If you are looking for an answer to “How to be more productive”, then you are not alone. Everyone wants to get stuff done and cross things off their to-do list. But laziness and procrastination have their own way of sneaking into our lives.
- You do not want to live in a swamp of unfinished work or be lazy, but still, you end up watching Netflix all day.
- You have so many things to do but don’t know how to start.
- You are often overwhelmed with the amount of work to be done.
- You want to be more productive but end up doing little by the end of the day.
- You lack the motivation to begin a task.
If any of these sounds like you, then this article is made just for you.
Being productive is not a child’s play, as it requires dedication and focus. But some tips and tricks can help make the job a lot easier. So let’s find out 13 amazing tips to help you be more productive and live your dream life.
HOW TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE AND GET THINGS DONE
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Productivity is not about how many hours you spend doing something, but how many results you produce.
Not every item on your to-do list is as crucial as it looks.
Everything is not important. You have to prioritise one work over the other.
Write down everything that needs to be done on a piece of paper. Now strike off all the tasks, which will bring the least or no result.
When you are not able to decide what to strike off, think about the consequences if the work is not done. Some tasks lead to zero consequences and you have to let go of them.
Now you are left with only the most essential jobs which need to be addressed by you.
Know what adds value to your work and what simply consumes your time and energy.
2. IT’S ALL ABOUT GOALS
It is imperative to know your goals, and what results do you expect.
Do not set vague goals and always have a clear target. If you do not have a specific goal to chase, you may waste your time in doing things which are remotely related to your target.
Another significant thing to keep in mind while setting goals is to break it into small achievable parts.
When you finish small tasks, it gives a sense of accomplishment and helps to keep you motivated.
3. MAKE MORE THAN A TO-DO LIST
Once you know your priorities and have set goals, make a plan and make it as detailed as you can.
Planning should always be done ahead of time. At the end of the day, reflect upon your day and decide all the important things that need to be done tomorrow.
This way when you wake up in the morning, your mind is already prepared. No more wasting time and you start being productive from the very first sunshine.
Write a to-do list for the next day a night before and schedule the tasks.
For example – Instead of simply writing “To Exercise” in your to-do list, mention the time of the day when you plan to exercise, along with the name of the exercises you want to perform.
When you make a simple to-do list, there are high chances of procrastination, as you feel you have the entire day to do stuff.
When you plan your day well and schedule the tasks with the utmost details, you know what exactly you need to do and when.
4. GROUP TASKS
Batch similar tasks together.
There are some tasks which require similar skills, schedule them close to each other instead of scattering them.
When you shift from one task to another, your brain needs to shift its thinking process too. And most of the time this shift creates confusion and exhaustion.
By grouping similar tasks, you save yourself a lot of energy.
For example – If your do-to list looks like following
- reply to emails
- buy groceries
- write a report
- make calls
- collect a parcel
- pay the bills
Do not start at the top and work your way down.
When you go out to buy groceries, also collect the parcel even if the post office is not on the way to the supermarket. Instead of coming home and going out again, finish these tasks together.
From buying groceries to writing a report, demands a huge mind shift because the tasks are poles apart. Frequent mind shifts result in lack of focus and waste of time.
Similarly replying to emails and making calls can be batched together.
5. FOCUS ON THE PRESENT
Worrying kills productivity.
Stop worrying about what you could have done and focus on what you can do now.
There is no point in crying over the past. Your present will decide your future and you can make it better.
Your mind can focus on one thing at a time. If you keep on worrying about all the things that need to be done, you cannot be productive.
Be kind and forgive yourself for being lazy and a procrastinator.
Make a fresh start and move step by step to your dream life.
6. STEER CLEAR OF DISTRACTIONS
Know what distracts you. It could be the social media, the limitless notifications on your phone and computer, the addictive Netflix series or maybe all of them.
It is easy to get sucked into distractions and lose track of time – a combination destructive to productivity.
Stay away from all the distractions around you, when you are trying to focus and be productive.
Turn off notifications on your phone and laptop and do not keep your phone at a reachable distance. If your phone is on the same desk at which you are working, you’ll be tempted to use it for no reason at all.
Ditching your phone and turning off notifications is not easy but is necessary to be productive.
7. KEEP A REWARD
Before you start doing a task, decide what you will give yourself once it is finished.
