Have you ever wondered how much more you could get done and how much time you would be able to free up if you could be a little bit more productive?
An increase in productivity could mean that you are 100% dedicated to a task without doing unnecessary things or getting distracted.
By realizing you are not always as productive as you would like to be and trying to improve, you’re already on the right track.
Here are 5 ways to boost your productivity.
“Nothing makes a person more productive than the last minute.”
1. Set short achievable deadlines
As the quote above suggests, there’s nothing to boost your performance more than running out of time. Therefore it’s a good practice to split big projects up into smaller tasks and to set shorter deadlines to complete them.
By doing this you’re not only boosting your productivity, but you’re also able to see whether or not you’re on track with your project.
2. Cut the crap
Have you ever heard about the Pareto principle, otherwise known as the 80/20 rule?
Study’s have proven that 80% of results are achieved by 20% of actions.
Look at the parts of your project/work. What are the things that really need to be done or have the biggest impact? Leave out what’s not really necessary and streamline your project.
A good way to do this is by using a “Benefit & Effort” approach. Compare the benefits your task will bring with the effort it requires to complete. Focus first on tasks with high benefits and low effort. Cancel tasks that demand high effort and offer no or little benefits.
3. Learn to say no
Time is your most valuable asset. Be thoughtful about how you use your time and to who you hand it out.
Many people don’t like saying “no” or feel like they are letting someone down. However, by trying to please everyone you’ll never be able to achieve your goals.
You can always give the person asking, an alternative. If they are asking for help on a project, you could tell them where they can find the information they need or who would be able to help them instead.
“Focusing is about saying no.” ~ Steve Jobs
4. Eliminate distractions
It’s scientifically proven that humans perform at their peak level when they are in a state of flow. This is a state in which we feel extremely focused and happy while performing a task. It feels like you are going through your work on automatic pilot.
To get in a state of flow you need to be focused for at least 10-15 minutes. Any distraction will disrupt your flow and thus also your productivity.
- Set your phone on “do not disturb”
- Clear your thoughts before starting a task
- Disable push mail
5. Focus on one thing at a time
“Multitasking, screwing up multiple things at once.”
We all know that one person who seems to be able to do everything at once. Studies, however, have proven that multitasking reduces productivity and effectiveness.
People who try to perform multiple tasks at once are less able to prioritize tasks and to recognize what’s important and what is irrelevant.
Multitasking gives you a false sense of progress. You feel busy and productive, but you are most likely wasting time on unimportant things.
Instead, focus on one task and move to the next after completion.