10 ways to boost your productivity
Everyone at some stage in their work starts to slow down and feel less productive than they used to be. When your productivity bar is running low, I have created an infographic and explained ten ways to boost your productivity at work.
(click image to enlarge)
1. To-do List
A simple to-do list can make a world of difference to your productivity. Use a daily to-do list that you create the night before or end of your work shift the day before, and make a list of what you need to do the next day in order of importance and urgency. Its also handy to have an additional general or weekly to-do list, that you can update and add new tasks for later if needed and go back to for reference for your daily lists. If you don't finish a task for that day, you can relist it for the next. No more forgetting what you need to get done!
2. Large Task Breakdown
If you have a large task or project and either it feels never ending or you keep putting it off, try and break your large project/task down into smaller more manageable steps and tick off as you go along. It makes you feel like you are accomplishing more tasks and is easier to slot into your day, without taking up too much time from completing other tasks. DONT FORGET: The large task may have a deadline, so keep that in mind when breaking down into smaller steps/tasks and when you do them.
3. Morning Motivation
It is proven that mornings or when you first get into work can be the best time to get things done! We are more motivated and less stressed in the mornings, so try to get your larger and more horrible tasks started and done first thing. Let's face it, you're less likely to want to do a crappy task later in the day and you certainly won't look forward to it, so might as well get it out the way first.
4. No Distractions
If you tend to look on your facebook when you get a notification or get caught talking to other co-workers/clients, have times in your day when it is a NO distraction zone. Set certain times in the day when you solely focus on your work. If you work from home, make sure to set hours of work and stick to them. Don't be afraid to tell your clients or co-workers not to disturb you and to respect your unavailable times. Turn off your notifications on your phones, let the phone go to voicemail, put everything on silent. If you find you need a break but people interrupt, make sure to stand your ground and tell them you are on a break and will start the task of talk to them afterwards. Stay firm and those silent times in the day could be your most productive.
5. NO Multitasking
A lot of us think that if you're multitasking you're getting more done quicker. Well, actually for most people it has a bad effect on productivity and motivation. You get more stressed and a lot of the time are only giving 50% for both tasks, rather than your full attention on one! Ditch multitasking and focus on one task at a time until it's finished and then move on to your next task. Leave the multitasking at home.
Lots of people strive when they have a routine, it helps to keep us focused. Try and create a routine for your day or week. It can be as detailed or simple as you like. It's there to suit you. You might find you will start to automatically work to your schedule. If you have repetitive tasks, a routine can help you narrow down when you do them, rather than as and when throughout the day, and give you more free time to focus elsewhere. It's ok if you deviate from your routine every now and then, and if it doesn't suit you, well it doesn't work for everyone, so feel free to try it out.
After you have done a hard or long task or you want to give yourself a break from working hard, give yourself a reward. We are big kids at heart and rewards always make us happier. You could reward yourself with occasional breaks, a quick coffee or tea break, have a snack, chat to a coworker/friend or even listen to some music. Enjoy work, it doesn't have to be boring all the time.
If you have a lot of tiny tasks like emails, batch them together and spend a certain amount of time going through all those little tasks 3 to 4 times a day, rather than stopping as and when they come through. Batching your emails and calls together will keep them from distracting you whilst you focus on your other tasks throughout the day.
9. Schedule Queen
Don't be afraid to schedule tasks into your calendar or set an alarm to stop and move on to your next task. It can help keep you from spending too much time on one task (great if you're a perfectionist and can't move on until it's perfect) or if you tend to forget what you need to get done. You dont need to schedule your whole day, just the important tasks or plans to keep you on track.
10. Just Do It
When you have no motivation or really hate a certain task and keep pushing it aside or you have tried everything under the sun, sometimes you have to dig deep, tell your inner child off, put your grown up pants on and say to yourself "JUST DO IT. Get on with the task already and stop faffing around." It's like taking off a plaster (or wax strip), the quicker you pull it off, the less time you worry about doing it and it's over before you know it. Stop thinking about doing it and just do it. Either way, you have to get the task done at some point, right? Might as well be sooner rather than later.
If you have any more productivity tricks or motivation tips, be sure to mention them in the comments below.
If you haven't done so already, you can also download a FREE infographic with more productivity tips. Download now.