12 Easy Hacks on How to Increase Daily Productivity by 40%
Time management is an essential skill to possess. Why? Because time is everything. We cannot control it, we cannot change it, and we cannot stop it. All we can do is make the best out of it whenever given the chance.
Losing time is foolish. We can’t afford to miss life opportunities and waste important occasions. Thus, we must keep organized and structured in our work. It’s the only method through which we can survive this hectic world that we live in. If we plan our schedules properly, we’ll have more time for ourselves; and if we map out our duties and daily responsibilities, we increase our productivity.
Having time-management skills also develops trustworthiness and reliability among individuals. Thus, planning our tasks and making remote future plans will set the perfect example for our peers and/or family. They will rely on us, and entrust our words. On the other hand, being disorganized can bring down our efficiency and capabilities. We’ll get lost in endless tasks and tiring states of mind, and we might even let people down by displaying such an irresponsible, ignorant behavior.
If you want to learn how to increase your productivity, scan through our “to-do” list, and choose the best options for you.
1) Choose the right path for you
Completing tasks because “you have to” does not bring in any satisfaction. In order to be productive, you first need to be passionate. So, think about the choices that you make before taking action; ask yourself questions; be honest with yourself.
- How much do you enjoy your current work?
- If you were to change something at it, what would that be?
- Are you confident enough?
- Do you think that your tasks fit you the best?
- If not, are there other tasks that you’d like to perform?
Find your passion and follow your heart. If what you do now does not make you proud or confident, stop doing it. Yes, it is that simple! Change your path, and don’t look back. Stephen Herson, an HR-manager at aussiewritings.com service insists: “You can’t be productive if you don’t enjoy your work.” Even if you try hard to accomplish your assignments, how are you going to evolve if your work does not satisfy you? Make sure you choose what you like, and give up on what you don’t. Be brave, and make the right decision for you.
2) Plan in advance (to-dos)
Mapping out a schedule is always a good idea. Create a system that keeps you accountable! For instance, after scheduling separate hours for every activity, call a friend and ask him or her to check on you from time to time. Use a timer to track your progress. Order your tasks accordingly. Leave time for small breaks and design at least one special hour per day for relaxing only.
On top of that, keep your desk clean and organized at all times. Working in a careless environment brings in careless results. If you want to improve productivity even more, keep your favorite book close! Instead of scrolling through Facebook or Instagram during breaks, read a chapter, and improve your vocabulary. Make your breaks productive too!
3) Find reasons why
After you’ve discovered your passions and interests, find out the reasons why you enjoy your work. What do you get out of it, and how does it make your day better? Do you help people? Do you give back to the community? Would the company your work for survive without you? Do you value yourself enough?
I know the above questions require a lot of reflection, but you must find out the real motives behind your actions! If you don’t know why you are working, then you shouldn’t be working at all. Everything in your life should have a purpose. Find it!
4) Optimize your work schedule
Find out when your productivity peaks by analyzing your working behavior. Everyone has a certain time during the day when they feel powerful and determined to conquer all the tasks. Find that time of your day, and leave the hard work for that moment. Productivity means working less, and working smartly. Quality over quantity, don’t forget!
On top of that, design your working hours and log them into your planner. When “productivity time” comes, leave everything else aside and start working! Don’t lose time on anything else. Concentrate on your tasks, and your tasks only.
5) Prioritize tasks
There are two types of tasks: the urgent ones, and the ones who are important, but can wait. Divide them into two groups and complete the tasks that are the most important first. Carrying out essential assignments gives us a sense of responsibility and incentive to work through the next tasks as well. We feel encouraged, and energetic. Try it!
Quick, helpful advice: make a list of your prioritized tasks, and put them in order. Set a deadline, and try to finish on time. You can use a time keeper to track your progress. If you finished soon enough, take a quick break and do whatever you enjoy. For instance, I enjoy having a Mocha Mint and a Mediterranean Sandwich as a reward. You can have ice-cream, dance, or watch a nice comedy. Whatever that is, just make sure you congratulate yourself for finishing tasks on time!
6) Track your progress
Before applying any of our productivity tips, test your limits and have a clear idea of how many assignments you can complete in a designated period of time. Time yourself and self-evaluate your skills. Here are some ideas:
- Plan a “trial day” when you complete randomly selected tasks
- Choose a usual number of tasks you would normally receive
- Complete tasks in prioritized order
- Track how much time it takes you to complete each one of them
- Set a deadline
- If you finish by deadline, start solving other minor tasks
- Track how much time it takes you to solve minor tasks as well
- If you finish by deadline, relax, and reward yourself
- If you do not finish by deadline, consider cutting down on you daily number of tasks
Remember! Burying yourself in endless tasks during the day can harm your productivity level. Trying to accomplish an excessive volume of work will demoralize you. Overwhelming yourself with assignments and not being able to finish will discourage you. You might start feeling like you are not good enough, and become depressed. That means you lose productivity and good work flow. Avoid that by setting a decent number of goals a day! Do not overwhelm yourself, that is the opposite of being productive.
