Ten Tips to Improve Daily Productivity
There are only so many hours in the working day, so what we have is very valuable to our productivity.
Starting the day with an organized to do list and set goals. But before you know it the day is nearing the end and your list is suddenly longer when you started.
Fast turnaround of work can be mistaken for productivity. It’s very easy to end up being overwhelmed by our workload or obsessing over end goals. Often, a fast turnaround may mean that work is completed to a lower standard than if the turnaround was longer.
Paying no attention to both the process of getting there, or the efficiency of the process, can have adverse effects too. Short term goals may be achieved. But reaching longer term goals with no method, time or patience can hinder this achievement.
To work to your optimum, you are then left with two choices – work for longer hours, or work smart.
So, what is key for this? Of course… Productivity.
We often implement changes to improve our productivity and routine throughout life. Or at least attempt to, with it quite often lasting only for a short period of time. However, in this blog we have pulled together some of our favourite tips and tricks for you to trial and implement. Keep in mind that 21 days is the typical time frame to set a new habit permanently. Chose wisely and stay consistent!
A great way to get on top of, and master your productivity, is giving a short amount of time to review your progress that day. You can then decipher what tasks you need to complete tomorrow. Make a brief plan and review it in the morning. Not only does this help with your organization but it can help you switch off at the end of the day. You are able to wind down for the evening knowing where you stand with your work.
In fact, have many breaks. You may feel as you don’t need one, but your brain and body will. Stepping away from our screens for a short period of time can help clear your head and give a fresh start. Breaks are said to help you retain and process information and in turn improve your performance.
So, go for a short walk, have a cup of tea, and take ten minutes in a new environment, have a chat with a colleague, read a book. Whatever is for you.
If we don’t take breaks, we can easily get drained with head fog and all the rest. When you have important tasks to do it can really help to identify your ‘awake’ hours (the time in the day where you generally find your drive, creativity and productivity is at it’s highest). To find your awake hours we suggest you pay attention to your body and identify when this time is over a week period. Then, going forward make sure you prioritize your most important tasks in those hours.
Don’t waste your brain power trying to remember things. Have a note pad where you can scribble down any thoughts. If you’re a perfectionist, have another notepad where you can enjoy organising and displaying these thoughts appropriately.
Making notes, mindmaps, lists (whichever you prefer) has many benefits. First and foremost, it can help you stay on track and do the things you need to do rather than put them off. These methods can also help you off load all the things going on in your head and stay productive.
Use time blocks when planning your day by writing out your tasks and assigning the time you will give to each one.
Stay disciplined with this and have control when beginning and ending new and current tasks.
This is a time management tool that will encourage you to recognize your priorities and spread your time evenly over the working day. It can help push you to give ultimate focus and effort on the task you are working on and will help combat procrastination.
*TIP: giving yourself less time than you think you need may help with task completion or focus. Particularly if you work well under pressure.
The worst two work barriers there are.
Most importantly and obviously – keep that personal phone on DND. In fact, put it out of site completely, to stop that aimless scrolling!
If you find yourself procrastinating and avoiding tasks at all costs, try and turn this time into a ‘positive’ procrastination. By this we mean doing all the little tasks or procrastinating with things you can benefit from. Such as brainstorming, planning, working on your notes etc.
If you have tasks that reoccur on a weekly or monthly basis, try to schedule completion of these at the same time every occurrence. This will help it become an implemented routine which won’t be a choice of completing. Eventually it will become a natural, easy task.
This can vary between individuals, but for many, music can help you get in a real focused state. Get those headphones in and block out any surrounding distractions.
Lo-fi music is often lyric free, relaxing and follows a steady tempo. This can be a good go to style for working, as it keeps the listener engaged and un-distracted by any lyrics which can lead to better comprehension and working.
Big heavy meals at lunch time are not the best idea. The digestion of a big meal can make you feel extremely tired and lethargic which can be an annoying hinder on your productivity.
Although lunch is a great break a lot of us look forward to in the day, try to keep it light. Snacking is a great way to fill your mini break slots at work so try doing little and often rather than one big lunch.
Be forgiving of yourself. We all have off days where we are trying to squeeze a reasonable amount of productivity out of ourselves. And all face those frustrating days where you have that block you just can’t brush off, but that is ok. We need to learn to be accepting of that not only for ourselves but others too.
The best thing to do when feeling like this is to talk. Someone might have some tips to help you combat this or alternatively you may be given some different tasks to try and work on. Take a break, clear your head, and start again. The worst thing to do here is to try and deal with it yourself. Then spend the day aimlessly getting nothing done. Accept how you’re feeling and work on doing something about it!
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