Each one of us is constantly striving to be more productive and efficient, to grow and progress irrespective of what we do for a living. Everyone is thus looking for ways to be more productive in life.
If you are looking for an article that offers you some simple tips that anyone can apply to their personal and professional life and instantly feel the difference, then your search ends here.
Below you will find a list of 8 things + some bonus tips and tricks that will make you super productive
- Have a consistent morning routine.
Success to me means being happy, less stressed, and still achieve more. Highly productive people understand that if they need to handle outside priorities well, then they need to begin with inside priorities.
Self-care is the mantra for being super productive. And what best way to do it than to establish a morning routine. Nearly all productive and successful people in business, sports, entertainment, etc have a morning routine. Developing a powerful morning routine and religiously following it is very important as it sets the tone for the rest of the day. I know, some Night owls may disagree, but check the life of highly successful people and you’ll know.
Let me share some morning routines that successful people swear by and which you can imitate.
- Wake up early and at the same time every day.
- Begin the day by drinking a glass of water.
- Make time for exercise i.e. burn the calories.
- Schedule time for meditation.
- Practise deep breathing exercises.
- Plan the day with a To-do list.
- Spend some time to reflect and plan for the day.
- Never skip the most important meal of the day – Breakfast.
- Write a gratitude journal to count the blessings.
- Never do or avoid doing things twice.
“Productive people never put anything in a holding pattern, because touching things twice is a huge time-waster,” Travis Bradberry the co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0.
As soon as something catches your attention be it a phone call, e-mail, normal day-to-day tasks, or project work you should use 3D: you either do it, delegate it or delete it.
There is something called maintaining your momentum, so to be productive stop leaving normal day-to-day tasks half done and finish everything you start. A bonus is that you won’t have to remember how you were doing it.
Like a productive sprinter touch the finish line once you start. If you think doing the task that has caught your attention will interfere with the important stuff and halt your forward momentum, then all you do is delegate or delete it.
- Schedule E-mail time.
E-mails are like cars on the highway, never seem to stop. If you are in the habit of answering them as soon as they arrive then complaining about interruption and distraction won’t help.
One secret of Highy productive people is that they don’t allow their focus and concentration to be hijacked by anyone or anything that doesn’t need their attention. The best way is to schedule your e-mail time twice or thrice a day may be like taking thirty minutes after two or three hours of focus time to check and attend your inbox, texts and social media.
Keep your inbox under your control rather than be always on its beck and call. Take advantage of some features like setting an autoresponder to let the sender know when you’ll be checking your mail. Set alerts for the most important people like your boss, important customer, vendors etc. Sorting feature for those who need immediate attention and those who can wait.
If this is too much to ask, then there is an alternative way though not the best. You don’t have to respond to every email that appears in your inbox within 3-5 minutes. Just look at the incoming mail and if you think it will take only a minute or one-sentence reply, then go ahead and reply as you read it. But if it’s going to require a longer response, send a one-liner reply, letting the person know that you have seen it and will soon respond. This will create credibility.
- Master the art of eliminating distractions.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Distraction was no 1 killer of productivity, while working from the office. Gossiping co-workers, unscheduled meetings, phone calls, shrinking office space among others, were few elements of distractions at work. Then came coronavirus and everything changed. Work from home took precedent and became the new norm. Well, it turned out that WFH is proving more challenging than work from home as far as distractions are concerned.
Apart from the usual distraction tools like push notifications, e-mails, instant messages there were few others unheard of in-office like child care, a needy pet, the sound of the dishwasher, household chores and home entertainment options like TV, and radio.
With millions working from home this became a big challenge to overcome. If earlier an employee was getting interrupted some 50 to 60 times per day, WFH has taken it to new levels. So, what to do?
Let me offer some expert tips for eliminating distractions and boosting productivity while working from home or at office.
Have you heard the saying, “out of sight, out of mind?” It works wonderfully both at the office or at home.
Just create a physical barrier between you and your distractions. Has a clear boundary defined? If you can work in a separate room great, if not then use a bedsheet to create a curtain to define a boundary. If the television is disrupting then turn it off. If you keep checking your mobile phone, put it in the drawer or on silent mode. Use noise cancelling headphones to block off the noise. These are few straightforward tips that may not seem much, but you’ll be surprised how effective they are.
