Increase productivity is something we all aim for. Imagine waking up and feeling excited about what you are going to achieve in the day ahead. Walking into the office look at your to-do list know exactly what you are going to achieve in the day ahead.
Do you ever feel like the day has too many hours, the week has too many days, and the year has too many weeks? Don’t get me wrong—you do have time to get everything done that you need to in your day, but it seems like every time you start on one task or project, another urgent (and sometimes unimportant) thing pops up in your life that makes you put down the first one in order to take care of it right away.
How does one work more efficiently? It’s an age-old question. Fortunately, a lot of people have done research on the subject and come up with some great answers. It is not just a dream as there are so many productivity tools and methodologies that can help you achieve increased productivity in home and work life.
There are many factors involved in increasing productivity both external and internal factors.
This productivity guide covers aspects of productivity from getting enough sleep, tools that can help you and methodologies that sole focus is to help improve productivity. Learn some ways to use technology to increase productivity while avoiding some of its pitfalls!
Give some of these methods and go and see what works for you.
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What is personal productivity?
Everyone’s definition of productivity is different. For me, it’s getting a task done in less time than I had originally thought it would take. That way I get to use my extra time for something else (or just relaxing). Here are some productivity tips for working smarter and not harder that can help you increase your productivity . . . now what will you do with all that extra time?
Productivity Starts While you Sleep
Morning Routine – morning rituals can increase focus, increase productivity and motivation for the day ahead. It’s amazing how much a good morning routine can do for your productivity. People who stick to one have shown better focus, motivation and productivity than those who don’t. When you wake up in the morning, there are a number of things you can do to set yourself up for success during your day ahead
Health and Wellbeing – Body is a Temple – sleep, exercise, proper nutrition, meditation, yoga, stress management and mindfulness. As a human being, you need to be happy and healthy inside out. When you are in good shape physically and mentally then you can be more productive in your day to day life and increase your productivity. Following are some simple tips that will help increase your productivity.
How you are feeling about yourself has a great impact on your productivity level. The brain needs proper rest, good night’s sleep enables you to work at full capacity and be more productive.
Personal Productivity Tools Checklist
Schedule everything, from when you check your email to when you respond to it. There are a lot of ways to keep track of what you need to do each day: a physical calendar is good for seeing your whole schedule at once. Alternatively, some people prefer online calendars or scheduling software that they can organize by priority or category. Find what works best for you and schedule it all in advance so you don’t have to waste time figuring out what needs doing and when.
Focus on ONE thing at a time don’t try to multitask. Focus your attention on doing one task well rather than two tasks OK. Focus on one thing at a time. Focus is not just about what you do when you’re working or how quickly you complete tasks. It’s also about how many things you can juggle in your head at any given time. To keep everything together so it doesn’t fall apart, focus on one thing at a time and don’t take on too much at once—easier said than done for most of us!
Organize your space
The way you work is influenced by your environment. Everything from how much sunlight pours into your office to what kind of windows line your walls affects how you think and operate on a daily basis. By organizing and decorating your space in a way that aligns with how you want to operate, you’ll not only be able to complete tasks faster—you’ll also reduce stress.
Eliminate time wasters
When it comes to boosting productivity, eliminating distractions is a must. Turn off email notifications on your computer and mobile devices. Social media what’s your weak point? YouTube, Instagram, Whatsapp, Facebook, eliminate or minimise these. Log out of social media accounts or create a separate work account that you only use during work hours. Instead of answering every text as soon as you get it (which can be distracting), put your phone in Do Not Disturb mode and let texts come through at designated times.
Batch similar tasks together
There’s a lot of wisdom in batching similar tasks together. For example, if you have three to-dos: make dinner reservations for your anniversary date, book an appointment with your accountant, and contact phone company about your bill, it makes sense to schedule one block of time (say an hour or two) where you knock out all three tasks simultaneously.
Use “lost” time – It’s easy to lose time during a working day. You’re checking email while you’re on hold with your bank; you’re doing online research while you wait for a train or read a book or listening to audible books or podcasts while communicating. It’s important to use these lost moments wisely by focusing on tasks that will actually contribute towards achieving your goals rather than just distracting yourself.
Productivity tools and Apps
Project management tools, workflow management and task management. There are plenty of applications out there to help you maximize your productivity. Many of these apps will let you know what you should be doing and when—or even better, they’ll actually do it for you.
To Do Lists
Identify what you need to do. Start with a simple to do list. Assign a number from 1 to 6 (1 = low importance and 6 = high importance) to each task you want to complete. Write down all of your tasks in priority order. Now look at your list and ask yourself if it is realistic? Is there anything that should be added or removed? Move around tasks as necessary so you have an accurate representation of what needs to be done.
