There are only so many hours in a day, and only so many days in a week. And yet, even if people work hard during the day and pull all-nighters every so often, there’s still that feeling that there just isn’t enough time. Part of this is due to the fact that there really is a lot of work and personal tasks to be done. So to minimize stress, you need to be productive. There’s no going around that… at least for now.
Increasing productivity is all about looking for ways to get more work done, given a limited amount of time. It’s about getting creative with the allocated hours you have, it’s not about working an extra hour. Instead, it’s about finishing a particular task in a shorter time frame, so you can get more done. Productivity is also about ensuring that less time ends up getting wasted by distractions, chatting with friends (we all did at some point) or going to the water fountain more often than needed. Whether you are a student, entrepreneur, programmer or any other type of worker, you can never be too productive.
That being said, we’ve put together some tips that will help you improve your productivity:
1. PACE YOURSELF
Believe it or not, it can actually be counterproductive to work for several hours straight. When you work too much, your mental focus decreases, your ability to analyze vanishes, and then you spend several more hours after that, trying to recover your flow. Many people have found that, instead of working like a maniac for long periods of time, it’s better to work at a reasonable pace, one that will ensure a productive and efficient work flow. This means that there should be regular rest periods to give your mind and body a chance to briefly recover from the information overload.
2. Use the Pomodoro Technique
The idea behind this technique is that you use a timer to mark 25 minutes of time, during which you should go about your work normally. Once the timer goes off, mark another 5 minutes during which you should recover and relax a bit. Maybe take a walk around your office, send a few personal text messages or grab a glass of water or snack. The idea here is that this technique forces you to pace yourself.
3. Get Writing, Cut Out Distractions
You may need to work on a business plan, a report, a thesis or something similar. The problem is that, in this day and age, web distractions are only an Alt-Tab or window switch away. And this can lead, not just to wasted time, but the loss of your train of thought. So when it comes to writing or working, limit your distractions so that your thinking and writing can flow better. Close all other windows, and consider using a simple text editor for when you write.
4. Wake Up Early
Getting enough sleep is extremely important, so this needs to be taken into consideration as well. But many people have found that waking up earlier has its benefits in terms of productivity, as it allows you to get some important preliminary tasks out of the way, without any interruptions. In a way, that extra hour in the morning can be extremely productive, especially if you use it for yourself and not necessarily your work.
5. Know Your Personal Productivity Routine
Some people can write more clearly and cleanly in the morning, while others have an easier time being productive in the evening. Take note of your productivity habits, so you can create a better work schedule. Also, watch out for those hours when your concentration begins to diminish and schedule less brain-intensive tasks for that time period.