For every task, you strike off of your to-do list, reward yourself with something. Treat yourself for your accomplishment.
It could be as simple as listening to some soothing music or doing a skincare routine to buying yourself your favourite dress.
Rewarding is also a great way to stay away from distraction.
For example – Keep “spending time on social media” as a reward. Turn your distraction into a motivation.
Appreciate your hard work and efforts.
8. EVERY CORNER IS NOT THE SAME
Do you have a specific place in your house where you sit and work? If not, then find one.
Know a place in your house where you are the most productive.
Avoid sitting on a way too comfortable sofa or a bed because eventually, you will find yourself napping under a cosy blanket.
Have a study table and place it in the quietest corner of your house. Avoid sitting too close to a window or in a room with a TV.
Switch between rooms and see from where you are able to work the best. Experiment with shifting places until you find a sweet spot of your house.
9. FIND YOUR PRODUCTIVE TIME
Every person has a productive time window when they are the most productive. You have to find yours.
Look for a pattern in your productivity behaviour and find out the most favourable time of the day when your energy is at a peak.
You are a human being and not a machine. You cannot deliver results 24/7.
Some people are most productive in the morning while others are productive during the night.
It doesn’t matter if you are a morning person or a night owl. What matters is to learn the hours at which your brain is capable of running a marathon.
For example – I like to start my day early, as it has so many benefits but I also know that I cannot focus on something creative before 9 AM. Therefore, I spend the first few hours of my morning in self-care and not on my to-do list.
10. ROUTINE IS THE KEY
Establishing a routine and sticking to it is one of the most crucial step towards productivity.
Give yourself some time to adjust to your new routine before changing it.
If you are learning a new skill and have decided to study from 7 to 8 PM every evening, just show up, even if you don’t want to.
Do not succumb to laziness and procrastination.
If you feel lazy and don’t have a desire to follow a routine, think about your goals and the consequences of not doing the task.
Face it! It’s your work, only you can help yourself. Take control of your time and life.
Following a routine seems daunting only for few initial days, after that it becomes an integral part of your life.
11. THE POWER OF BREAKS
It is absolutely unrealistic to expect your focus on a thing for hours at a stretch.
Your aim is to be productive and not be busy all the time. Being productive means to work efficiently and not continuously.
Take small and active breaks from time to time. And by active I mean ACTIVE!
Get up of your chair and move your body. Stretch a little.
Do not be on your phone during a break, especially if you are working on a laptop. Your eyes need a break too from the blue light.
Some people avoid taking breaks because they don’t know where to stop.
An innocent break of a few minutes can easily convert into an aimless break of an hour if you do not set limits.
The best way to avoid such a situation is by taking intentional breaks. Decide the duration of your break before you start it.
Taking a break is like restarting a system. You can kick off your work with a fresh mind and be more creative.
12. YOU NEED SLEEP
I feel, deep down you know the importance of sleep but somehow you still snatch away time from your sleep hours to work.
Sleep deprivation destroys productivity.
Your sleep-deprived body cannot function with its full potential and ultimately you will be experiencing laziness and sluggishness throughout your day.
And we all know laziness is the mother of procrastination and procrastination is the killer of productivity. So your attempt to fit in more in a day fires back and destroys your productivity.
Every person requires a different amount of sleep but on an average, an adult requires to sleep for 6 to 8 hours. Anything less than this comes under sleep deprivation.
When your brain is working and is stressed over something, you just cannot fall asleep. Therefore, establish a night routine as it can help prepare your body to sleep.
To get your body into the sleep mode, do some calming activity like read a book or meditate.
And try to stay away from your devices as they interfere with your sleeping pattern more than you think.
13. FIND MOTIVATION
Sometimes all you need is a little motivation and a little push.
Do not be at the mercy of other people, and be your own motivator.
Try to lift your mood and start again. Listen to music, dance your heart out or cook yourself a healthy meal. Do whatever makes you feel happy.
Avoid toxic people and avoid things that make you sad because if you are not at peace with yourself, you cannot focus and be productive.
For example, whenever I watch the news, I start feeling sad because of so much negativity and it disturbs my mental peace. Therefore, I only watch the news when my task is over.
Focus on your dream life and make your tasks your priority. Do not let anything come in the way of your success.
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