Productivity is a key factor by which our success is measured: Being able to do more in the same amount of time, focusing our energy in the right place and making the very best of any given situation, whether it’s business-related or even personal.
As a note taking app focused on increasing one’s productivity and organizing your thoughts and ideas, we’ve decided to write this article about what actually makes people more productive and how you can apply those principles in your day-to-day lives!
Take a few minutes to plan your day
Taking 5-10 minutes every morning to plan your day is a simple task that carries a big importance for productivity. Sorting out one’s priorities and determining what needs to get done before you get started will mean that you won’t have to waste time between tasks thinking about what to do next. This also creates the possibility of prioritizing and making sure that the most important tasks always get handled.
Take 10 minutes out of your next work day to plan your tasks and see how that affects your productivity at the end of the day.
Don’t underestimate the power of sleep!
When faced with a lot of things that need to get done, people who work late for days at a time start to get less and less sleep which has a very negative effect on productivity. The less rested an individual is, the more time it takes them to find solutions, the more difficult it is to focus, etc. Instead of overworking ourselves, it’s better to make sure that we get our proper dose of sleep, wake up early and come into the office with a fresh perspective which can help us solve our issues faster and more effectively.
Remember: Cutting down on sleep won’t do you any favors in the long run!
Prioritize your tasks and stay organized!
Prioritizing one’s task has an enormous influence on productivity. If we don’t properly define which tasks are more important, we can easily fall into the trap of dealing with tasks which take less time to finish, but carry a much smaller importance in relation to our goals. A productive person will always try to determine which task requires their most immediate attention. Different people have different times of day when they are most productive.
Manage your high priority tasks based on that. Be realistic: don’t start the day with the mindset of finishing an entire week’s work; you’ll never get it all done and, at the end of the day, even if you’ve been more productive than usual, you still won’t feel satisfied because you haven’t finished everything you had planned.
Develop and stick to a routine
Creating a daily routine to follow isn’t that difficult, but sticking to it is much easier said than done. Ultimately, however, following a daily routine will really help you keep track of your day-to-day progress; it will help you acknowledge your increase in productivity because you’ll be able to tell when the same task took you less time to finish than before.
It can be difficult at first, but if you stick to your routine for a while, you’ll start to just get used to it.
Remember: Quality comes before quantity!
Always put quality before quantity – when a lot of people want to get more done during a day, they tend to stay overtime. Staying overtime can easily end up being counter-productive, because you start with the mindset that today you have more time than usual, so you’re more likely to take it easy.
Always focus on quality. Always try to work faster, rather than longer (after all, you only have so much time in one day);
We live in the era of technology where plenty of tools are available to accommodate our needs. In fact, our very own app ClipUp was created for the purpose of keeping things organized in a visually appealing environment. Keeping everything organized and handy at all times is a very effective way of keeping up with your responsibilities.
Don’t spend too much time trying to make things perfect
Being a perfectionist can be a useful asset, but it also leaves us vulnerable to a serious productivity killer: often trying to make everything perfect ends up costing us a lot of time and increases the likelihood that we will never finish our task at all.
It’s important to do the best you can with the time you have: you may be surprised at how good it will turn out. Either way, the point is to finish your project, learn, and then do even better the next time around while using the same amount of time. Make sure you assess how much time a task is worth and try not to go overboard with it; and don’t doubt yourself – chances are the result is probably great.
Make sure to include some “me-time” in your routine
When we work too much, we become more easily frustrated and we stop seeing things with the same clarity as we would if we were rested. Make sure that you make time for regular leisure activities and exercise if you want to be more productive.
Work in chunks
The fact is, we are all human and human beings can only stay focused on a single task for so long. If we spend too much time working on the same thing, our focus will drop significantly, it will become difficult to come up with new ideas and the overall value of our work will suffer.
Instead, separate your tasks and work in small chunks of time. Once you feel like you’re not focusing anymore, switch to something else. An important thing to be mindful of is that this does not mean you should multi-task. Multi-tasking is a huge threat to productivity because, while doing it, we aren’t giving any of our tasks the amount of attention they require.
Once you’ve completed something, cross things off your list to make the accomplishment feel more real.
Track your time
Finally, track the amount of time it takes you to finish any given task. You’ll know when you were more productive then be able to analyze and determine what made you so.
Bonus1: Don’t carry too much baggage – it only slows you down
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Overcrowding yourself with things that you don’t necessarily need will slow you down and make you feel like there’s more work to be done.
Bonus2: Improve your work environment
The environment you work in plays an important role as well; whether we like it or not, our surroundings bare an influence on our mood; so it’s important to keep things organized around your desk (or office).
Bonus3: Block time-wasting sites and eliminate distractions
Distractions represent perhaps the biggest productivity killer: just think of how much time is wasted if we keep checking our e-mail or facebook feed every five minutes. Schedule a time to take care of those things, than put them aside entirely when it’s time to start working on something else.
Bonus4: Reward yourself
Giving ourselves rewards (no matter how small) for accomplishments is an important part of acknowledging our little successes. In the long run, it will make us become more positive and start getting into a mindset which allows us to look forward to our upcoming tasks (because hey, we’ll receive something for getting it done). Those rewards can be as simple as crossing something off a list once the task is finished, so don’t think about it too much.