Before we discuss any actual strategies for boosting productivity, it’s important that we define it first. Productivity refers to the speed at which we are able to complete a given task properly, without skipping on any of the specified details, as well as the length of time that we are able to continue doing so per shift.
Alternately, productivity can also be defined as the amount of work that can be completed within a stipulated time period. Each of the 13 strategies we will be discussing next is designed to help us achieve better productivity by keeping both of these definitions in mind.
Divide each section of the day into time compartments, such as work hours, sleeping hours, family time, etc. Ensure that short of an emergency, the compartments are maintained with dedication.
Most of us work over the internet, and the internet is designed to distract us in more ways than one! Increase productivity to a surprising degree by blocking social media notifications, chat pings, adult content, distracting ads, and everything else in between.
As a professional copywriter, I time my writing speed. This helps me stay productive and aware of any slack. If a page takes unusually long without any verifiable reason, it means there’s some slack that needs to be addressed or a problem that requires finding and solving.
Use White Noise
Ambient noise can be highly distracting if you live in a loud neighborhood. Drown out the distracting ambient noise with the harmony of white/brown/pink/blue/violet noise. You can try nature sounds as well, or even the hum of an AC or a fan.
Finish Early, But Don’t Just Stop There
Finishing your tasks ahead of time is good, but it isn’t necessarily productive unless you use the extra time to catch up on more work. This is a common mistake that even diligent workers end up making, so finish early with the intention of getting more done.
Prioritize Based on Urgency
Being able to set priorities properly is nothing short of being a highly important skill for anyone. While setting monthly, weekly, or even daily schedules, always prioritize urgent work. Allot more time to urgent projects each day and try to finish the daily quota of work allotted to the urgent projects first before moving on to anything else.
Prioritize Based on Difficulty
Our minds are usually the sharpest after the first 30-minutes of work, which is also the time when you should be tackling the hardest parts of a day’s work.
Singular Mindset Works Wonders
Multitasking is only valid when you are playing games on your phone while listening to music! As far as work is concerned though, use compartmentalization instead of trying to complete multiple tasks at once. It will stress your brain less, help you finish each part faster, and you will be more productive by having to correct fewer errors.
Take Multiple, Short Breaks
There are many ways to go about using the break-work combination to boost productivity, but we are going to concentrate on the multi-break theory here. The idea is to work for 20 – 30 minutes at a stretch, before taking a 2 – 5 minutes break.
Use Short Breaks to Multitask
It isn’t exactly multitasking if you are not doing two things at once, but you will be using a few of those 2 – 5 minutes of break in between the main work sessions, to look over some of the lighter tasks of the day and get a head start.
Use Coffee Intelligently
Coffee boosts productivity and there’s no denying that fact, but instead of consuming the sugar and milk that comes with every cup, take the caffeine directly in supplemental form. Also, maximize the effects of caffeine by keeping yourself well hydrated and sticking to no more than 200mg at once and 400mg/day in total.
Many of us need 7 – 8 hours of sleep, but we can’t get that on most days. However, if you can get even 5 – 6 hours of uninterrupted, restful sleep, that can be enough to keep your brain fairly rejuvenated for a day. Try to make sure that your sleep schedule is not disturbed, short as it may be.
Eliminate Unnecessary Activities
The definition of what can be qualified as “necessary” is too variable to be defined here but eliminate any activities from your schedule that you deem to be unnecessary or unproductive.
The idea is to hack our own mind by knowing its strengths and weaknesses, instead of just following generic plans. Use these strategies with slight customizations of your own, if you feel that works better for you.