What does it take to be more productive? Don’t we all want to be? Being productive helps us get things done. It’s important to be productive in life so that we can always be moving forward with our endeavors and not being stuck in the same place all the time. People who productive are always moving from projects to projects, their resumes include a list of many accomplishments while those who are less productive are usually stuck in mediocre job or lacking certain personal trade skills. That said, being able to be productive is definitely something that relates to personal improvements.
For me, I think being productive is about building a habit of being productive. If you are constantly working and finishing what you set yourself to do, then you are productive. Here are some tips to help you be more productive:
1. Remove all distractions from your life. For example, deactivate FaceBook or use site blockers. Cancel plans that do not contribute to what you have to do that take up energy and time.
2. Write a do-list the night before or in the morning. Set specific and small tasks. For example, instead of just planning ‘read chapter 6’ which might be too big of a task to complete in one day, write ‘read pages 234-260.’ This is much more specific and also much more reasonable because it accounts for how many pages you have to read. Furthermore, it helps you if you set estimated time to do each tasks. For example, ‘Read pages 234-260 between 3:30 and 4:40.’ Writing down the estimated time puts how much time you actually have in the day to do things in perspective.
3. Do the most difficult and most important tasks first. When we first wake up, we have a clearer mind to help us problem solve.Therefore, take advantage of this.
4. Schedule shorter working time instead of really long ones. We might think we have a lot of time to do things so we schedule long hours for each tasks, but in actuality, only a fraction of those working time are productive. Find out when you are most productive and work during those time. Furthermore, scheduling shorter work time enables you to overcome procrastination because you’re less likely to dread the long hours of work.
5. For boring tasks, listen to music to get your brain more stimulated.
6. Do the type of work according to how much energy you have. When you have a lot of energy, work on tasks that require a lot of your attention. When you start to get tired, focus on tasks that don’t require as much energy. When studying and you still have a lot of energy, you might want to work on more energy demanding tasks such as ‘assignments or projects.’ When you are tired, work on tasks like ‘reading or reviewing notes’ which takes up fewer energy.
7. Think about the benefits of being productive. What it would mean for you to get things done. This might motivate you to not procrastinate.
8. Stop analyzing or planning too much. Just get to work. For some, this approach is good, because you save time from having to do planning or ruminating about issues. For others, analyzing and figuring out what’s making you unproductive helps find solutions to those problems. This leads to long term productivity. Choose your approach and adapt.
9. Eat and exercise well. To do work means to expend energy. Therefore, the more energy you have, the more work you can do. Our body primarily uses carbohydrates to fuel itself. Here are some food that can give you energy. In regards to exercise, studies have shown that exercise helps improve several cognitive functions such as increasing ability to focus and problem solve. Furthermore, exercise gives your body more energy by releasing your energy storage and breaking down chemicals to release even more energy.
10. Sleep well. Sleep helps repair damages done to the body. Adequate amount of sleep makes you feel rested.