This article will discuss 3 productivity tips that will help you get more done in less time. Why is that important? Or let me ask a better question. Why is productivity important?
- We all have things we need to get done.
- We need to go to work to make enough money to support ourselves and our families.
- We need to get groceries, cook dinner, do the laundry, feed the dog, drive the kids to after-school activities, wash the car, mow the lawn, clean the bathroom…
- And we need to sleep for about eight hours a say on average to recover and regroup.
The list goes on and on. I think I made my point. We all have a lot of stuff to do in any given day. And that day only has 24 hours. We don’t get more, we don’t get less. Time is a finite resource. And that right there is why productivity matters.
We don’t get more time in our day. And much of what is on our to-do list is non-negotiable. It has to get done. The only thing under our control is how fast we move through our task list. And that’s where productivity comes in and why it matters.
If you can make it through that list just a little faster and get things done more efficiently, that leaves you with more time to do the things you want and love to do. With that in mind, let’s move through these three powerful productivity tips.
1 – Focus On The Things That Matter
Before you get to work on anything, look over everything you need to do and figure out what is important. What matters, what doesn’t? By cutting out things like busy work, unnecessary errands, and the likes you can greatly boost your productivity. Focus on the important stuff, on the things that matter and make a difference.
Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? It’s used a lot in business and marketing, but applies to the rest of your life just as much. It states that 20% of your efforts give you 80% of the results.
Let’s say you’re working on a home improvement project. 20% of the time you spend working on the project will result in 80% of the progress you’re making. The rest of the time, you may be doing busy work, looking for stuff, or just standing there staring at what you’ve accomplished (or how much there’s left to do).
The key to boosting your productivity is to identify the 20% of the work you do that result in 80% of the results. Then just focus on doing that 20% work. Yes, you can cut your work load quite a bit and end up with more and better results. All you need to do is to do more of the 20% stuff.
The only hard part is identifying what the high productivity tasks are. Set aside a little time and review what you’re doing and what’s giving you the best results. Those are the tasks and activities you want to focus on most of the time to boost your productivity.
Write them down and then make a list of what you need to get done today. Start with the things that will have the biggest impact. This will ensure you stay productive even when your workday is cut short. Give it a try and see if prioritizing and making a list doesn’t help boost your productivity.
2 – Put Yourself On A Deadline
One of the best productivity Tips is to put yourself on a deadline. It only makes sense, doesn’t it? Think back on times when you were on a tight deadline. When your boss asks you to wrap up a report for him in an hour, or when you’re trying to get the house cleaned before the in-laws show up for a visit. When was the last time you were late for the flight to go on holiday?
When we have a deadline, we tend to work a lot more efficiently and effectively. We don’t let the little stuff distract us. We put on our blinkers and get stuff done.
There’s something called Parkinson’s Law which states that work will expand to fill the time you give it. If you have all day to clean the house, it will take you all day. If you have a 45 minute warning before friends show up, it’ll get done in 45 minutes. Sure, it may not be as much of a deep cleaning as the all day job, but the 80/20 rule applies here as well and your house will be much cleaner than it was an hour earlier.
Now let’s talk about putting yourself on a deadline on a regular basis. It’s pretty simple. Grab a kitchen timer, or use an app on your phone, and start using the timer to have a deadline for all your tasks.
Challenge yourself to get stuff done much faster than you are right now. It will force you to focus, stop wasting time, and it will boost your productivity. In other words, you’ll get a lot more done in a lot less time if you’re using a time. Try it.
3 – Take Advantage Of Flow
Let’s talk about getting in the flow. It’s that almost magical state of mind where work becomes effortless and you get more done then you ever thought possible. I’m sure you’ve experienced it at some point in the past. You get so involved in a project or task that you forget about everything else around you. You are focused and your brain cells are firing at twice the normal speed. You make decisions with ease and just work through you list of tasks without letting anything or anyone interrupt you. It’s a great feeling and it’s an amazing productivity booster.
Start by taking advantage anytime you get into the flow. Buckle down, work hard, and get ahead whenever you find yourself in the flow state. That along will boost your productivity, but just think how much more you could get done if you could get yourself in the flow on demand.
To make this happen, start paying attention to what it takes to get you into the flow. Identify what exactly brings it on or what’s happening when you get in the flow.
Once you have that information, try to replicate it whenever you have some work that you want to get through quickly. Go through the same routines, recreate the setting that gets you in the flow, and just start practicing.
I’m serious. Like meditating, getting into the flow gets easier with practice. Before you know it, you’ll be able to generate short bursts of flow on demand. Take advantage of that new “super-power” and increase your productivity whenever you need it.
And here’s a handy little tip. It will get easier to get into the flow when you know exactly what you’re working on and when you know what you’re doing is important. That goes back to productivity tip #1. And having a deadline helps you get into the flow as well, which is what we talked about in productivity tip #2. Both of those combined will help you get into and stay in the flow on a regular basis, while helping boost your productivity overall.
In other words, all three productivity boosters in this article work together – in synergy – to help you get more done in less time. And that’s a beautiful thing.
Let’s wrap this up and get back to work. All three productivity tips will help you get more done in less time. And that leaves you more time for the things that are important on a more personal level. It gives you more time to spend with your loved ones (be they family or friends), it gives you more time to pursue your hobbies and passions, and it gives you time for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Isn’t that a goal worth striving towards?
We all have only one life to live and within that there’s a limited amount of hours. We may not know exactly how many hours we are given, but we know without a shadow of a doubt that it is not an infinite number. That’s why it’s important to stop wasting time and letting work drag on and on. Instead, give these productivity tips a try, make them part of your daily routine, and get more done in fewer hours.
It’s well worth it when you take control of your time and you get to choose how you want to spend it. That’s the real benefit of time management and increased productivity. It isn’t so we can do even more work. It’s so we get to choose how we want to spend our time. Yes, some of it will be spend on work and chores, but the better we get at working on those things quickly, the more we have leftover at the end of the day to spend on things and people we love.
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Till Next Time
Mike Gardner is TheTime Doctor