Do you constantly think to yourself, “how can I increase my productivity and get more done today?” or “why am I so easily distracted?”.
If this is you, you’re not alone. We all wish to procrastinate less and do more, so here are 5 simple tips to improve your performance.
Let’s start with some interesting stats:
- You’re 38% more productive when you are engaged with your work
- 65% of us get distracted on the internet for non-work purposes each day
- 12% is how much your productivity increases when you’re happy at work
- You’re likely to have 3X more sick days when you’re less engaged
As you can see, it is important to find new ways to engage, stay focused, and banish the procrastination.
Here’s 5 easy ways to help you increase productivity:
1. Minimize distractions
With mobile phones ringing, emails coming in, and everyone chattering around us, it can be difficult to remain focused these days.
However, these distractions are very easy to avoid:
Firstly, if you know your phone will disturb you, simply turn it off.
Resist the temptation to check social media. Do you really need to check every single notification? They will still be there at the end of the day, that’s for sure.
In the office, avoid lunchtime conversations and simply get to work.
2. Make a priority list
A priority list or “to-do” list is essential to increase productivity. This list needs to be specific, realistic and simple to guide you in what to do next so you waste as little time as possible.
If you want to finish an entire project, break it down into hierarchical sections which follow each other logically.
You can also follow the 1-3-5 rule. This means you should aim to complete 1 large task, 3 medium tasks, and 5 small tasks.
Another tip is to spend 15 minutes the night before preparing this list for the next day. This way you can get straight into your tasks the next morning.
3. Stop multitasking
“Multitasking is not humanly possible,” says Earl K. Miller, neuroscience professor at MIT.
Unfortunately, the truth is, it is biologically impossible to multitask efficiently. We simply don’t have the brain-power to process a lot of stimuli at once. And when we do try to do a lot of different tasks at the same time, we don’t accomplish these tasks effectively.
Instead, focus on an individual task and aim to accomplish it in a limited amount of time. When you monotask, you’re also more likely to be creative as your mind wanders and associates thoughts and ideas, which would not be possible if multitasking.
4. Take intervals
Remember, we are not superheroes. No one can work productively for several continuous hours. Set intervals to let your mind relax and make sure to move around to keep your blood flowing.
This will also reduce your need to procrastinate as you won’t be doing the same task for long periods of time. Simply set 45-minute breaks on your alarm clock then allow yourself to have a few minutes of distraction.
5. Keep your goals in sight
Another key to help you increase productivity is remembering your goals and why you want to achieve them.
Keep a record of your goals somewhere you can see them throughout the day (for example on a sticky note by your computer, in your bedroom, or on your office desk).
Even when you’re working on a difficult task, seeing your goal will boost your motivation to get it done. Being constantly exposed to your goals will also remind you of the good that will come out of you being productive!
If you’re really struggling with concentration and efficiency at work, check out our program, The Productive Day, where you can master these skills: