Do you feel that you’re always having to improve your productivity? Just about every one of us finds that we on a daily basis we are expected to become more productive. We’re expected to do more both at work and home, and in finding ways to achieve more, we constantly look for more elaborate ways to become more productive and sometimes overlook the simple and easy things. Continue reading to discover some easy ways to improve your productivity.
Try these Simple Ways to Improve Your Productivity:
- Do it at the right time – Everyone has those times of day when their productivity slips and times when they feel that they could take on the world. When do you feel at your most energetic? When do you feel most lethargic? Identify your most effective time of the day and schedule the most important tasks for then.
- Does it really need doing? – Make sure that you’re doing things that need to be done at that moment. If the task has been on your to-do list for a while and no one has chased you about it, you can probably delete it completely and no one will notice.
- Do the easy stuff first – Many writers on the subject of time management and productivity will always tell you to do the hardest or most unpleasant task first thing in the morning, commonly referred to as ‘eating the frog’. Whilst this may work for some, I believe that if you complete a few easy or nice tasks first then you build up both confidence and momentum and are therefore less likely to procrastinate over the more difficult tasks when you come to them later in the day.
- Set specific goals for each day – Decide what are the three most important things you must either complete, or make progress on that day. This is even more effective when planned the previous evening, as it allows you to hit the ground running.
- Avoid interruptions – When you are working on your important tasks, turn your phone off and resist the urge to check your email. If necessary put a hang a “Do not disturb,” sign in a prominent place to let others know that you don’t wish to be interrupted.
- Batch like tasks together – Instead of jumping from one type of task to another and back again, set aside a time to complete like tasks. Respond to your emails in one go. Return all your phone messages during a set block of time. You’ll be surprised at how much time you save implementing this small change.
- Set time limits – Many people set start times for tasks but fail to set a time limit. A time limit helps you to concentrate and work better. Even if a task is going to take a long time, consider setting batches of time for say 20 or 30 minutes and see how much you can get done and then reward yourself.
- Set realistic targets – Many people set themselves up for productivity failure before they even start. Be realistic in the targets you set for yourself, is it realistic to say your going to make 200 sales calls, or is it realistic to say that you will make 50 and not give up until you do.
- Become a Pareto fanatic – The Pareto Principle states that 20% of your actions will give you 80% of your results. So make sure that you’re concentrating your efforts on the 20% of tasks that will give you 80% of your results. Does watching cat videos on You tube really fall in to the 20%?
- Ask for help – Don’t be afraid to ask for help, it’s not an admission of failure, if you work for yourself, you have to realise that you can’t do it all. Are family or friends willing to help, can you use the skills of a virtual assistant? These people are your resources and they have valuable skills that you may lack, utilize them as and when required.
Implementing these 10 simple ways to improve your productivity into your daily life will make a difference to your overall productivity and helping you to stay focused on the task and not wasting time.
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Till Next time
Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor