How to be more productive you say? Well the search for little known secrets to increasing your productivity and their effective applications is probably one of the most sought after lifestyle solutions in this modern age, and you reading this post confirms that.
However, you’re in luck because today we will be discussing the better and for the most part, little known aspects to productivity, so let’s dive right in reader.
What is productivity?
This can mean a lot of things to a lot of people but more often than not it just typically refers to the ability and proficiency in dedicating, managing and combining resources like time, skills or money available to you towards achieving a goal at a faster rate.
How can i live a more productive life?
The result of being more productive is a combination of a good lifestyle and empowering mindset so what you want to do is to focus on what your strengths are and also your lifestyle habits, then tweaking those to serve you better in the long run coupled with a goal oriented mindset will greatly enhance your productivity experience.
How can students improve productivity?
With so much energy already put into academics, students can have a rather preoccupied state, its advisable to review your activities are for the week and Identify what days are most convenient to work on other activities as well as to eliminate unnecessary activities or routines to reduce stress, if possible then delegating tasks to others can also be very helpful in this instance.
What factors increase productivity?
Some factors and privileges are unique to certain individuals however the major factors are, time management, priorities management, supporting lifestyle changes, productivity minded mindset and a good source of motivation.
1- Be reasonable about your schedule.
This is typically the first part of a more productive lifestyle people tend to get wrong because they sometimes feel doing more equals a more productive output, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
Compared to such an approach, a few more better strategies include:
》Breaking bigger tasks into smaller ones.
This piece of advice is primarily targeted towards people into to-do lists, I’m sure you can relate to those items on your list that haunt you in the form of them never being checked off, see the thing is sometimes the items you put there can be considerably broad and it feels like you have to do 10 other extra things in order to complete that task.
The more proper to approach such tasks is to break them down into smaller sections and then tackling those objectives, otherwise you may find some tasks on those list not only taking up a lot of your time, there will be hardly any evidence of your tangible efforts in line of it.
This type of dynamic in your workflow can typically create an unbalance in getting things done and may to some extent even affect your motivation, and what’s worse is if you don’t check yourself, you may start to use that to-do list as a procrastination excuse.
This implies a situation where the tasks you’re wanting to complete are rather broad and instead of doing anything significant, you justify laziness towards the task because “it’s too big to do at once” and with such mindset, you can be sure backsliding will not be far behind.
So to that effect, its advisable to break bigger tasks into smaller chunks because that will help put things into better perspective, less is more and sometimes with productivity, that is no exception.
》Prioritize the list.
In addition, an even more helpful approach to maximizing productivity is to prioritize the things you want to accomplish, what this means is to place more importance on things that really move the needle and is most likely to yield significant results the most.
For instance, if you have an ecommerce store and you want to get more sales, it’s not really in your best interest to focus on taglines and fonts, while to some extent those may be important to a great user experience, they’re not the most important thing to be doing at the time.
In other words, by tackling the more intense and result promising tasks, you are ensuring you take significant moves and you’ll have enough energy to focus on the details once the main parts are substantially established.
》Set a deep work routine.
Deep work refers to those intensive and rather demanding tasks which are still nonetheless important to the goal, these are tasks you (or anyone really) wouldn’t wanna do if there was some way around because they’re just “boring”.
However, a helpful tip that will serve you in your work is to specifically schedule out time of your day to dedicate to deep work, over time your mind will recognize those dedicated hours for deep work and when you start getting into those tasks, you’ll have a better predisposition towards it.
》 Thank you, Next.
Yes, I just made reference to a song to illustrate a point, there are sometimes in life (and this is something I think we can all attest to), where you just can’t be bothered by getting things done, typically the deep work sections.
This tends to happen occasionally and that’s fine, but please note that even if you don’t want to deal with the major tasks at the moment, you can still work on the work on the minor ones, this ensures you’re making efforts continuously towards your goal, big or small steps, as long as you keep taking them will pay off in the long run.
》Follow the 80/20 rule.
According to the 80/20 rule geared towards maximising productivity, only 20% of what you do each day produces 80% of your results in regards to the work you put into it.
So here’s your cue to do things that really matter and to eliminate unnecessary routines that waste your time, energy or both and focus on the important tasks, just keeping pushing.
♤ Back to top ♤
2- Laziness is not productivity.
