Do you ever find yourself working away all day and at the end of the day you realize that you didn’t really accomplish anything? I’ve definitely been there!
There was a time when I thought that being busy and being productive were the same thing (read more about the difference between being busy and being productive here). With practice, I’ve learned the difference and mastered some skills to help me accomplish more throughout the day.
Here are my 10 basic tips for being more productive:
Start each day by making a to-do list. I like to start off my mornings at work with listing the top 3 tasks I need to complete in my bullet journal. I love this method because it allows me to personalize my planner to fit my daily needs and helps me focus on what I need to get done for the day.
Read more about the bullet journal method here. All you need is a notebook and pen to get started!
Complete the hardest task first thing in the morning. For me, this usually means anything that requires reading and analyzing. Paperwork and data entry is usually saved for later since these require less brainpower. Figure out the time you are at your best and use that time to do your hardest tasks.
Take regular breaks. I’ve found that taking regular breaks have made me more productive. I like to go for walks during the day when possible or for a quick coffee run.
Don’t procrastinate. This used to be a big one for me. In school, I was always working on assignments until the last minute. In the real world this doesn’t fly so well. If something will take less than 2 minutes, go ahead and do it right away. If you know you can’t make a deadline, talk to your supervisor BEFORE the deadline has passed.
Set up a time to check your e-mail. Easier said then done for me personally, especially because I’m working on my computer all day and things do come up that I have to address.
To address this issue, I’ve been trying to check my e-mail for just 10 minutes every hour. I’m still trying to figure out how to make this work for me.
Master time management. Time management is HUGE when it comes to productivity. I used to be a mess when it came to this important skill and it took me a really long time to master time management.
Tune out. I like to listen to music when working on mindless tasks. It helps pump me up to get work done.
Time blocking. Block off a chunk of time to focus on one task. I block off time to process mail and paperwork.
Don’t multitask. Multitasking is not a thing. Research shows it’s not possible for our brain to focus on two things at once. Our brain just switches from one task to the other, which in reality decreases productivity. Focus on one thing at a time.
Avoid meetings if possible. If you can, cancel meetings or talk to your manager to see if you can be excused from a meeting. I can’t tell you how many meetings I’ve been pulled into and I didn’t even need to be there. It’s a huge barrier to productivity.
What are some productivity techniques/tips/tricks you use to stay on track? Please share with me in the comments.