6 easy steps to being more productive
There are 24 hours in a day, and making the most of these hours is essential to boost productivity. Often, better time management skills and prioritization of tasks are two basic things that help in leveling up productivity levels. There are two ways to increase output: put in more time or work in a smarter way. Here are a few effective ways to boost your productivity levels.
For most people, getting between seven to 10 hours of good sleep is essential. This helps the body to get complete rest. In addition, enough REM sleep allows the mind to repair itself. Lack of sleep has a direct effect on our productivity. It lowers efficiency and decision-making. If you are rested well, you will find that your creativity levels have improved. Good sleep also helps in stabilizing your mood. What’s more, getting an early start in the morning will set you up for a better productive day.
Plan the day in advance
To-do lists are quite essential when it comes to increasing productivity. The best time to create a to-do list for the next day is the previous evening or night. Jot down the major tasks you need to complete the following day. This will give you a head start every morning since you have already planned everything that needs to be done. Make sure not to fit too many things in the list, as this can cause anxiety and an overwhelming feeling. This will have a reverse effect and bring down your productivity levels.
Track time spent on tasks
Keep track of how much time is being spent on each task in a day. Use tools that help you set a limit and monitor the time for each task. When in the midst of completing a task, people rarely can estimate the passage of time. Using trackers and apps can be useful in knowing how much time to assign for different tasks. This will further assist in planning a well-organized day and give a boost to productivity.
Plan for breaks
While planning for the day, don’t cram the entire schedule with only work. Keep some time aside for some regular breaks. Scheduling sufficient short breaks will help to improve focus and concentration. Moreover, taking well-timed breaks in the middle of a long-drawn task will help you to have a stable performance level. No breaks can mean a steady decline in performance and quick burnout. There are a lot of time management techniques available online that help in scheduling breaks along with productive work hours: Pomodoro, GTD, important-Urgent Matrix, Rapid Planning Method, and so on.
Try the “two-minute” rule
This rule basically states that if there are tasks that can be done in two minutes or less, do them right away; answering an email, doing the dishes, or making the bed. If you put them off for later, these tasks will consume more time than necessary. More effort will have to be taken to review and do these tasks later. The two-minute rule also helps take advantage of small windows of time available in your everyday schedule. This helps to do away with procrastination and increase productivity.
Follow the “eat the frog” technique
Although this technique sounds weird, it will add a lot to your productive day. The frog here is the most critical task on your list. You are likely going to put off these tasks for later. With the “eat the frog” method, you will need to do the major tasks first when you start your day. This should be developed into a habit so that you can reach higher levels of productivity and performance. Unless this critical task is dependent on information or outcomes of other tasks that you may get later, do the critical task first.