- Avoid multitasking
If you belong to the breed that thinks productivity is getting more done in a short time, then multitasking seems quite a glamorous tool, as it seems a great way to get a lot done at once. But research after research proves that when it comes to productivity more is not more, but less is more.
Studies show that multitasking is a potent productivity killer. While multitasking you might think that you’re getting more done, but moving and jumping from one task to another actually hamper your productivity, hinders your cognitive functioning, and create mental blocks that slow you down.
Multitasking causes a loss of speed and accuracy. It also reduces your efficiency and performance. Why? Because when you multitask, you are not only doing two things at once, but in fact you’re rapidly switching your focus. Every time you switch, you have to re-focus on the new task. Our brain can only focus on one thing at a time, so when trying to do more than one thing at a time your brain has to switch focus and attention between each of them, which it lacks the capacity. These switching costs also make it difficult to tune out distractions making multitasking very inefficient and unproductive.
If you are a proud multitasker, then think twice. Eliminating multitasking is one of the best productivity habits you should develop.
- Learn the art of saying “No.”
The legendary investor Warren Buffet, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway has a simple theory that serves as a powerful lesson: “The difference between successful people and really successful people,” he says, “is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” Worth thinking, about, isn’t it?
Generally, when we think of the highly successful people, we think of all the things they do- building great companies, leading great teams, designing incredible products, etc, but the simple truth behind the successful façade is that for everything they did there were a long list of things they didn’t do.
Many high achievers and super successful people have learned though sometimes painfully that for everything you say yes to, you say no to something very important. Learn to say no to things that take you away from what really needed your focus and attention. Time being finite is the most valuable currency in the 21st century, so make sure you invest it wisely.
But learning to say no is only half the battle. The other half is how do you say it. You need to learn the art of saying no nicely without burning bridges. I will cover this topic in detail in another blog. Meanwhile Remember this when you say no, you are saying no to only one option, but when you say yes to everything, you’re actually saying no to all of them.
Knowing when to say no will impact your physical, emotional, and mental health. It will enhance your workplace productivity and boost performance. It’s an art that is a great productivity hack.
- Explore tech tools and productivity apps.
Being productive is one thing and maintaining it is another. In this era of super competitiveness maintaining high productivity can be a challenge, but luckily there is a number of tech tools and productive apps to help you with the challenge. Whether you are working from home or from the office, whether you are working alone or as a part of a team, don’t shy away from using the right tools to boost performance and productivity. These tools come in different forms and take a different approach to improve your work results
we’ve compiled 5 of the best time management and productivity apps to help you get more done.
- Freedom – Distraction blocker.
- Noisli – Sound blocker.
- Stay focused – Website blocker.
- Google calender, Calendly – Online calender.
- Dynalist – Checklist creator.
There are many more tools. Explore them and use these tools to boost productivity and limit distractions.
- Manage Energy better than managing Time.
Energy management is the new time management. Why? Time management has been around since the beginning of the industrial revolution, but still, we feel the more we try to manage time the more mismanaged or unorganized we become.
Understand this time as an entity is finite and fixed. It cannot be stopped. As you reading this it’s rolling on, it’s moving on. Whether we like it or not it keeps ticking. So, time cannot be stopped, saved, spread, speed up, or stretched. Just think, all through we have been trying to control an entity that is uncontrollable.
Here enters Energy Management. The Energy on the other hand can be easily controlled. It can be saved, speed up, stretched and re-charged easily. The only way you can manage your productivity is to manage time, and the only way to manage time is to manage energy. It’s not how many hours you put in that determines your productivity but how much energy you invest in those hours that determines your productivity.
To manage energy, you need to understand and manage the four levers of energy:
- Physical Energy.
- Mental Energy.
- Emotional Energy.
- Spiritual Energy.
To master Energy, you need to master all the four sources, which means you need to be physically fit, emotionally strong, mentally alert and spiritually inclined.
Let me end by offering some bonus tips to enhance productivity.
- Prioritize Work.
- Use the 80/20 rule.
- Sharpen the axe- Keep learning.
- Take regular breaks.