Productivity: 4 ways to improve your productive efficiency
Do you ever look at your extremely productive coworker and think ‘How do they do it all?’. When we see people who seem to have every part of their work and personal lives managed and under control we often wonder if they might not be human. Turns out, they have likely just mastered a few simple and effective steps to increase their productivity. Let’s have a look at these 4 ways to use productivity to take you from super-stressed to superhuman.
Productivity step 1: Avoid distractions
Whether it’s seeing your mobile lighting up in the corner of your eye or your chatty coworker detailing the events of her weekend, distractions are a productivity killer and take up more time than many of us realise. In any workspace, distractions can be unavoidable but there are a few effective steps you can take to make the most of your time:
- Turn off mobile notifications
- Work from home on time-sensitive projects
- Take breaks from projects
- Break tasks up and take breaks
Productivity step 2: Set Goals
Goal-setting is an important part of planning for both short and long-term productivity. We all have goals we’d like to achieve but often times don’t know how to get there. Cue the 5 Golden Rules of goal-setting:
- Set goals that motivate you
- Set SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
- Put your goals into writing
- Make and follow an action plan
- Stick with it!
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Productivity step 3: Find a balance
Work-life balance. We have all heard of it but so few of us are able to achieve it. Leaving work at the door and making time for hobbies and loved ones can feel next to impossible. However, there are a few practices you can implement to your everyday life to help with balancing work and life:
- Get enough sleep
- Take exercise breaks
- Stick to your work hours
- Reserve or book in social events on specific days
Productivity step 4: Manage your time
Got a spare few minutes? Make the most of your time at work by filling those small windows with easy-to-finish tasks. Entrepreneur Steve Olenski theorizes that when it comes to short tasks that don’t take more than a few minutes to complete, prioritising immediately finishing them saves time in the long run. So, if it takes less than two minutes, do it, or at least start it, now!
Eat the frog
Mark Twain once said, “eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Motivational speaker and author, Brian Tracy, coined his ‘eat the frog’ technique based on this quote. The ‘frog’ in this analogy is the most crucial task on your to-do list or the task you are most likely to procrastinate on. Getting that done first will leave room for your other, perhaps more pleasant, tasks.
Take advantage of your commute
Your way to work may currently be spent scrolling through your friend’s updates, reading fan theories about your favourite programme or crushing candies but seizing that time to plan your to-do list, getting a head start on emails or developing your skills through eBooks or audio learning can provide huge benefits to the rest of your morning and into your day.
The most important thing to take from all of this advice is that not every single workday will be 100% productive, and that’s okay! Instead of getting angry at yourself, implement some of these skills and tips into your everyday life and you’ll be amazed at how much more you achieve both in the office and at home!