Productivity – the effectiveness of productive effort, especially in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input.
Most of us lead busy lives and are often on the lookout for ways to streamline and make the most out of our time.
All of us have the same amount of time in a day, in a week – so perhaps we can take on board some tips to utilise our time and make our days more productive.
Here are 5 simple tips that can help our productivity in our daily routines:
1) Make a to-do list. Utilise 10 minutes of sofa time thinking about what you will be doing the following day. What do you need to achieve the next day / what do you want to achieve the next day?
Sticking to a to-do list is a good way to keep on track and even if things aren’t in order on your list, you have got a basis to work from when you start your day.
Your list could contain personal and work items – or perhaps you’re one for keeping these separate – stick to what works for you. But make the list realistic, you’ll get disheartened if you constantly don’t achieve what’s on your list.
There are a number of apps you can download to create your to-do lists and are ideal to use when sitting on the sofa the night before! Here are a few to get you started:
2) Don’t over check your emails. Productivity can be lost if you are constantly reverting back to check your inbox. There is a difference between being busy and being productive – as outlined in this article from LifeHack . Try to get the balance right and structure your day to work through your emails but not to take out your whole day just focusing on your emails.
3) Take regular breaks. This might sound unproductive however studies show that taking regular breaks helps you focus more on the task at hand. Stepping away from your desk, moving around and generally giving your body a chance to recoup allows your mind to refocus and have more energy when you start again.
If you’re not one for taking breaks or know that you’re more likely to continue working straight through a day, why not put your breaks into your to-do list? You could even set an alarm at regular intervals in the day to take your breaks.
You will be surprised at the level of energy you have if you take that 5 minute break away from your desk, ready to start a new task when you sit back down.
4) Try not to multi-task. Another one that sounds like it’s being unproductive however if you focus on a particular task until it is finished, you are more likely to get it finished in the allotted time. Stop-start, swapping between tasks can mean longer time taken on each item and in turn take up more time in total throughout a day. This time could be used on other things!
Prioritise your tasks (again this can fall into your to-do list) and start with items that you know have to be completed. If you don’t get round to the less important items, that’s fine, you reschedule these for another day.
5) Look after your health. This is important if you want to stay focused and have the energy to be productive through the day.
Ensure that you eat and drink to keep your body sustained during the day.
Also, if you have an overactive mind in the mornings, it’s a good time to exercise to get all the thoughts of your coming day into order. This will also give your body the energy boost it needs to get started when you get to work.
If getting to the gym is on your to-do list, this is one item that can be ticked off right at the beginning of the day and you won’t be rushing to get there after work when you are more tired and tempted to forget the need to exercise.
All these tips are very simple and straightforward however are very effective when put into practice.
What other tips can you offer our readers who are looking to be more productive throughout a working day?