5 Ways to Help You Become More Productive
1. Avoid procrastination by scheduling time to take on the large tasks first.
If you struggle to stay focused, make sure you are scheduling time to deal with the most important, which usually means, largest or more arduous tasks first. After you’ve completed that task, your mind will be free to work on the next step knowing you’ve got the bulk of it done already. This is especially helpful for those of us who procrastinate. I liken it to eating my vegetables first. Once that’s completed, I can focus on the easy stuff — like dessert!
2. Tracking your work helps you see what tasks are productive and working in your favor.
It may seem like a lot of upfront work to track your projects and tasks, but it is essential to target and prioritize the methods that work best for you. You’ll be able to see where you’re flourishing and where you need work. In the end, you’ll gain valuable data on how to move forward with other projects. There are a myriad of free and paid apps to assist you with productivity and tracking. Here are a few to look into: Monday, Asana, Clockify, ClickUp, Miro.
3. Take smaller bites of your larger tasks to help them look so monstrous.
Looking at the whole picture can sometimes seem overwhelming, and is a big reason why so many of us procrastinate. The best way to combat this problem is to break down the bigger tasks into bite size pieces. Furthermore, those steps can be prioritized and you can go back to Tip 1 of this blog: Avoid procrastination by scheduling time to take on the large tasks. I like to literally write it down on paper so that I have a visual of my workflow. Many of the apps I mentioned in Tip 2 offer this feature electronically. This also allows me the gratification of crossing it off my list when it’s complete; it’s like a little treat at the end of my work day.
4. Stay focused on one task at a time to avoid the multitask syndrome.
Again, looking at the whole picture can cause anxiety. Multi-tasking, in theory, seems efficient, but when you are scattered amongst several projects, it can lead to errors and frustration, which actually depletes productivity. If you need to work on several projects simultaneously, prioritize which one to tackle first and schedule a block of time to work on that specific project. Stick to your time-frame and then move onto your next block of time for the next project, and so on.
5. Location, Location, Location: Find a productive, creative and clean space to work.
There is a lot to be said about the environment in which we work, and how it affects our productivity. A noisy, messy and uncomfortable space is not an ideal situation for productivity. Making small adjustments to your workspace can make a big difference: Headphones can cancel out background noise; a standing desk can alleviate strain; a clean desk, plant, and simple art can leave room for creativity; and the right lighting can go a long way in helping us be more productive. Also, consider discovering what time of day is most conducive to perform particular tasks. I like to work on heavy-thinking tasks earlier in the day when the kids are at school and after I’ve had my morning coffee and meditation. I save my more creative tasks for later in the afternoon or at night after everyone has gone to sleep.
That’s it, just five ideas on how to help you become more effective with regards to your tasks. If you implement just one of these items, you're sure to discover some increase in productivity, and when you start to see progress, you’ll be encouraged to add onto the momentum. Now, go get it!