Everybody can use a small productivity boost every now and again.
Burnout, personal problems, and a never-ending task list can make you feel as though you’re barely treading water. Whether you need a small pick-me-up or a completely new approach to work, hopefully these tips will help you feel more in control and productive:
- Compartmentalize your time. Most people are guilty of letting personal affairs, email, and other nonessential tasks eat into the workday. Focusing on those areas is important, but they should not overtake the day’s priorities. Consider scheduling time during your day for each task based on importance. Getting into the habit of compartmentalizing non-essential activities may take a few days, but the practice will save time in the long run.
- Pick a “re-centering” activity. If you ever feel completely drained, negative, and out of sorts during the day, you may suffer from mental overload. You may have trouble coping with challenges or thinking clearly if you don’t make time for a moment of peace and relaxation. Some people like yoga, while others prefer listening to music in silence. Find the activity that lets you turn off your brain and dedicate 15-20 minutes to it every day.
- Take care of yourself. This is particularly important in today’s business world. More people are spending 8-10 hours behind a desk, eating improperly, and not getting enough exercise. Rather than getting more work done, however, many employees achieve the same amount of work and start to feel poorly (both mentally and physically) over time. Make time to focus on your health so you can perform consistently over time. The bottom line is that you can’t do your best when your blood sugar drops or when you start feeling depressed and overwhelmed.
- Start with the most unpleasant task first. Do you dread a certain assignment during the day? Get it out of the way. When we allow things we hate doing to linger in our minds, they start to build tension. Finish it to alleviate your anxiety and feel much calmer about the rest of your day.
- Create an outline. Outlines work in non-writing situations too. If you have a large project to tackle, break it down into small tasks. You can create an outline for presentations, completing daily tasks, talking to clients, and writing reports. Breaking any project down will make it seem less complex.
- Give yourself a motivational goal. Instead of thinking about expectations, think about your work as a means to an end. Maybe you’re working towards a promotion or you need to save up for your vacation next month. Find something that will make the effort seem worthwhile, and then remind yourself of your reason for working. Post sticky notes and print off inspirational pictures. If you can visualize your reason for getting started, you may find the motivation to start.
A large part of productivity involves using psychological tricks to help you get started. Don’t try every tip at once. Pick one or two to try this week and see if it helps. With some trial and error, I know you’ll find a productivity hack to help you feel more accomplished and less stressed.
- 65 Startup Founders Share Their Productivity Hacks
- 13 CEOs and Founders Reveal Their Top Productivity Hacks
- 15 Productivity Hacks for Procrastinators
- 15 Smart Hacks for Maximizing Productivity
- Productivity Hacks That Successful People Use Every Day