12 Ways to Be More Productive
The worst feeling you could have is to feel unproductive. And even worse, when you don’t know what to do about it. We are living faster than ever. Sometimes we’re starting to lose track of what’s going on around us. That overwhelming feeling can lead to serious depression and anxiety. That’s why productivity is important to us.
The problem that we all have is that there are no simple answers. There are hundreds of productivity books and articles on the internet. Some people spend a lot of time researching and reading these kinds of books. The worst thing is that many people apply everything they learn, and it doesn’t work for most of them. That becomes even more overwhelming, keeping in mind how much you tried to improve. But that’s because we are all different. If something works for one person, it may not work at all for another. So you should never stop researching until you find what works for you. Here are a few things to consider:
Start in the Morning
There is a popular saying that the richest people get up at 5 AM. But that’s not the case. We’re not saying that they don’t because many of them probably do. As we said in the beginning, it may not work for all of them. There are e-commerce business owners that make over seven figures, and they get up at 11 AM. So there are no rules. The best way to do it is to find out what works for you. If you’re a night person, you will go to sleep late in the evening because that’s how you stay productive.
The idea behind starting in the morning is to do the hardest things first when you wake up. It doesn’t mean that you have to wake up early. If you usually wake up at 10, and that works best for you, don’t change anything. If you wake up at seven only because you read an article, you will sleep at your desk until 10. So don’t bother changing your nature. Focus on how you can use your time while you’re awake.
Have a To-Do List
The best way to start is if you already know what needs to be done. Having a to-do list is one of the must-haves when it comes to productivity. And the best time to make one is in the evening and during the weekend. Having them one day or one week ahead will save you a lot of time. This way, you won’t lose an hour or two in the morning trying to figure out what needs to be done. And you won’t forget to do anything that needs to be done.
This is something that works for most people. We all seem to fall into the trap of multitasking by wanting to get more done. And although some people manage to make it work for them, it’s usually a bad idea for most of us. Working on many tasks at the same time won’t get us anywhere near our daily goals. It can only make us forget something important while working on three things at the same time. So it’s better to have a schedule and to focus on finishing one task at a time.
To focus on one task at a time, you need a to-do list. And to completely avoid multitasking, you need to prioritize your tasks. This is very important if you want to get more done. Since you created your to-do list the day before, you don’t have to think about it in the morning. What you need to do now is to decide what needs to be done first. Maybe you need to create a plan for a specific project, but you won’t need it in the next two months. That’s important, but it’s not a priority. But if you need to finish your current project, and the deadline is next week, that’s a priority. That’s exactly what you need to focus on first thing in the morning.
Learn How to Focus Better
To be able to work on one task at a time, you need to focus. That means you won’t think about the basketball game you watched last night. Your mind is focused on the thing that you’re working on. You have a to-do list, you prioritize your tasks, and you do them one by one. Focus on the one you’re doing right now, and don’t let anything distract you. It may be tricky at first if you haven’t tried that before. But once you start doing that, it becomes a habit. And not only while you work. You will also be more present while you’re spending time with your family.
Remove All the Distractions
To make it easier to focus, remove all distractions. Turn airplane mode on, or turn off your phone. If you need your phone for work, consider getting another phone and another number. You would use the second one while you work. This way, you won’t receive any unnecessary calls, and you can focus. If you work in an office and there is no way to get away from people, invest in high-quality headphones. Many headphones have noise-canceling technology. This is a feature that can be very helpful wherever you are, especially if you travel a lot and need to get some sleep on an airplane.
Pomodoro is a technique that students use to study more efficiently. It can be used for almost anything that requires your focus. This means that you would schedule your time to take more short breaks. You would work 45 minutes and have a break for 15 minutes. Or you could work for 50 minutes and have a break for 10 minutes. Whatever works for you. Some people do it every half an hour. They would focus for 25 minutes and take a 5-minute break. There’s a great YouTube channel for this purpose called StudyMD. They would play music for 45 minutes, and they would remind you when it was time to take a break. And it’s great music that can help you concentrate while you work.
Take a walk whenever you can. If your home is not far away from the office, don’t drive or take public transport. Use that time to walk. And if you can take a longer break for lunch, get some food and eat it while you walk around. This will give you more energy, and you will improve your posture. An average human should walk at least 5km a day. This is very helpful for your health and your focus.
Breath Some Fresh Air
This is another thing why you should go for a walk. You will get more oxygen and sunlight. Even going out to take your coffee or lunch could make a big difference. But if you live in a very toxic area near the fabric, maybe it’s not a good idea. In that case, make sure to invest in a good air ionizer. You’ll at least have clean air in your home and your office.
Move Your Body
Do some kind of exercise every day. Whatever it is. If you don’t have much time, at least do some stretching here and there. At least for 15 minutes. There are many desk exercises that you can do at your office. If you’re into yoga, do a few exercises every morning or every night before bed. They work much better if you do them in the morning. But if you’re not very flexible and can’t do them early on, at least do them in the evening. Just make sure to fuel your body every day.
Keep your mind flexible. Or, as Bruce Lee would say, be shapeless like water. Don’t overthink. Keep your mind empty and focused on what you do. Don’t worry about many things during the day, especially if you’re not able to do anything about them at the moment. Focus on what you can improve right now. If you’re in the office, focus on your work. If you’re at home, be more focused on your family. Don’t reverse it as many people do. It will only keep you anxious. And that’s the last thing you want.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take care of your problems and forget about them. But don’t worry too much and stress more than you already do. Instead, you can use the same strategy that you use for your daily tasks. Keep track of all the things that you need to work on and prioritize them. Work on one item at a time, and don’t think about others until you finish. This will make you feel much better because you will be able to see your progress every day.
Create a reward system for yourself. This is the best fuel for your self-improvement. But not in a cheesy way like people used to do. Don’t award yourself with unhealthy junk food or sugar. Don’t buy yourself a cheeseburger at the end of the week. This way, you’ll get even more bad habits.
Do this instead. Whenever you earn a big amount of money, buy something that would make your work easier. Sometimes it will be a new desk, other times, it can be a new computer or a new office chair. Something that will make your work more enjoyable. Improve the space where you spend most of your time. This way, you’ll be much more enthusiastic when it comes to your work. You will improve faster, and you will enjoy your job much more, even if you don’t like it.