“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” — Bruce Lee
Being more productive in your life and work doesn’t have to be difficult.
By making a few simple changes to your lifestyle and habits, you can work and create more efficiently, confidently and regularly.
Here are ten simple steps to increase and improve your productivity…
1) Remove Distraction
“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” — Winston Churchill
Facebook, Twitter, eMail, television etc. There’s no question that in our age you are probably more prone to distraction than previous generations.
If the type of work you do allows you to, don’t just log out of all social media etc., turn your entire Wi-fi off. Work time means just that.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” — Benjamin Franklin
Writing down a schedule for the coming day can greatly improve productivity. Planning your day needn’t take long (five to ten minutes should do just fine).
Consider scheduling the most difficult or most boring tasks first; it gets them out of the way and allows you to look forward to the tasks you enjoy.
3) Put similar tasks into groups
“Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest.” — Leo Babauta
Rather than go back and forth between tasks, try bundling them together.
Rather than working on task A and then breaking it up with task B only to go back to task A, consider completing a single task in one go rather than staggering it.
4) Take a break
“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” — Alan Cohen
Taking regular and scheduled breaks can help improve concentration. Physical and mental rest can help you maintain a high level of performance. On the other hand, working too long at a task will lead to fatigue.
Your breaks needn’t be long, just five minutes can make a dramatic difference to your levels of productivity and can restore your powers of concentration.
5) Set Time Restrictions
“Often it’s better if you impose rules or restrictions on a project. Requirements can force you to be creative in unusual ways.” — Lisa Mangum
Putting constraints on your time can help you to focus — you will be less inclined to procrastinate if you know you’re on a deadline.
Clock watching will increase your productivity and focus your attention on the task in hand.
6) Don’t worry about being perfect.
“Have no fear of perfection — you’ll never reach it.” — Salvador Dali
Perfection, more often than not, is in the eye of the beholder. Spending too much time trying to perfect a project will only eat into your time and energy; time and energy that could be spent on another project.
Forget perfectionism and instead, aim for greatness.
7) Stay Organised
“How many things are there which I do not want?” — Socrates
Keep all your documents in relevant and separate folders (whether physical or digital), and keep any tools or equipment you may use in their relevant places in order that you can access them freely and without wasting your time searching for them.
8) Master Any Skills You Need
“Order and simplification are the first steps towards mastery of a subject” — Thomas Mann
Rather than waste time and get frustrated trying to use, for example, a computer programme for your work, take the time to learn how to use it before you actually do. Read the instruction manuals, watch a YouTube tutorial or ask a colleague.
The time spent learning will be far less than the time spent in trial and error.
9. Spend Time On Your Work Space
“Create and maintain a beautiful environment and surroundings in which to live.” — Bryant McGill
Where you work and the conditions in which you work will ultimately affect your productivity. Make sure your space is conducive to clear thinking and that it is inspiring.
If you have a choice, it doesn’t matter where you choose to work, as long as it is comfortable, clean and free of distraction.
10. Be Inspired
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” — Maya Angelou
Study, follow and read about the great achievers in your field.
A lot of people may find it intimidating at first to read about those who have achieved greater things than themselves, but remember; you’re not looking to compare yourself, you’re looking to find out how they achieved what they did.
Ask yourself what worked for them and what didn’t.
Ask yourself how and when they worked.
Apply what you learn to your own life.