Are you a person who wish a day should have more than 24 hours? Is your diary full of timetables that never followed clock? Do you sleep at night with a mindset saying “Tomorrow will be a New Beginning” and just repeat this phrase every night? Are you neither doing productive work nor enjoying your day?
Get relief from all these despairs and make room for increased productivity by creating these small yet effective changes!
1. Sleep – Most people think sleeping less will give them extra time to do more work, but in reality it makes mind and body lethargic. Yawning whole day will surely decrease work efficiency. So, at least give mind rest of 7 hours to boost your energy for remaining hours in a day. Also, make sure you take sleep in one go. You like to do late night works it’s okay, you do well when you wake up early it’s okay but make sure you don’t divide these sleeping hours in different periods.
2. Be systematic (Make List) - Being organized is one of the key features of a productive person. Before starting your day you should have a road map to follow and a destination to reach & making list is best way to do this:
Take a diary or notebook and make 2 lists :
a)To-Do list (with check boxes ☑️)
b)What I did (Subjective)
Now plan your whole day in 'To-Do list' with checkboxes in front of them. After each hour or phase (according to your list) mark the check box if you completed the task. Otherwise write reason in ‘What I did' part. This will help you keep tracking your work as well as mistakes. Analyze the list at the end of the day and set your mind to avoid those mistakes. This way you will be reluctant to do those mistakes which are made instinctively.
3. Prioritize your work – Do important tasks first and easier tasks later. You can understand its significance with these lines from the richest person of the world, CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos:
“I like to do my high IQ works before lunch.”
For instance, if you go to work to write certain blog or to complete certain assignment or project or to study for a test and also you are planning to do shopping on that day and watching a movie. Start your schedule with preparing for the test then do shopping and watch movie at the end.
4. Break your task – Breaking task into smaller portion is potent way to complete bigger tasks. If you want to conquer a mountain peak and if you keep looking at the peak you will surely end up on the rocks. If you want to read a chapter of 100 pages, don’t think of reading 100 pages. Divide them in small portions of 20 or 10 or 5 pages (even in paragraphs). Now, just think about reading one portion. Complete one portion, then jump to next, then next, then next. This technique keep you motivated because when you complete one portion with concentration, it gives you a sense of pride and thus pushes you to complete next portion.
5. Overcome Inertia – It’s hard to start a cycle than keeping it in motion. It’s our inertia, tendency to remain in the state in which we are. Getting started is the biggest motivation. You want to study for an hour just start with thinking I will study for five minutes and once you start it you’ll automatically wish to study more.
6. Break Time – It can be tempting to avoid taking time for a break but when you neglect to give yourself a time out for a few minutes it can harm your overall productivity by resulting in fatigue or burnout. Studies show an average human mind can only focus up to 30 minutes. Work without focus is just waste of time. So what you can do is work for 25 minutes take a short break of five minute (avoid social media in that time) and then again work for 25 minutes and essentially repeat the process.
7. Delegate – Delegating efficiently is a huge trick of productive people. Sometimes you want to say ‘YES!’, but you don’t have time to follow through. Use Eisenhower matrix to divide work:
Use table to delegate, automate or eliminate.
8. Avoid multitasking – Multitasking may seem a good way to complete more than one task in particular period of time. But multitasking is not doing multiple works simultaneously but switching attention between tasks perpetually. Writing email while listening audiobook will ruin both works. Devote 100% attention to a single work. You may listen to audiobook while cleaning house or working as both tasks use different source of body.
9. Workout & Meditation - Sound mind lives in a sound body. A daily workout of 30 minutes & some meditation can make you brawny to bear the pressure of hard working schedule.
10. Food habits - It may sound surprising that food habits affects productivity to a great extent. How many times it happens that you do a heavy lunch and sleep hangs you over? If yes, this is because body needs some energy to digest heavy food. So, instead of eating heavy food at a time, you can eat small amount after each 3 to 4 hours.
11. Give rewards - Giving ourselves a pat on shoulder or some reward at the end of task motivates us to do more good work next time. You don’t need to give yourself a big and expensive gift but it may be a cup of coffee, your favorite noodles or dish. Some time to scroll insta feed etc.
12. Following hobbies – A stressless less productive day is far better than stressful more productive day. Make some space in a day to do activities that make you feel happy like painting, singing, reading, playing musical instruments etc. Watch a good movie and spend quality time with friends on weekends.
At last , all these tips are not magic spells which will make you productive in a day. These tips need practice to make a difference. If you have practiced unproductive schedules and bad habits for years. Practice these small things for months and reap best out of you!
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.