Checklists identify how you should do something in the best possible way. A guide on best practices. A documented how-to guide. If you’re running a project, a checklist can be immensely helpful for checking off tasks and seeing whether you’ve gotten everything was done that needs to be done and how it needs to be done. A checklist won’t guarantee success by itself—nothing can do that—but it can help immensely — it makes sure you cross every T and dot every I before launching a product or sending out a press release, then it could very well make all huge difference
Delegate small jobs to virtual assistants. Small jobs are often left until the last minute, but they shouldn’t be. When you need a job done but don’t have time to do it yourself, delegate to a virtual assistant who will complete your project quickly and efficiently. So take small jobs off your plate by delegating them to someone else!
How to increase productivity in the workplace?Productivity Methods
Productivity methods to organize your tasks, manage your time, maintain your focus, and achieve your goals.
Ivy lee method – This is a simple but really great productivity method where you select just 6 tasks for your to do list. It was an American advertising executive named Ivy Lee who popularized a productivity method for prioritizing your tasks and getting more done in less time. If you follow Lee’s Ivy Lee Method of selecting just six tasks per day to focus on, I promise you will find yourself with a lot more time.
Eisenhower decisions matrix – Eisenhower Box is a simple decision-making tool that helps you decide on and the priority of tasks. I’m a big fan. Here’s how it works: you identify tasks that need to be completed and determine whether they are important or not. Those tasks determined to be important will then go through a final evaluation process where they can either get done now or be delegated to someone else.
Pomodoro – tasks into chunks of 25min. This technique is called Pomodoro Technique. It’s so named because it involves setting a timer for 25 minutes and doing your task within that time frame. Once you’re done with that task you set another timer for 25 minutes and begin a new one. If you want to continue after your 4th Pomodoro then reset your timer and work on something else.
Smart To-Do List – To do list and task management. A to-do list should be as simple as possible. The very best to-do list is a Smart To-Do List which has the ability to automate tasks, share tasks and allocate and share with others like Checkify. It has not only helped us to get more done, but more importantly, it has helped us achieve our goals faster. A Smart To-Do List may sound too good to be true. Is there really such a thing? Yes, there is!
Pareto Principle – Also known as the 80 20 rule where 80% of outcomes from 20% of causes. What is known as Pareto’s Principle or Pareto’s Law is often referred to as the 80/20 rule where 80% of outcomes from 20% of causes. While you may think that you have taken care of all that needs to be done and can even go home early today if you wanted to (which we both know you won’t), your efforts are likely being spent on things that don’t actually matter very much in relation to your goals and dreams.
Eat the Frog! – most important task first thing in the morning. The main idea of Eat That Frog! is that successful people can feel overwhelmed by all they have to do, but if they tackle their biggest task first thing in the morning, it will provide momentum for other tasks throughout their day. While everyone’s frog is different—maybe it’s a few particular emails or an impending deadline or even a presentation—the idea is to get started on your frog first thing in order to make forward progress on your overall goals.
Time blocking & Batching – batch similar tasks and errands together. Start by prioritizing your tasks into a list. You should be able to see from that list where you can batch similar tasks together. For example, if you have a phone call to make, an email to send and some research to do on one topic then group them all together with a suitable time block so they are more likely to get done. Also, try and focus on just one main task during each time block as it is hard for your brain to do more than that in a short space of time!
Kanban Boards – Kanban boards are a good way to keep track of your daily workflow. They’re particularly useful for individuals and teams who employ an agile methodology because they allow you to manage ongoing tasks in real-time. Like many effective tools for increasing productivity, Kanban boards also help you visualize what needs to be done and by when—so you never have to wonder if you’re on top of things.
SMART Goals – Smart is an acronym that stands for – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound
GTD Getting things done – Getting Things Done is a method of organizing your tasks and personal information in such a way that you are able to get to everything that you need to do in an effective manner. The GTD method itself consists of 5 steps: Capture – Collect all tasks into one place Clarify – Decide what needs to be done now, what can wait and what is not worth doing at all Organize – Set priorities and schedule time for each task Review – Reflect on how much you have gotten done!
ABCDE Method -Declutter a to-do list to become more focused and clearer about what you need to do.
A – Most important tasks. B – Minor Consequences. C – No Consequences. D – Delegate Tasks. E – Eliminate Tasks.
Inbox Zero – 2-minute rule if a response takes less than 2 minutes, do it immediately. It longer adds to the task management tool.
Timeboxing – Allocating certain periods of time to specific types of work.
Productivity is one of the core principles of success, and being able to increase it can be the difference between completing your daily tasks or simply spinning your wheels on what’s already been done. The benefits of increase productivity are pretty hard to ignore. If you’re able to get through your daily tasks without distraction or procrastination then you have time to spend on something else – whether it’s your other responsibilities or a fun project. Productivity is also good for mental health. When we procrastinate we put things off and prolong stressful thoughts by not dealing with them. This can cause anxiety and depression, but being productive allows us to move forward with our goals and aspirations in life.
There’s also a tangible benefit to productivity: money. Getting things done means saving time, and saving time means earning more money from that extra hour or two! In fact, some studies have found people who are highly productive earn higher incomes than their less-productive counterparts.