Dear work-from-home people, are you worried about managing your time? Do you find yourself rushing to check off your to-do at 3pm?
Managing your energy and time is easy and hard. Time goes by without second thought, but that is not the case with our minds. Thanks to our advanced development, we are also complicated. Whether it is reviewing, rescheduling, or re-plan your office environment, this article will show you 20 tips to be more productive.
1. Find & work during your most productive time of day
“Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else” – Peter Drucker
You know best when the most productive hours in your day take place. The productive span varies from person to person. Some are morning people, some are night-owls. Working in that period increases efficacy. Why do we know this but still not do it?
Social pressure is one of the reasons. It sounds absurd to tell your boss, “I would like to take the day off because I find 11 pm is my most productive hours”. Isn’t it? That leads us to the next tip.
2. Protect your time blocks, bam (by any means)
Block out those most precious hours in your agenda, could be 2 hours, from 9pm-11pm. No hangout, no cooking, no texting, no nothing. Get $hit done. If it is your most productive time of the day, it is yours.
“Time is what we want most but what use worst,” William Penn.
Set and protect your time blocks. Find and use any method that works for you: Pomodoro, Flow Time technique, 90 minutes Focus Block, Eisenhower Matrix, 52/17, 1-3-5 or none. Have you ever met someone who made you complain “she doesn’t take my time seriously?”. The question is: have you taken your time enough?
3. Set your priorities
“Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest.” Leo Babauta
If read our article about 10 most productive people on earth, you will see a productive pattern: setting priorities. Doing it all is a trap. Identify your vital tasks and write all the essential assignments. What kind of tasks/projects should have high priority? An item should be placed on top if they are relevant to your goals. After all, we all have dreams, goals and ambitions, aren’t we?
A way to set your priorities is by considering the cost-benefit ratio. Draw out a quadrant, with cost in one axis, and benefit is the other. The importances are now more visible. Tasks’ benefits and costs are prominent on the map. See if you can ignore those tasks with low benefit and high cost, at least for the time being.
4. Pause or burn
We all know too well how burnout affects us. Beware of your constant working flow and take a break to compose yourself. Breaks are refreshing for your mind and body. Be conscious of your energy level. De-connect if you need to. Take walks, we cannot stress enough how amazing walks are to our mind and body.
Pay attention to your body position as well. It is not tempting to move, even an inch, when you are in flow mode. Even so, alter your position with regular intervals to help your muscles relaxed.
5. Be on your feet
People who switch between sit and stand during work are less anxious, and more engage. Working in a stand-up position can be useful for neck and back pain. Standing is an exercise in itself. It adds small movements to your daily routine, besides a small amount of calories it helps you burn.
Even if you don’t have a standing desk, stand up every hour, shake a leg. It helps. Don’t neglect the importance of proper ergonomic office equipment, especially if you spend more time on your desk than on your bed daily.
While it is advisory to stay concentrated while working. This prolonged focused work makes you mentally as well as physically tired. Your muscles would thank you if you stretch. We would not do deeply into this topic because besides making you feel good, there is no scientific evidence we can find that proved stretching can directly improve your productivity. If you find a good source that says otherwise, let us know in the comment below.
We will not go into details in this article about stretching exercises.
You are reading: 20 tips to be productive, researched & written by Fitnest EU
7. Rearrange Your Office
“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” – Unknown
A disorganized office desk is an obstacle in the way of your productivity. Take a moment to rearrange the items on your desk. Your mind is hard to be clear if you are surrounded by clutter.
You can get mental harmony and thought concentration by ordering your office—the least the trash, the more comfort and access to your necessary files.
The cleaning process applies not only to your workspace, but also to files on your desktop, emails in your inbox, and other digital assets.
8. Resist the temptation to interrupt
“Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is specifically your own.” Bruce Lee
Dislodging yourself from distractions is the first step to high productivity. Check your existing number of distractions in your daily office work. Some things are not much important and don’t need your immediate action.
Ignore or postpone such distractive activities to get more focus. You will get a focused mind to deliver more by concentrating on your running task.
9. Avoid Multitasking
Multitasking kills your concentration. It results in a productivity plummet. When you engage in multiple tasks, your attention stretches. This diversion makes your mind perplexed, and you feel tired very early.
Flow Time technique suggests that you write down one (only one) task on paper. Jot down starting time. Then get on with it until you are done. Jot down finishing time. That way, you keep your mind focused. That is also the same mechanic behind the time tracking app for tech workers. One task at a time. Yet, it also depends on the characteristic of tasks. If it requires a lot of logical thinking, or repetitive administrative tasks, you are better off with time-bound techniques, such as Pomodoro or 90-minutes.
10. Have a realistic to-do list
We have been there. A to-do list that is too ambitious. Not only don’t we get it done, but we get anxious and feel like losers.
Setting an impossible to-do list is a killjoy before the workday started. A tip to have a realistic to-do list is to also estimate the amount of time it takes to finish the tasks. Leave room for some spontaneity as well.
Some tasks are similar, and you can group them in a single batch. For example, blog writing, designing belong to the creating mode; meetings, phone calls, and emails are in project management mode. Having similar tasks in a batch reduces the cognitive effort of completing switch off and on different parts of your brain.
Yet, things can always go wrong no matter how much you prepared. So, prepare for the worst, but do your best.
11. Do the hardest first
Mark Twain once said, “eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
Research shows that people who execute their most difficult tasks first are generally more productive than those who start easy and work their way up.