Its not such a far fetched occurrence that sometimes we can put off the actual impending tasks with the excuse that we are “working on working on it” and while that may to some extent be true, focusing on those nuances will not really get you any tangible results in the long run.
Some points to consider in this line are:
》Leave out multitasking.
Multitasking for a lot of us represents the ultimate state of productivity but while that may seem like an attractive approach to handling things, the truth is that its actually bad for your ability to focus and do your work efficiently.
Studies have shown that for everytime you attempt to multitask and switch between tasks you’re actually chipping away at your mental energy that you otherwise use to significantly increase efficiency.
The only exception to this would be the rather trivial tasks like someone multitasking between doing dishes and cooking, as these do not really require any significant amount of mental energy and focus, consequently such tasks like deep work cannot be treated in this manner as it would simply result in a mess.
For those of us who go about our day working with the multitasking approach, its advisable to double down on this, while it might to some extent produce a tangible outcome, the whole method is still suboptimal and ultimately not the best use of your precious time.
Changing habits one is used to may take sometime and that’s fine, sometimes with things we want. Its not about brute force, sometimes it’s the baby steps that count the most.
》Make use of groupings.
This is a bit similar to multitasking but the key difference is that it doesn’t make you less efficient and if anything actually increases your productivity.
The approach being referred to here is what I call grouping, which as the name implies is the grouping of tasks, more accurately, it is the grouping of similar tasks into a chunk and working on them as a whole.
This can significantly boost productivity and save time because you’re doing a lot in one fell swoop, so for instance, instead of editing fonts and colours on one page, you’re working on a row to perform editing on the whole damn website.
In a sense, this may be considered as a form of deep work but it’s worth it, because for starters your brain will stick to a very clear and structured pattern as you work through the grouped tasks.
You may be thinking that as effective as this approach is, not all tasks can be grouped and you’d be right. However, you should note that the key to groupings is to use them with those parts of the goal you’re reaching for where you’ll typically have to do some repetitive tasks.
》Keep away distractions.
Easier said than done but if you try this to even any extent you should notice a difference in your willingness to focus solely on your work, because your focus will be heightened once distractions are eliminated.
So whether its that TV with shiny new series being displayed left and right, that gaming system you could swear is literally calling on you to play it, or even the seemingly innocent yet incredibly distracting tiktok videos, whatever it is really, try to take it out of the equation or at least keep it at bare minimum.
Now this isn’t to say you can’t or shouldn’t take periodic breaks from your work because you actually should, what is being addressed here is distractions, so in essence, it’s all about putting aside the “good stuff” for a while to create the next level of good stuff you’re reaching for in your personal life.
》Be time conscious.
Time is arguably one of the greater distractions of modern age, it’s so easy these days to put aside a project important to you because Netflix is pumping out fresh new series and besides the deadline for the project is 5 months away, so you figure “i still have time, I’ll do it later”.
You see the issue with this mentality is that even if 4 months go by you’ll still probably be telling yourself that very same excuse which isn’t doing you any good, unless you’re incredibly disciplined and can manage your time efficiently.
Even if you’re working on something and you’re not too serious about it yet, in the very least start with something, anything, because later on you will find it much easier to build off of whatever you started off with compared to starting from scratch after all this time has gone by.
When making plans its important to account for that occasional “lag time” so you’re still able to work with time being on your side.
》Maintain the momentum.
This point serve as a final piece to really buttress the all the things discussed above, you typically want to make sure you’re maintaining a substantial level of momentum after your initial activity invested into your work.
Backsliding is what tends to happen if momentum towards productivity isn’t maintained, so whether it’s big or small steps you take, as long as you keep taking them will pay off later on, what’s more is along the line of keeping the momentum, you may even discover routines that isn’t really serving you and stop doing them.
You may also want to consider immersing yourself into the domain you work for further insight into specific ways you can improve productivity, this is where YouTube videos, online courses, masterclasses and the likes can be of benefits.
However, be careful not to fall into the rabbit hole of continuous learning without tangible implementations and seeing that as productivity, all good things in moderation.
♤ Back to top ♤
3- Find a style that works for you.
Contrary to popular belief that productivity (or anything in today’s world really) can or should be in only be achieved with only one method is outdated.
