- Productivity doesn’t mean multi-tasking.
- Putting yourself first helps you be more productive.
- Spring clean your productivity by mastering your to-do list.
Spring has sprung and it’s time to shake off those winter blues and uncover your inner productivity. Shaking away those cobwebs isn’t nearly as difficult as it might seem.
Whether you’re trying to boost your work productivity or just have better time management at home, everyone has the ability to be more productive.
While you’re cleaning your home or office, take some time to boost your productivity as well and see how much more you can accomplish.
Efficiency isn’t about how much you can do at one time. Trying to take on too much overwhelms your brain and ruins any chance of getting things done more efficiently. Multi-tasking is just a myth. The only real multi-tasking is probably when you doodle while you’re on the phone.
Often, multi-tasking is thought of as being productive, but instead, it’s much like trying to juggle. You either fail miserably at one or more tasks or you do everything more slowly.
Skip multi-tasking and give your mind a break. Let yourself focus on one task at a time. If you’re afraid of forgetting something, make a to-do list with your top priorities first.
Take Time For Yourself
When your trying to figure out how to be productive, not doing anything probably sounds counterproductive, but it’s anything but that. In fact, Albert Einstein credited his incredible accomplishments to spending more time alone with his thoughts. He’d shut out the world and various distractions to calm his mind, let go of stress and let himself focus.
If you’re finding it hard to be more productive, take some time for yourself. Taking a break instead of pushing on when you can’t focus anymore has the power to increase productivity. Taking breaks regularly also helps refresh the mind, among other benefits.
Cut Out Distractions
While this might not always be possible, there are a few ways to lessen the impacts of distractions. For instance, maybe you can turn off notifications for 20-30 minutes at a time as you focus on smaller tasks. Trying to refocus when you’re distracted can take up to 23 minutes. So, start cutting out distractions by:
- Playing white noise or classical music
- Eliminate all unnecessary notifications
- Do all smaller tasks, such as email, at a scheduled time
- List distractions in advance that you can safely ignore
- Leave bigger tasks for your quieter hours
- Do your worst tasks first (you won’t get distracted dreading them later)
Fewer distractions give you an instant productivity boost. The more you learn to avoid them, the better off you’ll be.
Master The To-Do List
A simple list with everything on it doesn’t work as well as you might think. A productive planner creates organized to-do lists catered to their lifestyle. You can even try the 1-3-5 strategy to help you spring clean your way to productivity.
List one major tasks, three medium tasks and five smaller tasks to accomplish each day. This helps improve your focus, reduce distractions and of course, increase productivity, efficiency and the chance of actually checking off everything.
A few other things to keep in mind include:
- Break large tasks into smaller tasks
- Never put more on your list than you can realistically do
- Lump small tasks together
- Schedule times to complete tasks
- Put your hardest task during your quietest time
Everyone works differently. Work efficiency isn’t about making sure you do the same amount of tasks every hour as your co-worker. Instead, unleash your inner productivity by scheduling tasks to correspond to your most productive times. Morning person? Do more in the mornings. Do better after lunch? Schedule more tasks then.
You should also understand what motivates you. The more engaged you are at a task, the more productive you’ll be. Remind yourself why it’s important to you or set a small reward for accomplishing something. Most importantly, do what works best for you.
Declutter Your Environment
Less clutter is always a good thing, so clean up your work environment. Getting rid of the chaos and replacing it with open space or a few plants is a quick and simple way to unleash your inner productivity. Organize your desk, organize your mind.
Best Productive Resources
The most productive people don’t just wing it. Instead, they plan ahead. This means using various resources to help increase their productivity. Some of the best options include:
- Use a detailed planner, digital or physical
- Use productivity tools/apps, such as Evernote, Trello, Todoist, Workflowy
- Monitor time management with spreadsheets, such as WPS Spreadsheets, and charts
- Use meditation apps to help clear your mind
- Timer, digital or physical, to help you take breaks regularly
You won’t master productivity overnight, but if you work on it, you’ll notice yourself gradually getting more done in less time.