Super-productive people are not super-human although they often appear that way. They have just changed their behavior by mastering a few simple habits that greatly increase their efficiency and productivity and add hours to their day.
Here are 29 simple techniques to make your day more productive:
1/ Eliminate Distractions
The internet is one of the biggest distractions of our era and therefore one of the biggest productivity killers. If you don’t need to be online to work, disconnect it! The same applies to your smartphone. For an ideal working environment, turn it off or at the very least disable notifications while you are working.
2/ Take Regular Breaks
If you want to be more productive, take more breaks. It sounds counter-intuitive but the more refreshed you feel, the more productive you’ll become.
3/ Do Your Worst Task First
Do your worst job of the day at the beginning of the day. It doesn’t need to be the most difficult, messiest or even the most important, it’s simply the task you dread doing most. You’ll feel great getting it completed first thing in the morning and it will set a positive, motivational tone for the rest of the day.
4/ Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time
Everybody has peak energy hours and low energy hours during the day. Are you a morning person? Schedule difficult taxing tasks for first thing in the morning when you have the most energy and watch your productivity shoot through the roof!
5/ Write A To-Do List
Plan your day ahead with a list of all the tasks that need accomplishing. Get organised and you’ll achieve a whole lot more.
6/ 5 Minute Rule
If a task takes less than five minutes to complete, don’t leave it to later or until tomorrow to perform it – just do it straight away.
7/ Focus On Small Steps
Breaking a large overwhelming project into small manageable steps can calm you down, making the project less intimidating and more manageable.
8/ Organise Your Workspace
A messy or disorganised workplace can cause you to have difficulty concentrating and a lack of focus. Remove any unnecessary items and keep only the project you are working on in front of you.
9/ Become Accountable
Tell someone about a goal you are going to achieve and you’ll feel compelled to accomplish the task.
10/ Eliminate Non-Essential Tasks
Make a list of projects that need to be accomplished and mark off the urgent and important tasks. Look through the rest and see if there are any you can discard. Eliminating all your non-essential tasks will give you more time and energy to focus on the important ones.
11/ Prioritise Your Tasks
Prioritise your list of tasks by urgency and importance so you can work on the tasks first that will benefit you the most.
12/ Get Plenty Of Sleep
Ensuring you have a good night’s sleep means you’ll be well rested and refreshed to make your working day as productive as possible.
Delegate unimportant everyday tasks to free up your time to concentrate on more important projects.
14/ Learn A New Skill
Listen to educational books or educational podcasts while doing mundane jobs.
15/ Get Up An Hour Earlier
Think how much more you could achieve with an extra hour at the beginning of your day.
16/ Prepare In Advance
Set aside a little time each evening to plan your next day’s work. You’ll clear your mind, sleep better and be more productive the following day.
17/ Always Complete A Task
Once you’ve started a task, keep going until it is completed. Don’t switch between tasks.
18/ Just Say No
Say no to any new non-essential tasks until you have completed all your current ones.
19/ First Hour Is For Work
Spend the first 60 minutes of your day working on your list of tasks before doing anything else. No checking email, no reading Facebook and no reading the news. Once you have worked solidly for 60 minutes you can then allow yourself a few minutes to check email etc.
20/ Stop Multi-Tasking
Multi-tasking is often touted as a method to increase efficiency but it is not always the case. Try focusing on one task at a time and completing it before moving to your next task. You’ll likely be more productive and complete each job faster and more effectively.
Don’t set unreachable goals for yourself that you won’t be able to achieve. Being a perfectionist can cause frustration, malcontentment and high levels of stress which will impair your productivity. It is important to remember that perfection is unattainable.
22/ Meeting-Free Day
Have at least one day a week with no meetings. You’ll accomplish a lot more that day.
23/ Take A Step Back
If you feel you are getting overwhelmed, take a step away from your work place to calm down, clear your mind and rethink your approach.
24/ Review Goals Weekly
Once a week you should review your current goals and assess how they are progressing. Make any changes if necessary to keep the advancement of your goals on track.
25/ Cross Tasks Off A List
Crossing tasks off a list as you complete them will give you a sense of achievement and therefore motivate you to work harder.
26/ Set A Deadline
Setting a deadline to complete a task will help you stay motivated and focused.
27/ Work During Your Commute
If you can, use your commute time to catch up on replying to emails or prioritising your to-do list.
28/ Take Exercise Breaks
Instead of sitting down during your breaks, try walking up a few flights of stairs or taking a brisk walk around a park to re-energise yourself and clear your head.
29/Avoid Large Lunches
Large lunches, especially those accompanied by alcohol, can make you feel tired and sleepy and seriously dampen your productivity.