I’m sure we’ve all figured it out by now that regardless of the number of cups we drink, our morning coffee (or tea) won’t automatically make us more productive. Since, admit it, we all love distractions and we can barely make it through a day (or make it through writing a HUB post) without being interrupted and getting side-tracked.
I’m always searching for new ways of increasing efficiency, whether it be with innovative apps or simple tips for my daily routine. After recently making some minimal changes in my life, I have managed to increase my own productivity at home and at work. Here are some tips that helped me become more productive.
Start your week on Sunday.
Now I know what you’re thinking – Sundays are a day of rest and are meant to help you unwind before the workweek ahead. However, I find that spending just half an hour on Sunday evenings can help to organize yourself for the rest of the week. Tackling your inbox, preparing for meetings and planning out your week can really take the stress off of those daunting Monday mornings.
Become an early riser.
I never thought I’d be the early bird getting the worm, but I have recently become a morning person. And though most of my friends still cringe at the idea of getting up before 5 am, I have never been more motivated (and excited) to start my day off bright and early. There is a strong correlation between getting up early and overall productivity. So while the rest of the world is sleeping, I find that I can squeeze more into the morning working hours than any other time of day. Getting started earlier gives me the ability to focus on those tougher tasks easily with fewer distractions.
It’s true what they say – the most productive people do get up insanely early.
Create a to-do list.
I may like calendars, agendas and sticky notes more than the average person, but these tools help keep me organized and on top of my daily, weekly and monthly tasks. Checklists, work-back schedules and to-do lists can help to prioritize and segment large (and sometimes overwhelming) projects into smaller, and more manageable tasks. Failing to make a plan (or a to-do list) for the day is like setting yourself up to fail. However, creating a weekly or monthly timeline with clearly defined goals is a great way to increase overall productivity. Proper planning prevents poor performance. Say that five times real fast.
Working long hours doesn’t necessarily produce better work. Mental concentration is similar to exercising muscles – we become fatigued and need to take a break. Taking breaks can help to increase our focus and in turn, increase our overall productivity. Whether it’s a 10-minute break at work or a daytime power nap, taking breaks throughout the day is necessary to help us detach from our work and recharge.
Productivity is this thing we all keep chasing, but only few of us persevere, or attempt to master. Being more productive doesn’t mean working harder, it means getting more out of your day. So get more productive by getting started on Sundays, becoming an early riser, creating to-do lists and taking breaks during your work day.
Let the productivity begin!