Furthermore, the truth is when you look at people like Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk, they do seem to be at the front line with maximizing productivity, they might indeed adopt a number of similar practices, and some will be different, these combined make up their own personal and unique work ethics.
With respect to the previous tips given above, here are some further points to note when making out what your own work ethic will look like.
》Harness your peak hours.
So you know those hours of the day you literally feel like you can do anything? When your motivation and focus is just off the charts at those times, those are your peak hours.
Its a great idea to use the opportunity when you’re in your peak hours to handle aspects of your work you would classify as deep work, when you do such intense work during this frame of mind, you will be surprised at the ease of breezing through it.
Some of you may know what I was referring to by peak hours immediately, but for of those you who aren’t too familiar with it, you can figure out what those hours are by paying attention to your level of motivation or focus as it increases and decreases over hours of the day.
Peak hours typically last for 3-4 hours but sometimes it can be more, so you wanna watch out when you’re feeling really motivated with that timeframe in mind, for me those hours are from 7am to 12pm.
》Keep track of your time.
This goes hand with hand with making good use of peak hours, however tracking time is a bit different since in this case you’re generally being observant about your time usage on different activities over the course of your day.
So what you want to be doing here is to just basically make a note of what are those things that take up a substantial chunk of your time, excluding any number of hours invested into actual work and work breaks.
When you notice a pattern for trivial activities like randomly going through email, responding to Instagram comments etc. Try to dedicate a particular timeframe to that, so perhaps you set an hour or two to attend to such affairs and then leaving that to continue your work or enjoy your break, this is a better approach than doing random things at random times over the course of the day.
An additional tip you want to consider is something I personally use and that’s dedicating the first hour of your day towards just planning what tasks you want to complete for the day, or revise which ones you plan on working on from your to-do list, either this will help get your mind in a productive headspace even you haven’t started the actual work yet.
Action Nugget: Maximise mornings.
• In the morning, pick up your workbook, notepad etc.
• Think of the top 3 tangible tasks you want to achieve for the day.
• Work on those in whatever sequence is comfortable, if you do more than those three it’ll be a bonus.
》Sharpen the proverbial axe.
This is basically just about getting better at what you do without doing what you do, in this phase you’re simply just gaining knowledge on how to better do the things you do.
For instance, some of you reading this are probably not bloggers or anything in that line but you’re still here reading through the lines for any valuable piece of information that resonates with you and offers promising results if applied correctly.
This is a step in the right direction and not a lot of people are bothered by stuff like this, however by investing time into gaining more useful knowledge and insight, you will see a return in your investments in the form of taking better and faster decisions and in essence you would be spending less time to get more time.
Wisdom Nugget: Store information
• Pick up a book, audiobook, podcast or anything with useful information you like.
• Open a tab in your browser for Diction.
• Avoid typing and speak the things you learned and have them written down, from there you can print the text and store it in a folder.
》Sometimes say No.
It is a busy, busy life and with so much already going on it wouldn’t hurt to add a few more things to your tab right? Wrong, while its tempting to do so it probably won’t be in your best interest.
By adding even more impending tasks to your schedule, it only thins out for focus to any specific task making it harder to reach a goal, you should look at the bigger picture and unless those new tasks have some significant correlation with your current work, its better to put those aside till later.
The same goes for people asking favours from you when you’re tight on resources or time or both, just remember that a no was what those people started with anyways, getting a yes is a privilege not an entitlement.
♤ Back to top ♤
4- Be environment conscious.
The environmental impact of one’s workplace is something that tends to be overlooked and underestimated, but actively setting up a good space can be quite beneficial to you.
》Choose a complimentary style.
Once you find an aesthetic that really resonates with you then you can remodel your workspace in that image and watch the place light up.
A typically common design model is the minimalist style which only lays out the most important elements of your space and this seems to have an easing effect on the mind.
This is merely a suggestion to get you started but you can do further research into this topic at your own time. Generally speaking, environmental factors have a subtle effect on how our minds perceive the work we do in that space and you wanna make sure you’re feeding yourself positive thoughts.
》Have an accountability partner.
While not necessarily necessary, it will help you with finding motivation to not only keep doing your work but to also actually finish them as they will be there to keep your progress in check.
This person will help you monitor your productivity better because they wouldn’t be as biased as you, you can find such a partner easily if you look in the right places and they can be your buddy or even business partners with you.
