Productivity refers to the ability to accomplish tasks excellently in record time. And even though all of us have equal 24 hours in a day, our level of productivity differs.
There are those who, at the end of the day, manage to achieve most of their set tasks. And on the other hand, some never manage to achieve their daily tasks and find themselves faced with the unpleasant feeling of not having done anything but have only lost precious time.
Increasing productivity is the dream of anyone who wants to achieve ambitious goals – professionals, freelancers, managers, entrepreneurs, etc. And it’s good to know that there are a set of routines that can help you accomplish most of your daily undertakings.
So, if you fall into the category of people who lack productivity and you want to remedy it, continue reading this article. In the following, you’ll find 10 activities that will help you to increase your productivity. Here we go…
10 Best activities to help boost productivity
Here are some ways to boost productivity:
1. Make a daily schedule
At the beginning of each day, take 10 minutes to write down the activities you really want to do that day. Do that on a small piece of paper and always throw away yesterday’s paper.
If you haven’t done a task from the previous day, copy it over to today’s paper. You will see that having to rewrite this will irritate you and you would rather make sure you finish the activity. Or that you only plan for what you can achieve on that day.
Also, always give room in your daily plan for unforeseen activities, because they are always there.
2. Schedule up to 3 important tasks per day
Don’t include more than three important tasks in your schedule for one day. In fact, 1 or 2 is just fine.
And don’t say, “Everything I do is important.” You also know that you do many less important things every day. If you have only a few important tasks in a day, it’ll be easier for you to focus and achieve them before the end of the day.
Also, try to find out when you’re most active. For most people, it’s the morning. And make sure you do the most important task in the morning(if that works for you) immediately after making the daily plan – because then you will still be fresh and energetic.
Ensure that you are not distracted until you have finished the most important tasks completely. The satisfaction that this gives will raise your energy for the rest of the day.
3. Do one thing at a time
Multi-tasking really doesn’t work for anyone, not even for women as they say. Research shows that multitasking makes you 25% less productive.
You can only do one thing right at a time. So the key concept is: focus. Try this out and you’ll see how productive you’ll become.
4. Use the Pomodoro technique
This technique is commonly used for time management and boosting productivity. It involves setting apart periods of 25-30 minutes in which you concentrate and work on only one task in succession. While doing this, ensure that you don’t let yourself be interrupted.
If someone calls or walks in, you can tell them that you are busy at the moment but you’ll have time for them in .. minutes. This technique gives peace of mind.
Ensure that you turn off email and all alerts (WhatsApp, etc.) on your smartphone. After 25 or 30 minutes, you can stop resolutely. If you’re typing on your PC, once it’s time, you can stop after typing the sentence you are working on and press “Save”.
Afterward, you then take a 5-minute break. Really, you need that time to recharge. Go to the toilet, get coffee or water, look out the window, call back the person who just passed by, etc.
Then you concentrate on one task for another 25 to 30 minutes again. In the next 5-minute break, you should definitely start walking. After 4 Pomodoros, you should take a 20-minute break.
The name Pomodoro comes from the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that was used to keep track of the 25- and 5-minute periods. Now, of course, there are lots of handy apps that use this technique.
5. Group the same tasks together
The previous two tips automatically lead to this: if you have to perform many short actions such as making phone calls, answering emails, archiving documents, etc., try to do the same actions one after the other.
So, make a list of the calls that need to be made, list the phone numbers and the subjects of discussion, and do them one after the other.
6. Stop Procrastinating
Everyone is guilty of this sometimes: we normally postpone annoying or probably difficult activities.
One way to overcome this issue is to assign those boring tasks to other people. But, if they are tasks you must do yourself because of their importance, do those annoying tasks first, preferably in the morning when you are fresh and full of energy.
When that’s done, the most difficult part of your day is over and the rest of the tasks to be done will seem like a long calm river to you.
7. Self-reflection and evaluation
Take at least 20 minutes twice a day (e.g. in the 25 or 30 minutes break after 4 Pomodoros) for self-reflection and evaluation. Is it going well? Am I really doing what I can do the best today? Am I procrastinating? Do I distinguish between urgent and important? Can I automate recurring tasks?
Can I structurally solve recurring problems? Can I delegate tasks? Should I check if delegated tasks are going well? (Delegation is not delegation without control). After the first 10 minutes for planning the daily schedule, these two 20 minutes are the most valuable time use of your day.
8. Maintain a positive mood
Scientific studies have stated time and time again: that a positive mood can help you increase your productivity. Look on the bright side and you’ll have more energy and your mind will become clearer to help you identify solutions more easily, and get more done.
It’s very difficult to meet productive depressed people: they are usually much more optimistic.
9. Drink water frequently
You are probably wondering how water and productivity correlate. Drinking water is very beneficial for your health, and also your productivity.
Water allows you to sleep well. And good quality sleep will increase your energy level. You will therefore be more efficient and productive in your tasks.
Furthermore, water helps to reduce the level of stress. Reducing your stress level will greatly increase your level of concentration and thus your productivity.
Note: Together with taking water frequently, ensure that you cultivate other healthy habits like doing exercise and eating a balanced diet – especially not missing your breakfast.
10. Reward yourself to amplify success
One of the best ways to avoid burnout – and resulting decreased productivity – is to reward yourself.
Give a small reward if you meet the target in the process of increasing the productivity of your performance for the day. Remember, these gifts don’t have to be material.
Your time is the most important thing you have, not your money or human resources. Money or personnel that you do not use will still be there tomorrow. But unused time is gone forever. So, I hope this article will help you to manage your time well and boost your productivity.