Have you ever had a workday where you simply got in the zone and crushed task after task? Everything seemed to flow so perfectly and you leave the office feeling accomplished. Can you compare that to a day where you could not focus and you end up trying to catch up with pending tasks?
Research suggests that the average worker in an 8 hour day is only productive for 2hrs 53minutes. This might make being productive every hour of the day sounds like a feat but with a few adjustments, you too can make your workdays more meaningful. Here are 5 tips you can start implementing to make your days more productive.
- Develop a routine that works for you and stick with it.
Having a routine provides some structure in your work life and you will be more aware of the tasks that you perform on a daily basis and how long they take. This way you can prioritize what is important and determine if you are a person who prefers to start the day with the most demanding tasks or you prefer warming up with the simple tasks leading to the more demanding ones. Starting a new routine might seem daunting for the first two or so weeks but it will reap results in the long run and everything will start to feel automatic.
- Set mental blocks for tasks and time them
This sounds complicated and maybe a little bit tedious but it is really simple. All you have to do is assign a timeframe for every task and work solely on that task. We get it! Your job description probably required a multitasker. According to Dr Earl K Miller, a neuroscience professor at Massachusets Institute of Technology, however, efficient multitasking is not humanly possible. Therefore, setting a timeframe and focusing on a task will naturally put in the right headspace for the task. Remember, you want to be productive.. Not just Busy. There is a difference.
- Have a To-Do List
You will be amazed at the impact a To-Do list has on your productivity. Having all the tasks you need to accomplish ‘down on paper’ helps you prioritize accordingly and crossing out a completed task gives a feeling of satisfaction. Even better, estimate the time it takes to complete a task in your To-Do list and try completing the task within that timeframe.
- Take Breaks
It might sound counterintuitive to take breaks while working. After all, we are trying to stay productive right. Well, taking breaks of 5 – 10 minutes can give you a mental boost and improve your focus for the next tasks. Avoid addictive tasks like scrolling social media or Youtube videos as this can really suck you in and your 5-minute break could easily turn to 1 hour. Instead, opt for short walks, stretch a little bit or even talk to a colleague over a quick cup of coffee.
- Live a healthy life
This should probably be at the top of our list as living a healthy lifestyle can greatly improve your productivity. A balanced, nutrient-dense diet will go a long way in boosting your energy levels which in turn give you the fuel to remain focused. Exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week. Exercise has been proven to increase energy levels and cognitive function. Aim for 7 hours of sleep every night. If you are really crunched on time, then 6 hours of sleep albeit sub-optimal can still be of benefit.
Hopefully, this gives you some direction on where to start with your productivity goals. Take one or two of these tips and start implementing them consistently. As time progresses, you can scale up your efforts.
Are there other tips you use to stay productive? Share with us on our socials today.
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