In our fast-paced lives, where much emphasis is placed on efficiency and productivity, there is no wonder people are often rushing or working long hours.
Well, to increase your productivity you can either work longer hours or work smarter. Given a choice, I’m sure most would prefer the latter. Also, as an entrepreneur, productivity is undeniably of the essence.
Today, we show you some ways you can increase your productivity:
1. Monitor how much time you’re taking to complete tasks
This is especially helpful in ensuring that tasks are completed according to schedule, and also reduces the chances of procrastination because there are several deadlines to meet within a day.
Also, by keeping track of how much time you take to do certain things, you’ll be able to plan your schedule better in future and it saves you a lot more time, while you accomplish even more.
2. Create to-do lists
This is a must-have – especially when there are many different tasks to complete within a given time frame. Organising your goals for the day, week, month or year is always good to help you stay focused and on track. Instead of stressing you out, to-do lists are actually helping you stay more calm and relaxed because you know exactly what you have to do.
To-do lists are listed in a way such that you are more likely to take things one step at a time, which also spurs you on to complete more things as you go down the list.
3. Delegate tasks
Contrary to popular belief, one of the most counter-productive things one can do is to multi-task. Multi-tasking means you are not directing your focus on what’s most important. No priority is given to any specific task in particular, which results in the inability to produce quality work at the end of the day.
Therefore, if you’re short for time, it may be wise to delegate certain tasks to others instead of trying to complete everything all by yourself. You never know, you may just discover more talents and strengths within your company, or among your friends and family. 🙂
4. Learn how to say no
If you want to be productive, it’s always a good idea to get rid of distractions or say no to things that are of less importance. For example, cancelling a dinner date in favour of completing your tasks for the day might be a good idea if you want to complete your tasks on time. Also, you will be able to achieve your long-term goals as well.
There are bound to be distractions, or instances of people who encourage you to skip work, or procrastinate – learn how to say no to them too. Of course, it’s important to maintain a healthy work-life balance, but too much of either is may be counter-productive instead.
5. Prepare ahead, but set realistic goals
I’m sure we’ve heard of how people who fail to plan, plan to fail. To ensure your productivity is at its maximum, it would be wise to prepare ahead, especially when it comes to routines. For example, if you know you have a busy day ahead, prepare ahead by packing your lunch on-the-go, or packing your bag and getting your necessary things ready for the day.
Also, if you want to make sure your goals are accomplished, it would be better to set realistic goals. It is always advisable to set long-term goals, but sometimes short-term goals are necessary to keep your progress in check.
6. Have enough sleep
This is often neglected in the spirit of completing tasks. I’ve even heard workaholics proclaim that sleep is for the weak! Wait…what?
Sleep is an absolute must for maximum productivity! It’s good practice to sleep early and wake up early. When you’re well-rested, you’ll be more alert and focused the next morning. Also, it reduces the likelihood of you lazing in bed for a few extra minutes of shut-eye. Instead, you’ll probably be so recharged you’ll hop out of bed naturally.
Studies have shown that you’re happier with enough sleep, and you’ll certainly feel more motivated to strike things off your to-do list.
7. Take breaks
There is a Chinese proverb that highlights the importance of getting adequate rest in order to complete a further distance in your journey and we should learn to live by that sometimes.
Studies have shown that taking short exercise breaks will increase productivity at work. Being desk-bound leads to increased sleepiness and tardiness, so getting up for a quick walk or a little exercise will certainly put you back into focus.
If you’re not the active sort, perhaps a little tea/coffee break would be an effective perk-me-up. Whatever it is, taking any form of a break is a good way to increase productivity.
Remember: being busy doesn’t necessarily equate to being productive! We hope these tips will help you 🙂