7) Share with friends and family
Sharing our progress with our close ones can make us feel accomplished. By showing them what we are capable of, we release pressure and feel appreciated. And yes, we need that as humans! Having a close friend applauding us feels amazing! It gives us a sense of empowerment and willingness to complete further tasks. It’s an effective incentive.
If you feel like sharing would come out as bragging, make sure you choose the right words from the start. Tell your family and friends that you’d simply like to talk about your progress and productive performance. You want to share your life accomplishments with them. You simply need an active listener! Explain your intentions, and get the best out of your talks.
8) Get rid of distractions and start saying “no”
How many times have you heard “Hey, are you free tonight? Let’s go to…” Probably too many times! How many times have you said “yes” even though “no” should have been the answer? Probably, too many times. But that’s fine – I totally understand. I do it too. I sometimes feel like I cannot say no. And sometimes I am right, I shouldn’t. But sometimes, I really should.
If you also find it hard to refuse people, take some time to analyze your behavior and come up with straightforward replies. There is no shame in admitting that you are busy. Let people know when it’s not the right time to hang out with you. If they don’t like your reply, that is totally on them. You should not change your schedule or plans for your friends. They should always respect your privacy and alone time. Trying to please them will harm you, your friendship, and your self-confidence.
9) Set goals
It is important to set clear objectives. Increased productivity comes with determination and commitment – but if you don’t know what you commit to, why would you work in the first place? Make sure that your write down your targets. Underline the ones which are the most essential to you. Highlight the ones that are the hardest to accomplish. Set deadlines for both.
A good example could be: “My number one goal for this month is finishing two major projects, and completing 7 big writing assignments.” You would underline the 7 assignments, and highlight the “two major projects.” Then you would write down the reasons why you want to finish them in due time. What motivates you? What is the real motive for completing your tasks? What do you want to accomplish? Is there a long-time/short-time reward?
10) Personalize your work environment
Giving yourself something nice to look at while working will increase your productivity. You should start redecorating now! Paint your room/office in a bright, warm color, use friendly posters and canvases for your walls, and stick your goal-sheet and favorite quotes on the wall that’s in front of your desk. That way you will stay motivated, and always remember the reasons why you work so hard!
Another great idea is purchasing bean bag chairs or small couches for your office/work space. When you don’t feel like sitting at your desk anymore, and would like to make a change, switch places. Another similar idea is working in public spaces and observing people and interesting behaviors while working. I’d say the latter is a commonly used practice among freelancers, but I guess any remote worker could do that!
11) Take advantage of time breaks
Procrastination is one of our worst enemies. Unfortunately, we sometimes associate procrastination with relaxing – and that, my friend, is a big mistake. Feeling guilty every time we relax brings in even more stress and pressure. In order to stay productive and avoid procrastination, make sure you take regular breaks from your activities.
Focusing on a task for more than 50 minutes at a time can be exhausting. Work for 50, relax for 10, that’s the rule. Try not to associate the 10 minute breaks with procrastination. Call it relaxing, and don’t feel bad about it – you need that too! Try to avoid texting or watching videos during the 10 minutes. Take that time to truly relax. You can read some pages of your favorite book, meditate, or go out for a walk. Whatever that is, relaxing is crucial in increasing our productivity.
Even if you don’t feel like relaxing, do it! When we are caught up in numerous tasks and intense work, we sometimes don’t realize we need to rest. But we actually do. So, take a break, breathe in, breathe out, and regain your productivity.
12) Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Hard work and stress can influence our diets negatively. Being constantly in a rush can prevent us from buying healthy meals and preparing natural foods. Lunch is not lunch anymore – you simply grab a bagel from the street corner and you’re all set. Right? Wrong. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle (food and exercise) are the essential keys to an increased productivity level.
Your body is your temple, so don’t play with it. When you feel hungry, but don’t have time to cook, choose a natural food market instead of a fast-food restaurant. Choose Panera instead of Taco Bell, and Chipotle instead of McDonalds. Even though it’s still not as healthy as cooked food, it’s a good way to avoid gaining weight.
On top of consuming healthy foods, you should exercise daily. You don’t have to spend more than 15 minutes exercising in order to feel energized. Buy a yoga mattress, put it on your floor, play some music, and enjoy some active time at home or at your office. You don’t even have to spend time driving to the gym!
Wrapping it Up
Staying productive is challenging. It requires commitment and perseverance. That is why we need to organize and plan out our schedules, set goals, prioritize tasks, personalize our work environment, and maintain a balanced life.
About author: Olivia is a journalist who always tries to see the bright side of things. She likes to inspire people in her writings and to enjoy a mysterious beauty of twilight. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.