman.
To shed some workload one can, partner with someone but asking for emotional help is hard. Having a friend or someone from the family to share everything is great.
One more thing if we start helping others, we will never need to ask for ourselves as it will always be there.
14. Prioritize Self-care: You are Important
Skincare can be part of self-care but it is not the whole. Self-care is taking care of body and mind equally.
Self-care starts with small things like eating healthy, exercising, managing time to do something you like, etc. Besides that, taking every decision either work or life-related you have to consider yourself rather than the impact of the decision on your reputation, and obviously the famous what would people say.
Keeping this attitude in practice is not selfishness and it will lead you to the best decisions ever. Other things to give yourself value are staying in reality and never over-blame.
To avoid self-blaming, one needs to be optimistic and having faith. So, realistically analyze any situation and keep an eye on the brighter side to prioritize yourself.
15. Go to Bed Early and Follow a “before bed” Routine
When we talk about waking up early then it automatically stands for go to bed early. Because going to bed late and waking up early will lead to sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation affects the health, focus, and efficiency of a person. Having a before-bed routine helps with better sleep. I try nighttime light body stretch and a warm cup of milk for good sleep.
Before sleeping I turn on the bedtime mode of my cellphone which keeps it silent and does not light up the screen with each notification. You can try this too or can leave your cellphone away from the bed.
Pro-tip read one page of the book whether you are a book lover or not. It will widen knowledge horizons and will improve learning capacity.
You can also check “things to do before bed“.
How To Be More Productive: In A Nutshell
Productivity is all about getting the most out of inputs. Most of the above-mentioned points are self-tested and found best to enhance productivity.
Starting a day with a healthy routine, prioritizing tasks, and getting them done one by one by avoiding multitasking and distractions.
Work is important but not more than ourselves. That’s why taking care of mental and physical health, seeking help in stress, and improving the quality of life by prioritizing self-care and going early to bed is crucial to growing as a balanced individual.
In the last, there is a lot of stuff about productivity but what will work for you is unique and you have to self-assess it. Keep flourishing, Keep visiting!
People also take 30 days challenges to be more productive and proactive. You can take one too.
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