Many people aren’t as productive as they’d like to be, and typically, this is because of two reasons; bad habits that interfere with productivity and reactive behaviours instead of proactive, which means you may often spend more time putting out fires than progressing towards a goal.
However, if you are one of the many people who struggle with productivity, there is hope, and the solution is a simple one. You can replace your bad habits as well as your reactive patterns with good habits that will make you proactive, which will result in increased productivity. Productivity is the secret weapon for getting more done without needing to spend more time working, and our article is here to help you improve your productivity.
1. Personal Peak Productivity Time
The advice most people receive for increasing their productivity is to avoid mentally taxing tasks such as routine chores or answering emails in the morning and instead focus on the creative duties. However, this only works if you are a morning person, and if you’re more of a night owl, managing your workload in this way will be challenging. Alternatively, it is better to do the most demanding tasks during your personal peak productivity time and focus on yourself in the mornings by having a good breakfast, reading the news, exercising, or meditating; this will provide you with the best fuel in order to have the most productive day.
2. Don’t Multitask
Multitasking is often seen as a great skill to have, but it can be a productivity killer. Studies have shown that multitasking causes mental blocks, which can reduce productivity by as much as 40%. Another study even shows that multitasking can cause damage to your brain; the study focused on people who were addicted to simultaneously using multiple devices and, as a result, had lower grey-matter density in their anterior cingulate cortex. This area of the brain is linked to decision making, empathy, emotional control, and the brain’s response to rewards.
As multitasking can not only reduce your productivity but cause harm to your brain, it is imperative that you give your full attention to one task at a time. By focusing on one task, you’ll find that complete actions on your to-do list in a more timely manner and to a higher quality, all while improving your productivity.
3. Prepare A To-Do List Before Each Day
As invaluable productivity aids, to-do lists help you organize your day and provide you with the focus and the feeling of accomplishment when you tick items off of your list. Preparing a to-do list before each day means that you won’t waste valuable time during the morning as emails are calling to be answered or as meetings need to be attended. To-do lists will help you plan out your workload into smaller, more manageable tasks that allow you to be more productive with your day.
4. Reduce Your To-do List
While your to-do list is typically a fantastic tool for improving your productivity, lists that are too extensive will hinder your progress. Crossing items off of your list will feel good, but it is impossible to improve your productivity until you streamline your to-do lists as increasing this skill demands focus. In order to achieve the required focus, you must review your completed to-do list before each day, preferably the night before, and ask yourself two key questions.
- Which tasks on this list are important?
- How many of the items on this list can be realistically accomplished tomorrow?
5. Get Enough Sleep
One of the most significant causes for a decrease in productivity is a lack of sleep, and many Americans find themselves struggling to stay awake during the workday due to not getting enough sleep the night before. Early-morning commutes, long work hours, responsibilities at home, or commitments outside of work mean that many people are not getting the sleep they need in order to remain productive during the day and often find themselves struggling to function.
It is well known that even one night of sleep deprivation can have negative effects on a person’s health and performance as lack of sleep decreases concentration, mathematical capacity, logical reasoning, and working memory. Additionally, the pre-frontal cortex can suffer significant damage due to sleep deprivation which means that any daily tasks that require complex thought or logical reasoning will be impacted more than others.
It is recommended that adults aim to have between seven to nine hours of sleep a night, and if you’re unable to get that much in one night, it is advisable to include replacement napping into your schedule. So, how are naps good for you? Napping is an excellent way to ease the adverse effects of sleep deprivation and can help you ensure that you are consistently working to the best of your ability. Many people assume naps are better left for children, but they are the best way for adults to avoid the detrimental effects of not getting enough sleep. If you’d like more information on how taking a nap during the day could be beneficial to your productivity, then check out Rise Science’s article.
6. Delegate Your Workload
If you are responsible for managing a team or department, delegation is essential in order to increase productivity. Although, in order for delegation to improve productivity, it needs to be done correctly. A common complaint from managers or team leaders as to why delegation doesn’t work is that it causes more work as they need to supervise their team’s work on top of their own. However, if you assign a task to a staff member and supervise them closely to ensure it has been done properly, you are micromanaging rather than delegating your workload.
When delegation is done correctly, you will have more time to spend working on your own tasks, but you cannot palm off work to any team member; it needs to be assigned to a person with the right skills and experience so that you can trust it can be done promptly as well as accurately. It may take time to get used to, but delegation can double your productivity and that of your team while improving their future career prospects.
A fervent champion for holistic well-being, graces this community with her expertise in health and fitness. With a solid educational foundation in physical fitness and a commitment to empowering others, Sara distills her extensive knowledge and experience into actionable insights. Her writing, firmly grounded in evidence-based practices, aims to demystify health complexities and inspire readers to cultivate sustainable habits for a balanced life. As a certified fitness trainer, Sara offers a well-rounded perspective on wellness. Join Sara on this transformative journey towards a happier, healthier, and more vibrant you.