You can find an accountability partner among your circle of friends, your team in a business setting or even those people in that Facebook group always sharing valuable content, they will be there to inspire you to do more without overwhelming you and can even give you feedback on your efforts.
》Seek out and you shall find.
Chances are there have probably been a couple of times where you were reluctant to ask for assistance with something you found difficult to do, sound familiar? Well you’re not alone.
However, upon adequate contemplation you will also come to the conclusion that asking for assistance every now and then isn’t such a bad thing and its even quite the smart move to make in a world where there’s always something or the other demanding your attention.
Think about it for a second, when you ask someone to assist with something you’re facing difficulty, you not only save your time and energy but in the process you learn something new and next time you might have acquired that knowledge and be able to breeze through it the next time you encounter similar tasks.
》Let it shine.
Studies have shown that getting a significant amount of sunlight is not only helpful for maintaining your sleep quality but also gives you a boost in productivity.
This is because you will get a boost in alertness and that combined with fresh vibrant energy that comes with working in the morning makes for an incredible workforce experience.
Even if you don’t specifically go out to get sunlight, its alright to just make sure your room or work space is well lit and allows for sunlight to get in and do its magic.
♤ Back to top ♤
5- Take a break.
This should go without saying but its very beneficial to take breaks over the course of working because after a while of expending so much mental energy, going on break will allow your mental faculties to recharge so you can continue later on.
》Avoid distraction breaks.
While the two may be easily confused, spending time on a distraction and taking an actual break are different, one replenishes you and the other simply gives off that impression.
Don’t be surprised if at your leisure you spending time on tiktok instead of taking a nap or walking in the park to clear your head, and you still feel exhausted when you return to work.
A good break is one that allows for you to relax and cut your brain some slack, even listen to relaxing music is just as helpful as the previous examples mentioned above.
》Spice it up.
This tip especially applies to deep work, those tasks you’d give anything to not have to worry about but you still have to do them anyways, it doesn’t hurt to make it a little more bearable.
Whether for you that’s listening to music as you do your work or treating yourself to a cookie for every task you finish, whatever works for you and helps you push through the ineffable boredom surrounding such demanding activities.
The key here is to set up a subtle reward system to keep you going because more often than not you’ll feel that urge to throw your laptop or phone across the room (don’t we all?) and having that extra source of motivation can be helpful.
》Connect with nature.
If taking a nap or enjoying some music isn’t really your cup of tea at that moment then you can also consider just getting out in nature and taking in the peaceful vibes.
This is definitely a sure fire way to raise your spirits and it can even be more helpful in that you can use this opportunity to practice some walking meditation, either way its still a great idea.
Moreover, if you feel so inclined then you can even take this up a notch and take your work outdoors, now you don’t necessarily have to go to a park or anything but your frontyard, or anywhere really surrounded by nature and is quiet will do the trick.
♤ Back to top ♤
How can I have a productive new year?
There are plenty of tools to he with this and a few are, creating a vision board for the goals you want to reach, make a journal reviewing your successes in the previous year and determine the next steps to take or even mapping out a number of goals over the course of the year.
Where to start it all?
It can be very easy to get stuck with the overwhelming feeling of where to even begin all of it but try not to dwell on this too much as procrastination can start to set in, instead pick a task you feel will be a good starting point and just start.
Top tips for boosting your productivity.
1. Make reasonable schedules.
Stick to a schedule you can comfortably work with.
2. Get productive practically.
There’s a difference between focusing on being productive and actually doing that.
3. Identify your ideal work ethic.
Find a workflow that beats helps you get things done.
4. Invest in your environment.
Create a workspace that inspires you to work and helps you stay balanced.
5. Take a break.
Any work routine without adequate relaxation time would be rather suboptimal.
♤ Back to top ♤
The road to productivity is not always fun or as exciting as it can be portrayed but its benefits are very much real and can even make for a better work ethic and richer lifestyle in general.
A lot of things should be taken into consideration as discussed in detail above but more often than not, some of those tips will be more interesting or relevant to you than others, and that’s perfectly fine so take what is of value to you and start applying them to your goals and dreams and start to see the magic happen for yourself.
With every step you take, slowly but surely you will get there and see things from a better perspective, keep calm and enjoy your travels.