Do you find yourself wishing you could get more out of your workday? Productivity occasionally eludes even the most efficient among us, but there are steps you can take to increase the number of tasks you complete each day significantly. Creating good productivity habits is key to maximizing your workday. Here are six simple ways to improve your productivity and get more done.
At the beginning of each week or each month, create a to-do list and prioritize your tasks. Even if you’re good at keeping track of what you need to get done, the simple act of putting it on paper will help you visualize your goals and work toward them more efficiently. Put the most critical tasks at the top of your list and work your way down.
2. Don’t Multitask
Studies show that multitasking decreases your productivity significantly. Focus on one task at a time to complete them more efficiently. When you cross an item off your to-do list, you’ll gain momentum that will boost your willpower and encourage you to tackle the next item on your list. Additionally, focusing on one task at a time will allow you to give that task your undivided attention, resulting in higher-quality work.
3. Work When You Feel Your Best
Know yourself and what habits work for you. If you feel the most energized in the mornings, start tackling your high-priority tasks at the beginning of your day. The longer you procrastinate, the less likely that you’ll be able to complete those high-concentration to-dos. The same concept applies for night owls – save your most pressing tasks for later in the day, when you feel more focused.
4. Utilize Batching
If your job requires that you repeat similar tasks on a regular basis, you can use batching to increase your efficiency. To illustrate this, a writer might designate three days a week for writing content, one day for editing tasks, one day for reading and sharpening their skillset, one day for email and client correspondence, and one day for leisure time. When you stay focused on the same type of work all day or for a few hours at a time, you will be more efficient than you would be if you switched around from task to task.
5. Take Regular Breaks
Taking breaks will help restore your concentration throughout the day. Don’t feel unproductive if you need to take several breaks during work hours. Taking short breaks will help boost your mood and improve your focus, allowing you to maximize your productivity. Try one of these ideas for your next break.
- Make yourself a quick, healthy meal or a drink.
- Go for a walk.
- Call a friend or relative.
- Read something you enjoy.
- Write. Try a brain dump to help clear your head and generate ideas.
6. Understand How Much Time You Spend on Tasks
For at least three days, track your time down to the minute. Write down every activity and how long you spend on it. Be realistic with yourself – tracking your time can help you uncover hidden opportunities to increase your productivity. You may not have considered how much time you spend doing low-priority tasks or the amount of idle time you waste during the day. After three days, look at the data you’ve gathered and make a plan to reduce the amount of time you spend on activities that aren’t helping you achieve your goals.