There are only so many hours in the day, so making the most of your time is critical. There are two ways increase your output–either put in more hours or work smarter. I don’t know about you, but I prefer the latter.
Being more productive at work isn’t rocket science, but it does require being more deliberate about how you manage your time. You can make these few changes (to your lifestyle and your mindset) to instantly reap the benefit:
1) Plan a step ahead:
Instead of waking up clueless and with a “go with the flow” mentality, make a mental map of the tasks at hand and the best way to accomplish them. I like to give the planning 10 minutes of my sleep time, the night before. That way, I know exactly what to do when I wake up.
2) Set small goals:
Before you bash me for being generic, listen. “Today is only going to be productive if I land the huge business deal” is not always practical. Not because it’s impossible but because there are multiple factors involved, many of which are not in your control. So to give yourself a confidence boost and a better sense of achievement, set smaller goals like a morning jog alongside the business deal. Take charge of the things in your life that you can influence directly and it will help you feel better. When you feel better, you perform better.
3) Don’t always multitask:
As conflicting as that sounds, multitasking doesn’t always boost efficiency or productivity. In most situations you end up overburdening yourself and not giving your work the undivided attention its due. It is simply better to focus on one thing at a time. You can give everything you do, your best and get more things done as it takes less time to complete an activity if you’re concentrating solely on it.
4) Get up early:
All productive and successful people have this in common, they work hard. Know that hard work is a conscious choice you make which ultimately becomes a lifestyle. If you’re aiming to considerably boost your productivity, start waking up early, say 5 or 6 am. In these hours there are less distractions and you have an overall longer time to complete your work. Even if you’re too sleepy to function properly and don’t get much done, keep in mind that the small portion of things you complete take some burden off future you. If you’re already habitual of waking up early then its best to improve your time management skills instead.
5) Don’t wait for the perfect circumstances:
Seeing other people slacking around your workplace or household is not an open invitation to hop onto the slacker’s embarrassing bandwagon. Sometimes you won’t be able to have the perfect environment but immediate action on your part will start a positive feedback loop. This applies to both personal and group activities because most of the things we do relate with other human beings at some point. So instead of waiting for the perfect conditions for you to pay more attention to your work, focus on what you’re required to do and complete it regardless of your surroundings.
All things aside, keep in mind that you are a human being and not a high-powered quantum computer. You can’t always be productive; it’s natural to need breaks. So be accepting of yourself if you haven’t had the most productive day but be sure to plan out the next so you’re in a position to do better!