Productivity can be metaphorically called a funnel; what goes in the top makes a huge impact on what appears at the receiving end. So, there isn’t a single hack that can make us productive people in no time. Firstly, we have to observe all the possible factors causing hindrance in our path of productivity. We see a lot of people complaining about time management.
The Pareto principle is the useful way that states that 80% of the effects are the result of 20% of the causes. We can initiate by monitoring our weekly activities. Setting an alarm for every hour for a specific activity is effective and this is what we call “the king’s audit”.
Secondly, we see most of the people investing their time and energies in the wrong and less important tasks. In my experience, the tasks that push you towards your goals and help you with your career take up only 20% of your time, the rest of the 80% time is wasted on less important tasks and activities. We should find ways of cutting out our pointless activities, reducing breaks, and excessive social media browsing.
Thirdly, people complain that they don’t have enough. That’s technically not true. Everybody has 24 hours in a day and what’s important is how you manage your time and your activities accordingly. I rule out this excuse by making a planner every day on my phone, where I enter all my important tasks so I can never complain about not having enough time.
Following are some everyday changes that can help us boost our productivity;
1. Improve your typing speed:
This is an important factor and people don’t pay attention to it. I suppose an average office worker might receive about 80 emails every day and he sends about 40 mails. If he spends about 4 hours doing this but doubles his typing speed he could get himself a whole working day per week.
2. Ban unnecessary chats/calls:
Calls can be minimized by asking the person about the complete details of the task so it’s easier to decide if that very task can be covered over a voice note instead of scheduling a zoom call. This filtering process is helpful in productivity.
Chats are another headache for us while concentrating on work. Unimportant chats can be easily avoided by changing our messaging status to explain at what times we are available. Because being online doesn’t mean we are ready to respond to every less important message we might receive.
3. Avoid checking emails:
Schedule specific times to check on your emails because they are very distracting at times. We can keep our phones away from our work desk and only check them according to our fixed schedule. Some helpful tools such as ‘boomerang’ schedule emails for later, enabling us to dive into a deep work session without wasting mental space thinking about what we should reply to.
4. Set a timer:
Estimate in your mind how much time you require for a specific task. Now there are different techniques for setting a timer for a task. The Pomodoro technique can be followed which tells you to work for 25 minutes followed by a 5-minute break.
If you have a longer and bigger task, you can use timer-based apps like me. The Clockify app has been a huge help for me in managing my time and tasks. It is helpful for both freelancers and entrepreneurs; above all, it’s free of cost.
5. Listen to music in break time:
Some brain relaxing music is always an option to enjoy your break time. Classical music works for some people as well. Nature music and cinematic music are helpful as well.
6. Task prioritization:
As soon as you wake up, log all your tasks in your planner and pick the most dreadful task first. People usually begin their day by doing some light tasks such as checking emails or scrolling through social media. Instead, they should start the day with a more difficult task because you are the most energetic during that part of the day.
7. Look for hidden pockets of time:
Looking for hidden pockets of time during your professional or personal activities is a way to live a fuller existence. These pockets of time are present everywhere around you if you just start looking for them. They lie in the mere, daily life tasks of yours. Once you have found them, they can help you become a more productive person. For me, they are cooking and photography. These small activities are my mood changes, in fact, mood boosters. They help me keep going.
8. Find your productive time of the day:
Everyone has a productive time of the day when they can work better as compared to other hours of the day. For me, it’s the early morning time. It is my prime time and optimizes me towards productivity.
9. Just begin:
Sometimes people just stay idle and keep waiting for the right time to initiate a task. Force yourself to get up and begin your day because once you start, you get in the rhythm that could last for hours.
10. Give yourself small rewards:
Make a habit of appreciating and celebrating even your small wins. So every time you struggle, it will remind you of how far you have come.
11. Avoid multitasking
People think that their habit of multitasking will lead them to achievements although it’s a huge misconception. It only stresses your mind and exhausts you faster. For optimum productivity, focus on one thing at a time.
I have followed all of these methods to make myself a better person and a more productive worker. They all worked for me in one way or another, sooner or later. All you need is patience and consistency. Keep trying and using these methods to improve your efficiency. There must be at least one method from the ones stated above, that will work the most for you. Good luck!
Remember You Too Can Be Great.