The fast pace we all work at today makes it seem like there is not enough time in a day to get everything done.
Here are seven productivity tips that show you how:
1. Work with Your Personal Rhythms
Know thyself! Get to know what works with your own internal clock. Beyond being a “day” person or “night” person, you also have times when you are at your best for productivity and focus. Get to know your peak energy times and schedule your difficult tasks at those times.
2. Defeat Procrastination
If you find yourself putting things off until tomorrow you have a procrastination problem. The great Mark Twain advised “eating the frog”. That is, if you have to eat a frog, do it first and get it over with so anything else will be easy in comparison. He also advised that if you have to eat two frogs, eat the bigger one first.
3. Forget Multitasking
It may seem that doing a bunch of tasks all at once is a time saver, but it is not. The human brain is not meant to do that, and does not do well with multitasking. It decreases focus, and increases stress and mental fatigue, and it can cause productivity to go down up to 40%! Focus on one task at a time and do that task well.
4. Take Breaks
Breaks aren’t a waste of time. Taking breaks increases your efficiency by promoting creativity, concentration and memory. Neglecting breaks and working continuously leads to decision fatigue, stress and exhaustion.
5. Make Plans
The best way to plan your day is with to-do lists. A great time to make the list is the night before, so you start out your day knowing what you want to accomplish. It is important that the list is realistic and simple, with no more than two or three items so you don’t feel overwhelmed. A list can help keep you motivated because you have a record of what you have accomplished, and you can see progress towards your goals.
6. Get Organized
Organize your workspace! Besides being able to find everything you need easily by getting rid of any non-essential items, a messy workspace affects your ability to concentrate and process information. Maintain the organization by cleaning up your workspace when you are finished for the day.
Get the difficult tasks done during your peak productive times. If you have tasks that can easily be ticked of your list, follow the “two-minute rule”. This rule says that if you have a task that can be done in two minutes, do it and get it off your plate, freeing up space in you mind that would be devoted to thinking about doing it later. These two-minute tasks would be things like daily chores – such as answering emails.