Most of us prepare a to-do list before turning in for the night. We believe that we could become more productive if we identify tasks that need to be done the next day. But, did you know that making a long list could be counter-productive? Experts recommend we should limit list items to three.
We’ve always assumed being productive means accomplishing a lot of tasks each day. Maybe this is true at an assembly line. But, productivity isn’t measured in quantifiable terms alone. The quality of our accomplishments will matter even more. Shoddy work doesn’t count when we talk about productivity.
How do we then achieve improved productivity? We have a few tried and tested ideas and invite you to consider them. We’re sure you’ve heard of them before, but it doesn’t hurt to remind you.
Schedule Time for Chores
If you’re among the many who are now working from home, you know that you can’t escape these. Some of us work better in the morning while others prefer afternoons or evenings. Attend to your chores and errands on your least-productive hours. Once these are done, you can focus better on work.
Designate Time for Work
Now that you have set time for unrelated tasks, you now have the rest of a day available for work. We are our greatest enemy when we postpone, delay or procrastinate. Stick to your schedule. This is easier said than done, especially with all the distractions around us. But, once we develop the necessary routine, we also improve our discipline to follow our schedule.
“Time is a currency you can only spend once. So be careful how you spend it.” – Harmon Okinyo
Keep Your Goals in Mind
What are you doing most of the day and why are you doing it? We should ask this question often so we can remind ourselves what our goals are. When we do, we can better determine which tasks are related or contribute to the achievement of our goals.
Focus on Tasks at Hand
When working with your pc or laptop, there’s always the temptation to check on your social media, read the news and browse on unrelated subjects. There’s nothing wrong with indulging ourselves for a few minutes. But, we know five minutes could quickly turn into a half-hour or an hour.
We may have several tasks to accomplish, but we can only attend to one at a time. Being focused requires willpower to shut out distractions, daydreams and even worries. The latter can cause anxiety, which hampers our productivity.
How about rewarding ourselves after finishing a task? Experts believe that this helps and self-rewards improve our self-esteem. So, how about eating your favorite ice cream or five minutes on your FB or IG account once you’re done with a job?
Have Enough Energy
No matter how motivated we are, we won’t get far if we lack physical strength. This means at least 7 hours of sleep based on scientific research. Ignore those who say we can survive with less. Also, our body requires at least 20 minutes of exercise each day. Stand up and take a five-minute walk every hour if you sit down in front of your PC or laptop all day. It will do us good and new ideas can crop up during short breaks.
Of the above, managing our time is the most challenging and yet most important step. It will take time, pardon the pun. But, with trial and discipline, we’ll discover the routine that works best for us.