Productivity has become something we all aspire for but it seems reasonably out of our reach. You try not to waste your time, be more attentive to how you utilize your time but ultimately revert back to the old style of doing things, the lethargic way of doing things, where you have no track of what you are doing.
You realise that you have an important task to do, may be preparing for your next day exam or preparing for a client meeting. But what is your reaction; you look at clock and say “ohh! It’s just 6 now, I have plenty of time, let me now enjoy this thrilling show.” So what you do is to postpone the task and what happens eventually is, you find yourself hanging a do-or-die kind of situation where you have to do something but it just seems impossible to do in a short time frame.
To avoid being in such a situation, what you really need are some productivity boosting tips and not just any tips but tips which are proven to be helpful.
Before we begin, remember nothing happens overnight, so be kind to yourself. Push yourself to be productive but just don’t push yourself to the point of breaking.
7 Tips to Become More Productive
Tip #1: Track Your Time
The first step to improve anything is to know how is your current performance. So, before you even think of becoming more productive you must figure out your current time usage.
Observe your activities for one day. Give different time-productivity-result rating to your different tasks to know whether you are really utilizing your time or not and to create a plan accordingly.
Once you are done with this little exercise, give time to sort your activities into useful and not no useful categories. If you know what is making you unproductive you can work on each thing individually.
Tip #2 : Say No to Multi-tasking
Most people believe that multi-tasking is what makes you productive. And why not, after all you are managing and trying to finish tasks simultaneously and so you can do much more tings in much less time.
However, the reality is quite opposite. When you try to do various things at the same time what essential happens is distribution of energy and focus which make you less efficient. And the thumb-rule in being productive is to be as much efficient as possible.
The constant task switching is making us more tired and reducing productivity. It’s taking up brain energy to switch and change that often. We aren’t being more productive, we’re skimming over the surface of things. The modern workplace environment won’t support you in your quest to be more focused–it’s virtually an impossible task when Slack, Skype and Salesforce are jockeying for our attention.
Therefore try to minimize this multi-tasking to the most possible extent. Focus on one thing at a time and put all your efforts and energy into it. This would eventually boost your productivity.
Tip #3: Minimize Interruptions and Distractions
As a general rule of productivity, you need to cut on your distractions and interruptions. The more focused you are on the task at hand, the sooner it will be completed and the better it would be.
Now, I understand that this is easier said then done. But atleast you can try. Try not to look at your smartphone every now and then, not to chat with your friends in between your work and not to look at random things and be lost.
Self control is what you need to develop. Build a disciplined style of working. Make it a point to not touch your smartphone until very necessary. Once you start practicing the art of self control, you yourself would feel your productivity to be heightened.
Tip #4 : Get a Boss for Yourself
One thing you would have noticed is that when you are answerable to someone, you almost instantly become much more productive.
Being accountable triggers the human reaction of being responsible. Notice how you somehow finish your project even in a very short time when you know that you have a boss to whom you are answerable for this project. You could apply the same in your daily life to boost your productivity.
So, find a boss for yourself. This boss may be your friend, someone from your family, or even your diary. You don’t essential need a human to be your boss. Make it a habit to tell whatever you did in a day to your diary and then judge the same objectively. You would soon be introspecting and would soon find out where you failed and what you did right.
This technique of having a boss for yourself makes you more self aware and keeps you on track. Even if want to procrastinate, you really can’t because you have someone to answer.
Tip #5: Give Yourself the Me Time
Give yourself the ‘me time’ is essentially one of the best thing you can do. However, for many people, this concept of me time or a relaxation time seems in stark contrast to the idea of being productivity.
But what they don’t realize is the fact that this lack of relaxation time is the root cause of being less productive. Why do you think you procrastinate? Well, the main reason behind this is, you feel that you don’t get enough time to relax. You feel that you work too hard all the day and surely deserve some time to chill without realizing that you might actually be relaxing all the time.
If instead you assign a particular time slot or time duration just for yourself, for relaxing and doing what you want, like watching your favorite Netflix show, you know that you would have time do relax and so you should work with all your energy now.
The crux here is, consider giving yourself time and be kind to yourself.
Tip #6: Be Organised
The need and benefits of being organised are self explanatory. If you are organised you know what to do, when to do and how to do a task.
Being organised also means keeping all your stuff organised. So, you should have an organised work table, an organised schedule for yourself and an organised routine.
If you are well organised, you have won half the battle. Because now you would not have to waste your time in planning things, or finding documents or some equipment. A clean work table will keep you relaxed as compared to a messy one, which even at a glance gives chills about how to get started.
Tip #7: Use the Power of Rewarding
Take time to pat your back whenever you do something good. You don’t know how much boost this simple act of praising yourself can give to your self esteem and your productivity.
When you are praised, you instantly make it a point to repeat the same thing all the time which gained this appreciation for you. Additionally, what you can do is reward yourself. These rewards can vary as per the significance of the work.
So for instance, if you did something right and on time which was on the top of your priority list reward yourself with a lunch at your favorite restaurants. Similarly, if you did something less important, you can reward yourself with a good movie night.
What you essentially need to do is to praise and reward yourself and this would eventually lead to a better and more productive routine for yourself.
So, how to be more productive? You’ve read now that there is no sure-fire way to increase productivity. Increasing productivity is highly personalized and possibly not all these tips would work for you or your team. Maybe a combination of identifying your peak hours and increasing accountability would work wonders. But I repeat like every other thing, this also would take time.