How many times a week do you look over your to-do list and realize that you just haven’t done as much as you wanted to? Even if you’re always striving to be more productive, it can be hard to stay motivated and avoid time-consuming interactions. That being said, there are things you can do to streamline your processes.
Here are a few tips for increasing your productivity:
1. Know when you’re most productive. What time are you at peak productivity? Schedule your most crucial tasks during that time. If you’re a creative genius between the hours of 10 p.m. and midnight, then by golly, do whatever you have to do to block off that time and get things done.
2. Skip Social Media. It may be tempting to log in and just *peek* at what your news feed is up to, but that’s a dangerous move when you’re trying to get something done. Before you know it, you’re tangled in a web of cute animal videos and profile stalking, and it’s 30 minutes later before you realize you’ve entered the social media time warp.
3. Ditch the Smartphone. The average smartphone user checks his or her device 221 times a day. Putting your cell phone out of sight during work hours helps to get it off your mind.
4. Forget Multitasking and Just Focus. You might think you’re being more productive by sending those emails during a conference call but think again. Multitasking reduces efficiency and the quality of work (plus, research shows it literally lowers your IQ). So when you have to get something done, just focus on the task at hand for best results. And keep in mind that studies show the human brain can only focus for 90 to 120 minutes at a time before it needs a break.
5. Reimagine Your Inbox. Emails build a to-do list that other people create for you. So you need to manage that daily annoyance somehow. Schedule certain times of the day that you check email, and stick with it. You can try tackling email first thing in the morning, after lunch, and at the end of the day. Also, make sure to turn off your email notifications. If you think this is going to be a problem for your teams or clients, let them know ahead of time how you communicate throughout the day.
6. Change Your Scenery. If you’re feeling a little foggy midafternoon, try looking out the window into nature. Even better? Take a short walk outside. Research shows that a 30-minute lunchtime walk can help people cope with stress and boosts enthusiasm for the remainder of the afternoon.
7. Meditate. Just 15 minutes of mindfulness meditation can lead to more rational business decisions, not to mention better teamwork, more creativity and a whole slew of other health benefits.
Follow these tips and tricks, and you’re sure to see a boost in your productivity levels. Good luck and have fun!