Want to improve your productivity? Being more productive or just being generally better at productivity seems to be an elusive goal for a lot of people. Thankfully, it is not actually hard to be more productive. All you need is the right tools and mindset.
The main key of being more productive is to work smarter, not harder. No one has time for burnout, and you are not good at any of your tasks or goals if you feel like you have zero free time in the day. Here are 6 easy ways that you can vastly improve your productivity.
1. Take Breaks
While it seems counterintuitive to the end goal, taking regular breaks in between tasks actually helps you be more productive. It can help boost your creativity, concentration and memory. Working non-stop for multiple hours a day, especially if you are staring at a computer screen, can result in stress, exhaustion and decision fatigue.
We suggest taking a short 5-minute break about every 20 minutes, and a longer 10- to 15-minute break every two hours. Don’t forget to take a real lunch break too. That mid-day reset is crucial.
2. Do the Most Important Task First
People tend to procrastinate the task that is the most important and this can tank general productivity because you have that task looming over your head. Do that task first thing in the morning and make a habit out of doing that most important task first thing in the morning.
What if you have two or three “most important” tasks? Do the one that is the most challenging or the one you are dreading the most first. This will help encourage you to get things done and boost your productivity for the rest of the day.
3. Improve Your Productivity One Task at a Time
You are not a computer. The human brain is not designed to be able to adequately focus on more than one task at a time. Multi-tasking actually reduces your overall productivity. Focus on doing one thing at a time and minimize distractions to improve your productivity. Mute your chat, put your phone far away and don’t check email. This will help you power through the task and save you a lot of mental exhaustion.
4. The Two-Minute Rule
If you have a task that will take you two minutes, do it right away. The theory behind this is that the task will take longer if you wait and do it later. These small tasks can also be huge distractions on your main tasks. Getting them done and out of the way frees up space in your brain for the main tasks.
5. Plan the Night Before
To-do lists are a great productivity tool. They help you stay on task and prioritize important tasks. Every day before you turn off the computer and leave work, write down three to four things that you want to accomplish the next day.
This helps do two things. First, it sets you up for success the next day. Second, it helps get those tasks out of your mind, so you can more fully enjoy your time outside of work.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Approximately 30-40% of Americans report not getting the recommended amount of sleep each night. You need a solid seven to nine hours of sleep to be at your mental and physical best. Being well-rested boosts your mood and your creativity, reduces stress, and improves your memory.
Pair enough sleep with a good morning routine, and you are setting yourself up for a good day, every day.
With these six easy adjustments to your work and home life, you will set yourself up for success and watch your productivity climb and climb while also avoiding burnout.