No matter how much we care about self-development and improvement, it can be frustrating to make small progress in the areas we are most passionate about. Putting work into our lives and seeing minimal returns due to distractions, lack of focus, or ineffective practices can be disheartening.
The following ten strategies are simple to implement and can help you increase your productivity immediately.
Apply the ones that work for you and watch your outcomes improve immediately.
Multi-Tasking Might Save Time in the Moment, but Clutters Your Mind
While juggling multiple things at once might seem to save you time, in reality you are torn between multiple tasks and can’t focus your full creativity and effort into completing one.
Think of it like a computer: when the processor is running multiple programs at once, it tends to slow down, doesn’t it?
Focus on one task at a time. This will ensure that you are giving your full attention to what you are doing and increase your ability to utilize the power of the flow state.
Create a to-do list and focus on one item at a time until the list is complete. Avoid the temptation to jump to another task unless it specifically saves time and avoids double-handling.
We Really Don’t Drink Enough Water
Dehydration leads to a whole slew of problems. A decline in mental focus, mood dampening, increased fatigue: these are all some of the effects that you can suffer when you are dehydrated.
Make sure that you drink water at regular intervals throughout the day. You can, of course, drink other beverages that contain water such as tea, coffee or herbal teas, but try not to consume too much caffeine.
Maintaining proper hydration will ensure that your brain and energy levels are optimal.
Delegate or Outsource What You Can’t Handle Yourself
Having too much to do can hinder your progress. Knowing there are too many tasks that aren’t getting done can cause stress and anxiety, especially when you don’t have the time to do them yourself.
Wherever possible, delegate or outsource anything that is inessential, that you aren’t interested in completing, or that you don’t have the skills or qualifications for specifically.
This doesn’t apply just to business. Paying a cleaner to look after your housework, for example, will save you time, energy and stress, at a reasonable cost to your wallet. That mental energy can go towards the more important parts of your life instead.
You Need a Plan
How can you achieve your dreams without knowing what you actually want to achieve?
That’s a hypothetical question: the short answer is that you probably can’t.
You need to know your goals. Take some time to think about your vision for your life, both big and small. Narrow down your vision until you can see a path forward, and set out a plan on how to achieve it.
It doesn’t matter if you can’t perceive of all the steps. Creating your dream life is a work-in-progress.
Start with setting yourself daily goals and use a to do list to help identify what you need to achieve each day. Being able to visualise yourself completing goals can increase your productivity before you even take any action.
Figure Out When You’re at Your Best
Identify when you are at your most productive. Are you at your best first thing in the morning? In the evening? Perhaps you’re a night owl?
Whatever time of day it is, schedule your most important tasks for that time and take advantage of the extra focus.
Use an Accountability Partner
We often forget to make the most of the people in our lives. When we effectively communicate our passions, others are often happy to help.
Make yourself accountable for your productivity by telling someone else what you want to achieve. Be sure you give them a target date, as this narrows your focus.
Report your progress regularly. The fear of embarrassment at failing what you’ve proclaimed you will do, and the positive drive to avoid that embarrassment, already increases your chances of success.
You’ll also have someone to talk to should things go astray.
Clear Out Those Pesky Distractions
Removing distractions is one of the most effective ways to increase your productivity.
Turn off the television and your mobile phone. Shut down all social media and email. Set specific times aside each day for when you can you use those things, and for the rest of the day you’ll be more productive in the absence of alluring messages and notifications.
We’ve written an entire article on this subject, as it’s an important one on the path to achieving success. Click here to read more about overcoming distractions in particular.
Prioritize! Prioritize! Prioritize!
We’ve said it before and we will say it again.
In order for you to have the clearest vision of your life, you need to prioritize what’s important. This can apply in the grander plan for how to live your dream, but also in specific tasks.
Sort your tasks by importance. Work on the most important ones first, as they are the ones that will play on your mind the most if they aren’t completed. Consider the timeline on what needs to be completed and when.
In business, those tasks that earn you money are considered to be the most important and should be given top priority, but only you can evaluate your tasks in order of importance.
Relaxation is Just as Important
This may sound counter-intuitive, but relaxing actually helps increase your productivity.
Taking deep breaths and turning your mind to something less stressful can be crucial to recovering from hectic schedules, which in turn leads to more energy when it’s time to get back into it.
Learn how to relax and meditate. Spend regular periods of time out during the day. Find activities that are fun and you can lose yourself in.
This personal time will give you the opportunity to focus on yourself and your needs, while lessening your stress and anxiety.
Be an Early Riser
Take it from us: the most successful people tend to be early risers.
Many powerful people have discovered that by getting up earlier, they not only achieve more in their day, but that the day starts in a more controlled and productive manner.
Use the morning to meditate, exercise, read or learn something. By beginning with a strong mental attitude, your productivity will improve immensely.
By now, you should have a much clearer idea on how to improve your productivity.
By applying the above principles, prioritising what’s important and following an adaptable plan, you can make the most of every day on the journey to success.