Regardless of where they work or what they do for a living, virtually everyone is looking to boost their productivity and get more done with their valuable time. Modern technology has created more distractions than ever before, so knowing how to stay on task is crucial.
Below are some of the tried-and-true techniques practiced by incredibly productive people:
Make a List:
While it may seem simple, lists have a proven psychological benefit when it comes to getting work done. Lists allow you to prioritize tasks, set up a basic game plan for the day, and mark your progress as you finish each project. Many successful business men and women prepare a list for the next day before going to bed each night.
Use Your Mornings Wisely:
For most people, mornings mark the period of highest work output. Brain glucose, which has a powerful effect on focus, alertness, and problem-solving capacity, is at its peak during the early hours. In addition, mornings are often also less hectic, giving you the best opportunity for a peaceful, uninterrupted workplace. Focus on your biggest projects first to ensure that you aren’t leaving a major project unfinished at the end of the work day.
While getting rid of distractions such as social media, televisions, and idle conversation is an obvious way to boost productivity, watch out for more subtle methods of procrastination as well. Constantly checking emails, calling for meetings, or expending excess time and effort on minor tasks are all hidden productivity-killers.
Don’t Let Perfectionism Get in the Way:
There are many times when being a perfectionist pays off, but it’s equally important to know when “good enough” is just that. Some tasks don’t require absolute attention to detail or hours of constant fine-tuning, so don’t let them clog up your schedule.
Come Up With a System:
One thing that almost all productive people have in common is that they work according to a system that has proven effective for them. Some people work best with a very strict daily regimen, while others only need loose guidelines to truly thrive. Coming up with a consistent system allows you to manage daily tasks without getting sidetracked by each and every issue that crops up.
Cut Down on Multi-tasking:
Trying to tackle multiple tasks at once may seem more efficient, but studies have shown that productivity takes a nose dive when you try to juggle too many things at once. Multi-tasking, especially when it involves important work, causes stress and diminishes focus. Devote all of your focus to a single project at once, and watch your productivity soar!
Some people struggle to be productive when they aren’t accountable for the results. By announcing your project involvement or telling others about your plans and goals for the day, you are less likely to procrastinate for fear of disappointing yourself and others. This system of self-accountability works as a kind of miniature deadline, so use it to your advantage in order to boost you output.
Sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done, and many people struggle to finish tasks even under the best conditions. By following the tips above, virtually anyone can develop better, more efficient work habits while substantially increasing their productivity.