This article shares various tips and tricks that will enhance your work and help you start being productive.
Are you tired of working for more than the average working hours and are still not getting things done?
Are you busy all day to discover that most of your to-do list is still pending at the end of the day?
This is because you are concentrating your energy on unessential tasks. You may be busy all day, but you are not working productively. We always know some highly effective people who always seem to be getting things done and are never lagging.
We often believe these people are robots, but in reality, they have enhanced their working system to ensure maximized efficiency. You can also start being productive by building a system that will help you achieve all your life goals.
Why should you start being productive?
At the start of the new year, we all make new year resolutions to achieve many things. It includes becoming fit, making more sales calls, working on a new project, learning guitar, etc.
You also dedicate yourself to achieving these goals, but your motivation cracks within a few days or months, and your productivity takes a dip. You find new ways to delay your work and procrastinate whenever you start to work. This is because you are starting to become unproductive.
When you start being productive, you will find many benefits that enhance personal growth, boost company profitability and ensure work satisfaction.
Importance of productivity
- When you start being productive, you will get more things done in less time. You will work smart, not hard.
- Productive people are more likely to achieve their goals at the end of the year while putting in less effort.
- Highly productive people know the importance of time and are intelligent time managers.
- They ensure a healthy balance of life and work. They are the best performers in the office and still spend a good amount of time with family and friends.
- When you start being productive, you are more focused on your work and are not distracted by the activities that decrease your productivity.
- Being productive means getting things done before the deadline. This ensures the absence of stress and anxiety associated with meeting deadlines.
7 tips that will help you start being productive
Below are some practical tips and techniques to help you start being productive. These valuable methods will ensure you stop procrastination and complete your work on time.
1. Powerful planning
In order to start being productive, you should first become an efficient planner. Make a list of all the goals and desires you want to accomplish. These are big long-term goals such as starting a business, inculcating a new skill, etc.
Now, make a reasonable short-term to-do list aligned with your overall goals and objectives.
long term goal – starting a successful online business
Short-term goal – learning how to build an online website.
You have to include all those activities that can help you achieve your long-term goals in your short-term list. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many goals. Multiple goals can lead to confusion and priority issues.
Don’t be shortsighted. Focus only on a few goals you want to achieve to enhance transparency and clear perspective. Ensure you don’t use your to-do list as a tool for procrastination by doing only easy tasks in the list and overlooking the challenging but essential tasks.
2. Time and place cues
In 2001, a study was conducted in Great Britain with 248 people to build better exercise habits in people. These people were divided into 3 focus groups.
1st group was simply asked to track their workouts.
2nd group, also known as the motivation group, was asked to read articles on the benefits of exercising along with tracking their workout.
3rd group, along with the motivation talks and tracking, was asked to devise a proper plan about when and where they would exercise.
The results were shocking.
The study concluded that 35-38% of people exercised in the 1st and 2nd groups. But around 91% exercised per week in the 3rd group.
One of my favorite books, the Atomic Habit, says that motivation is sometimes overrated, and most people often lack clarity in doing things. They are confused about what to do? When to do it? And where to do?
Implement your intention by taking your to-do list and jotting down exactly when and where you will do your tasks. Use the time and place cues to make specific plans to start being productive in your work. This will help enhance your decision-making ability and stop you from deliberately delaying.
I will design my online website (task) at 8 am (time cue) on my desk (location cue) before starting my working hours.
3. Eliminate distraction
When you sit at your desk to get some work done, you remember all sorts of things you need for working like a book, pencils, calculators, etc. You get up to get those things, and your notification pings. An hour later, you find yourself wasting your time on your phone. This distracts you from work and decreases your productivity.
Hence, confirm you have all the required items placed on the desk before you start working. Further, ensure your focused attention on long-term productivity for at least 2-4 hours to do complex but essential tasks.
Things on the desk that are not required, like your smartphones, can also become distractions. One of the most critical activities that eliminate distractions and help you start being productive is placing your smartphones away from you. If that is not possible, turn it to silent mode while working.
