Many people are under the impression that the more hours they work, the more productive they are. This simply isn’t the case. All work and no play only leads to fatigue, early burnout and job dissatisfaction. The real trick to productivity is to make your work hours really count, so you have more time for friends, family and all the other many important aspects of your life. The five tips below will help to instantly make you more productive.
1. Write it Down
Give your brain a break and write everything down. This goes beyond your to-do list. Every idea and reminder that pops into your head should be written down. Instead of using brain power trying to remember everything, you can avoid fatigue and use this energy toward meaningful work. If you have trouble sleeping, try keeping a notebook near you to jot down ideas that come to you in the middle of the night — this will help put your mind at ease and help you sleep more soundly. A good night’s sleep is vital to your productivity.
2. Delegate and Outsource
Sometimes, you just can’t do it all by yourself. The faster you learn this, the more productive you’ll be. At work, you have a team you can rely on who have a shared goal and vision. If you are an entrepreneur or solopreneur, you can try out a myriad of outsourcing services to help you get it all done. First, go over your to-do list and identify the tasks that you have procrastinating on and simply don’t want to do. These are the things that you should delegate and outsource. Trust your coworkers and the people you’ve hired so you can focus on the work you actually enjoy.
3. Cut Out Meetings
Meetings are productivity killers. They always tend to run long, taking valuable time away from completing tasks. But, they just can’t be avoided. Every meeting held should be absolutely necessary and only those who are directly involved should attend. For those meetings that can’t be avoided, stick to a strict agenda and allocate a specific amount of time (ideally three to five minutes) to each bullet point. Not only will an agenda ensure that everyone attending is prepared beforehand, it will also keep everyone on the topic at hand. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, cut 10 minutes out of the scheduled meeting time.
4. Get Healthy
Your health is an important factor to becoming productive. Make sure to get enough exercise, which will help to get your blood flowing and will fight feelings of lethargy. Try to implement movement into your workday — go for a walk during breaks, walk around your office while you’re on the phone and stretch your muscles while sitting at your desk. Stay away from sugary and greasy foods during work hours. Opt for foods that will help keep you alert, focused and energized, like healthy fats, nuts and seeds, lean proteins and whole grains.
5. Find Your Productive Hours
Every person is productive at different times of the day. For some, this is early in the morning, and for others it is late at night. Assess your own habits and learn which time of day is your most productive. Then, schedule everything else around this timeframe. If you are more productive at night, spend your day working on less meaningful tasks, running errands, or even grabbing lunch with a friend. This, of course, works best if you are a solopreneur or work for a company that encourages flexible working. If this is not the case, don’t waste your office time, but allocate creative work for your productive hours.
What are your tips for increasing productivity? Share with other readers in the comments section below.
About the author: Rosemina Nazarali, based out of Toronto, Canada, is the Director of Editorial Content at Ridiculously Efficient, Inc., a company that helps solopreneurs, startup teams and small businesses supercharge their productivity.