A month ago, after returning from the office, I realized I had a long list of pending works in my hand while sipping my coffee. But I worked for more than 12 hours! With this thought in mind, I looked at my coffee cup, and it seemed that the combination of time-work was just like the coffee and cup. The space in the cup, similar to time, is limited, and I want to pour as much coffee as possible, and while balancing, the coffee always spills from the cup. So, I wondered if there was any way to ensure the coffee would never spill!
After thinking about it more, I understood that balancing the input time and output results is the main challenge. I searched a little and found that this relation is termed productivity. At that point, I also learned that I am not an exception; many individuals suffer daily to increase their productivity.
I worked for a week and found some ways to be more productive in my daily work.
Hope this will help you as it helped me.
What is Productivity?
Before going to productivity tips or finding ways to be more productive, let’s focus on the word productivity.
Productivity is defined as the ratio of output and input.
Productivity = Output/Input
So, it is clear from the above definition that with the fixed input, time, productivity can be increased by increasing the output, that is, the end result. Making a more considerable output with a limited input is a secret that can be used in different ways to be more productive.
7 Ways to Be More Productive
Now, as we know how productivity works, let’s check how some small changes in our daily life help us to be more productive.
Maintain a To-Do list:
Making a To-Do list is one of the most basic ways to be more productive. This is a must practice for managing the work. While making the “to do” list, we all tend to include more work in this list that we can handle and ends up with a non-ending list of work. The best practice is to make a minimalistic to-do list where the work needs to be included based on its importance. This will make the to-do list more manageable, and all important work will be completed on a priority basis. Make your To-Do list more productive by including feasible numbers of work and sorting them based on their importance.
✓ Make a “not-to-do” list by removing the unnecessary activities that prevent us from being more productive.
Limit your distraction:
One of the secrets to being more productive is by improving concentration while doing the work. The better concentration results in better quality, resulting in a notably smaller time period. We get distracted by pings, notifications, and calls in the current digital media era. This affects concentration and crashes the work inertia. Limiting your social media time is one of the best ways to eliminate this distraction.
✓ Don’t get distracted by each of the notification sounds. If needed, put your phone on silent mode while working on your project.
Take calculated breaks:
Watching the phone frequently is not the only factor to blame for reducing productivity. Working at a stretch for the entire day also has some negative effects on productivity. Taking multiple pre-determined breaks throughout the day can significantly increase productivity. A study shows that productivity maximizes when one works for 52 minutes at a stretch and then takes a break for 17 minutes. Taking short calculated breaks between the series of works will not only improve productivity but also improve the quality of the work. Taking short break will also help you to maintain your energy level throughout the day. To know more, read my earlier blog on this topic.
✓ Take multiple short breaks in a typical working day; get up from your desk, and make a short stroll, even for 2-3 minutes.
We are in that era where everybody claims to be a great multitasker, but the fact is that multitasking affects productivity to a great length. While multitasking, that is managing more than one task at the same time, one needs to shift her focus from a single task again and again. The hammering on focus and concentration definitely blows the productivity of the multitaskers. One of the easiest ways to be more productive is to make proper planning of doing work so that each work can be completed without clashing with the other one.
✓ If needed, club all your similar jobs at the same time so that you do not need to go to and fro between two unrelated tasks.
Utilize your productive hours:
Most of us work day in and day out, from morning to evening, but at the end of the day, we know that we are not equally productive all through the day. Some are more productive in the early hours of work, some are more productive after working for a few hours and taking some short breaks, and some are more productive in the late evening. Identify your productivity hours, and set those specific hours for doing your most critical jobs. This will help you to be more productive and efficient at the end of the day.
✓ Monitor your daily routine for one month and find out your most productive hours.
Take the help of productivity apps:
Sometimes, when our work platter becomes bigger than our working hours, we need some help to manage our tasks at hand. Technology always helps us to achieve our goals, and productivity apps are no exception. Productivity apps help us to chalk our work, divide it into smaller parts, and schedule them accordingly.
Update your system and software:
We all faced the moment when we struggled with a deadline, but our computer got frozen, and our flow of work got severely hampered. Similarly, when we were in the middle of an important conversation, and our phone didn’t cooperate, we lost our pace for progress. Updating the necessary software, using the latest version of operation systems, and upgrading our digital devices as and when necessary all play a vital role in our productivity.
✓ Using the latest version of the software and updated hardware will have a magical effect on productivity.
As an end note, I can say that the ways to be more productive depend on our will to do better, and following one or more of the above ways will help you to reach your productivity target.