The need to increase your productivity is on the rise as our workload increases soars and our lives get busier.
In the past couple of decades, technology has escalated our ability to get more done in less time.
This has pushed up everyone’s expectations of what can be achieved and thus we always seem to have another task waiting at the end of one task.
Nowadays, efficient and smart work gets far more points than hard work. So, to help you, here are 7 smart ways that you can drastically increase your productivity.
#1 Break It Down
While your goal could be to lay a floor, you can only achieve it if your stick tiles to the ground, one by one.
If you try sticking a thousand at once, it just wouldn’t work.
The same goes with setting goals.
If you set an end goal and think only about that all the time, you can get discouraged, which then leads to poor performance.
Give yourself lots of mini-wins by breaking a larger goal down into own into smaller steps.
Then you can prioritize and plan each of them so that you work in the most efficient and productive way.
#2 Pomodoro Technique
This is one of the most widely used productivity techniques.
It has its roots in the fact that humans have a limited attention span.
Not only is it limited, but our attention durations have been reducing as technology has advanced.
However, there is a solution.
Research has shown that humans work most efficiently in intervals of 25 minutes.
Using a 25-minute countdown timer work for just 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break.
This gives your brain a chance to rest so that it can give your full attention to the task at hand in the next 25 minute period.
Thie Pomodoro technique can increase your productivity as your mind is allowed a break and thus becomes less tired.
#3 Zero Notifications
Another way to increase your productivity is by cutting out distractions, with cell phone notifications being the biggest of them all.
Sounds and alerts are designed to grab your attention and they seem to be working pretty well.
Most people will admit to being constantly distracted throughout the day.
It’s time to realise that you don’t really need to see right away who liked your photo on Instagram or who replied to your tweet.
They can wait. Especially, while you’re working.
While working on something important go to your phone settings and turn off notifications for every app.
You’ll soon savor the joy of zero notifications on your attention, and you’ll get more done as they do not steal your time
As you might already know, multitasking is a myth.
It is only in your imagination that you are able to do several things at once.
In reality, it doesn’t work that way.
The human brain, while having enormous potential, is able to focus properly on only one thing at a time.
You might argue that you are a good multitasker, but what you essentially do is switch tasks very quickly.
While that’s a useful skill to have at times, it is not always the most productive one.
Switching tasks results in a phenomenon known as the adjustment period.
Whenever you switch onto a new task, you require a certain amount of time to get to your optimum performance.
This time is the time lost when you try to start one task before finishing another.
So monotasking or one thing at a time is the most practical route to take in order to increase your productivity.
#5 Three Things
This is a practical method I use to increase my productivity each month.
It is also a great way to learn new skills and improve others.
At the beginning of the month, you decide on three things that you want to get better at by doing them every day.
They can be simple tasks like reading a chapter of a self improvement book or increasing your typing speed, for example.
Write these down in three in a notebook or a spreadsheet
At the end of each day, put down a green box if you completed the task or a red box if you didn’t against that date.
Keep doing this every day even if you fail to achieve all tasks.
If you’re getting a lot of green boxes, that’s great for you!
But if you’re seeing red everywhere, it is a sign that you need to organize your time better.
Remember these are tasks you chose, they were not allocated to you.
Think of the reasons why you couldn’t do them, and look for ways to prioritize them.
#6 Appointments With Yourself
Some people like to make to-do lists but a smarter way to plan tasks is to commit to completing them within a set time, even if one has not been given to you
Allotting a date and duration to your tasks not only reminds you of what is to be done but provides a greater focus on completing it as there is a deadline.
To make a time-oriented plan, pull out your diary or smartphone and put tasks along with the time slot you assigned to get them done by.
These can be for the next day, the day after, or even the entire week in your calendar.
This way your time is booked and you are less likely to be interrupted by other tasks or people as you have an appointment to finish something.
#7 One Brick a Day
If there is one thing you need to get done every single day, one habit you want to form, or one skill you want to get better at, this is the method for you.
It is the easiest to execute, yet proven to be very effective.
Make a one-page calendar for a month with boxes for each day.
Put this up on your closet or your door, where you would see it every day.
Your challenge is to cross out the box or lay the brick for the day when you complete your task, however little or big it might be.
Do this every day and see the crosses start to build up.
As the series of crosses keeps getting bigger, you will find it more difficult to break it.
This will ultimately see yourself getting better at the skill or the habit.
A huge wall isn’t built instantly but instead, one brick at a time.
Keep laying your bricks and one day you will see the wall you built.