Check this article to enhance your focus and creativity.
4. Stop juggling multiple tasks
One of the most unproductive actions that an individual does in order to complete their to-do list is multitasking. While you may assume that multitasking helps you complete more tasks in less time, the reality is that it makes you less productive.
Studies have concluded that juggling multiple tasks simultaneously affects your productivity by 40% and causes a 15% decrease in your IQ. Human minds are made for concentrating on only one task at a time; hence multitasking can even cause damage to your brain.
To start being productive, you first have to stop multitasking and ensure your ultimate focus is on 1 task at a time. Ensure you work on 1 task in your tight bubble of focus without any distractions or negative thoughts.
But multitasking saves a lot of time, you may say. The best way to remedy this is to delegate some of your tasks on the to-do list to other people.
5. Delegate whenever possible
After writing down your list of tasks to do in a day, think about all the critical tasks that only you can do. Now, mark those tasks that you are least interested in doing. These tasks can be delegated to other people.
Delegating work to others will help you make time for other essential things. Start being productive by using the Eisenhower matrix to prioritize your work. This is a 2×2 matrix that helps segregate your work into important, not important, urgent and not urgent tasks.
- You have to compulsorily do urgent and important tasks.
- Schedule tasks that are not urgent but important.
- Delegate the tasks that are urgent but not important.
- Lastly, eliminate the tasks that are not important or urgent.
6. 2-minute rule
Another way to prioritize your work is by jotting down the list of tasks and segregating them into important and unimportant tasks.
All the tasks that can be done in 2 minutes, like checking the mail or cleaning the desks, will be segregated into unimportant tasks. While other tasks that need more energy, effort, and time are classified as important tasks.
To start being productive, concentrate all your efforts on completing the important tasks first. After completing all your important tasks, go for your 2-minutes-unimportant-tasks.
Another concept is 2-minute meetings. In a meeting where people are needed to brainstorm different ideas, we know only a few people talk while others are silent.
Some people want to express their ideas, but the clutter of thoughts in the meeting stops them. This leads to decreased productivity, accountability, and loss of good ideas.
The solution is to give 2 minutes to every member present in the meeting to express their ideas in short.
This will help all the people in the meeting to start being productive and express their opinions. In return, you will have a list of good ideas to get started.
2 minutes meeting is an excellent way to enhance accountability as well as employee engagement.
7. Take action
Robust planning and intelligent organizing provide a solid system to enhance your work. With all the efficient tactics mentioned above, you already know all you have to do to start being productive.
With precise planning, you have a thorough understanding of what to do and when to do it, clearing the mental fog that may distract you.
Get started with your work, take action, make essential decisions whenever necessary, and don’t worry if you fail. Failure is a stepping stone toward better productivity. Learn from your mistakes.
Break your big projects or desires into smaller goals and focus on achieving them. Bigger goals need time, but smaller goals can be completed in the short term. Achieving goals helps increase our motivation and productivity.
With all the tips mentioned in the article, you will surely start being more productive. Being productive is a subjective term. A singular tactic may or may not work for you. Hence, you have to experiment your way through productivity by identifying, combining, and testing various productivity tips.
Take a look at your work and reflect on what is working for you and what is not. Prioritize when needed, and invest in optimizing your outcome. Everyone gets 24 hours a day. We can’t have an hour extra, but we can increase our productivity to make good use of the time available.
Similar to physical things, mental thoughts can also decrease your productivity and cause distraction. When we start working, we remember all the important as well as non-important things. Oh no! I had to go to buy groceries, or I had to meet my friend.
Our mind is a clutter of unwanted thoughts that decreases productivity. To start being productive, we have to organize physical things and mental thoughts.
The most practical way to clear your mind and make it a clean slate is by practicing meditation or silence a few minutes before you start working. It will help you relax, immerse yourself in the task at hand, and let go of unwanted thoughts.