Ever wondered why you end up feeling stressed out and frustrated even though you started your day with the right intentions to get things done?
Maybe because you're trying to work harder instead of smarter.
No matter how organized and well-planned your routine is, balancing work life, social life, and home life can be tedious at times. This imbalance can drastically impact your productivity.
Productivity is a broad phenomenon. So, if you think you can increase productivity in your life by just knowing the productivity definition (that you've learned in your business school), then you have to reconsider your approach.
There are so many things involved. According to the HBR Guide to Being More Productive, you must make time for what matters. Also, you should focus on your personal productivity style instead of following the generic rules.
Above all, you should keep realistic expectations and should understand that you can't become productive overnight.
It is a long and time-consuming process that involves many steps. First things first, you must have a clear idea about how to measure productivity? Based on your scores, you can take different productivity improvement steps.
For instance, you can implement time management strategies to streamline your everyday work. If you're looking to know more about time management skills, then you should read Graham Allcott's 'How to be a Productive Ninja' book that highlights the importance of mindfulness and planning.
For your convenience, we've put together a comprehensive guide to being more productive. But before exploring further details, let's have a quick look at 'what is productivity' and why you need to be productive in your daily life.
What is Productivity?
Productivity defines a measure of the efficiency of a person. Productivity is all about choosing an attitude for constant improvement and betterment.
How to Measure Productivity?
We know productivity is a qualitative concept. You must be wondering how to measure productivity to become even more productive.
Luckily, there are ways you can measure it. Here's one of our tried and tested ways that can help you measure productivity using a timer.
Use a Timer to Calculate the Number of Productive Hours You Have Each Day
First, you have to decide which specific activities you will consider as productive. Here, you can count activities that produce output.
Once you have a list of productive activities in hand, you can choose the timer to track them. There are many options available on the market. Just find the one that works best for you. Now the toughest thing is to be disciplined in using the product.
You must start the timer on time (whenever you do something productive) and stop it if there's an interruption. We know this is tough, but eventually, you'll learn to manage time. Once you have a record of your productive activities, you can review your results.
How to Become More Productive?
Below, we've listed some of the expert-approved tips that will help you increase your productivity, and leave you with a sense of achievement every single day.
Make a To-Do List
One of the ways you can increase productivity is by creating a REALISTIC to-do list.
Here, the term realistic is of the utmost importance. Why? Because if you make your to-do list way too complex, you won't be able to create a perfect balance between different tasks.
As a result, you may have to face failure, and it will shatter your confidence for other upcoming tasks.
Set a Morning Routine
According to Marie Kondo, the popular Netflix star, starting your morning with positive energy is important for productivity. Starting your day with a morning prayer and a little exercise will keep you fresh and productive all day long.
Track How You Spend Your Time
To increase productivity, you must track how you spend your time every day. This way, you would be able to calculate the amount of time you waste on unnecessary activities daily.
Once you identify which activities are squeezing too much time, you can swap them with the tasks that are more important.
Set Small Goals
No matter how big your project is, try to break it down in smaller and doable goals. Then set timelines for each goal separately. Sometimes what seems like a complex project won't take much time.
Similarly, tasks that seem easy and uncomplicated in the beginning may turn into a disaster in the end.
So, make sure you get a clear idea of the complexity level and the amount of time needed before starting any particular project.
There's no denying the fact that gadgets make our lives easier in so many different ways. But, it's also the fact that these devices create a lot of distraction too.
So, to keep yourself focused, you must limit your screen time. Similarly, tailor notifications so that you can receive only the essential pings.
Apart from that, it's also important to limit your social media activity. Your productivity may suffer if you keep on checking your text messages and notifications during those important in-between moments.
Focus on One Goal at a Time
To increase productivity, make sure you focus on one goal at a time. One way to do this is to follow a 90-90-1 rule. This rule needs you to commit the first 90 minutes of your day to the most important task. As a general rule, you should follow this routine for 90 days to witness great results.
Think About the Benefits of Completing a Project
Keeping yourself motivated is the key to productivity improvement. Think about the benefits you'll gain once you complete your project. Once you identify the positive results, it will be a lot easier to get started and stay committed.
Make Tasks Less Complicated
When the significance of a specific to-do feels overpowering, reassure yourself, it's doable, and YOU CAN DO IT.
When it comes to productivity improvement, this little mind trick can go a long way.
Invest in a Productivity Planner
There are many productivity planners and organization apps readily available online that you can use to stay focused and increase productivity. Make sure you check each product's features carefully and select a productivity planner that can fetch in great results.
Take it Easy with the Emails
If you feel tempted to check and respond to your emails over and over again, you have to change this practice.
Here, you have to implement some strict time management skills. Allocating 10 minutes every hour to check your messages is more than enough to stay connected with everyone. If you think this is tough to practice, invest in an online time tracker for your tasks to stay productive.
Take Breaks and Reward Yourself
One of the ways you can increase productivity is by taking frequent breaks every few hours. By taking breaks, you won't feel strained, and the quality of your work will remain consistent.
Having a little chat with your colleague, walk, or yoga will keep you focused and fresh for a long period of time. Needless to say, it will also increase productivity and your overall outcome.
One of the ways you can increase productivity is to turn your wasted time into some of your productive hours of the week. For this, you should plan everything in advance.
No, we don't want you to schedule your routine months before, but planning everything on Friday for the upcoming week is obviously a great idea.
Give Yourself Enough Time to Rest
Did you know you can do much more and with greater productivity when you're well-rested? No matter how important your work is, give yourself enough time to sleep. Proper sleep contributes to the productivity improvement process and helps you stay more active and creative during your work.
Find Time to Exercise
Exercise is a great way to keep yourself in shape.
But we're not here to help you achieve your fitness goals, right?
Interestingly, daily work out of 30-45 minutes will enhance your brain activity. It increases productivity and alertness, meaning you'll be less anxious and more productive towards your assigned targets.
Besides these basic things, get sunlight, play with your kids or pets, watch your favourite Netflix series, or do whatever you want that makes you feel happy and calm.