What is the underlying science behind this fact? As you postpone a difficult task, you build up stress, which affects your motivation to begin any other tasks. Your motivation, energy level, and willpower don’t pick up over time, they drop gradually during the day. Thus, once you are done with the easy tasks, it is harder to pick up the difficult ones. Moreover, small tasks tend to take less time, so you need to switch tasks. Thus, people who start with small tasks first tend to multitask, as it is not challenging enough to stay focus for long. Multitasking is the enemy of your productivity.
Yet, if the task is too difficult for your current ability and period. That is a story of the next tip to be more productive.
12. Deconstruct your goal
Tim Ferriss, a productivity guru, has achieved more accomplishments than a normal person could do in a lifetime by deconstructing his goal. Forty years old, and he has managed to host a worldly-famous podcast, write five books, wrote and speak Japanese fluently, Guinness world record in Tango, a horseback archer, and Princeton University guest lecturer, professional breakdancer.
One of his tips to be more productive is the DiSSS method (Deconstruct, Select, Sequence, and Stakes). The bigger projects and goals, the larger amount of tasks there is to finish. Start with deconstructing a goal. We will not go into details about the other angles of the DiSSS methods in this article.
13. Celebrate small victories with small rewards
Learn from your failures, but don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishments as well. This linked back to point 12. You can only celebrate the small victories if you have what they are. By deconstructing your goal, you have little milestones to celebrate.
Keeping a positive vibe prepares you for the long run. A little, or a lot of, fun makes the journey more enjoyable.
You can reward yourself with little treats, watching your favorite TV show, playing a favorite game, buy yourself something, take a day off.
14. Unfollow trends
The next tip to improve productivity is to unfollow trends. Your time is precious, and time can feel endless when we are working from home. Commute time reduces itself to the countable steps from your bedroom to the working desk. Staying connected on the social network at least keeps us from the drastic solitude feeling. People can share pages filled with their daily journal, screenshots of their Strava 5K, 10K run, beautiful home office makeover, delicious-looking meal, cute couple moments being locked together, new job updates on Linkedin, whatever. People show their best for the world to see. Staying on top of the wave is nice, but feeling bad for not being as productive as ‘others’ is a bad tip to be productive.
You know what. You don’t have to part of the trend to be part of society. You are the society.
Limit yourself to relevant and positive information to yourself and your loved ones. Unfollow.
You are reading: 20 tips to be productive, researched & written by Fitnest EU
15.Schedule Phone calls
Calls, especially Zoom calls bring fatigue, as science has proven it and loads have felt it. Ditching video calls completely feels as scary as leading the Unabomber life. So, that would not be a good tip to be productive. As calls take energy away from you, schedule them in a way that you can balance between energy intake and out-take. You can charge your energy simply by not skipping meals, eat healthy food, 5-minute walk around the block.
Let your colleagues know that you want a call-free day. Or use a caller ID to help you to identify and skip unwanted calls to save your time.
16.Conscious free time
“Ordinary people think of spending time; great people think of using it.” Arthur Schopenhauer.
A tip to be productive in this time to learn to not feel guilty taking free time for yourself. Conscious free time is stepping away from your desk when you think you need to, even if it is during working hours. What is working hours anyway? Since the pandemic, the working systemic schedule is been turned upside down. You decide when it is time for free time.
17.Sleep is not for the weak
“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.” – Irish proverb.
Sleep is not for the weak. But losing sleep will weaken you.
Speaking of mental fitness, brain cells are your currency. Your brain cells increase when you sleep, pushing out the toxins built up during waking hours. Disturbing intervals or lack of sleep can lower your cognitive functioning. It can lead to memory loss, bad decision-making, negative emotions, depression, etc.
Get a sound sleep to restart your body and mind for next day challenges. If you get sufficient rest for your body, you’ll rise as a fresh and more productive soul on the next day.
18.Make reflection a habit
Before going to your bed, take a self-analysis of the day. It doesn’t have to take a long time but is a good tip to be productive of most successful people. Whether it is on paper, on a phone call with your mom and sit and think. Techniques are means to an end, not an end.
This review of the day will give you different perspectives about yourself or the situation in hindsight. Mind you, self-reflection is not self-criticism. Ask a question from you“Am I currently making the best possible use of my time?” The answer to the above question will help in boosting your productivity.
19.Come to the next day prepared
The penultimate tip to be productive is a short one. Plan for the next day.
“Comes to the battle prepared”, says my father. Even though nothing guarantees you win the one battle you came prepared for, but it increases your chances. And what more, you are not fighting one battle, you are preparing for the many more to come, a life-long one. Cut it short, you’ll perform better the next day when you have a battle plan in your hand. Enlist all-important assignments according to their priorities.
20. Read tips to be more productive, but get started!
You are reluctant to start a difficult task; you wait for the perfect time. But there is no perfect time. You work till it is perfect.
Our ultimate tip for you: get digging. Once you start, it gets going, and you’ll be on’ the way with its rhythm.
In conclusions, the tips to be productive in this articles are Working in the most productive time of day, Protect your time blocks b.a.m, Set your priorities, Pause or burn, Be on your toes, Stretch, Rearrange your offices, Resist the temptation to interrupt, Avoid Multitasking, Have a realistic to-do list, Do the hardest first, Deconstruct your goal, Celebrate small victories with small rewards, Unfollow trends, Schedule Phone calls, Conscious free time, Sleep is not for the weak, Make reflection a habit, Plan for Next Day, Read tips to be more productive, but get digging yourself.
Do you have any other tips you want to add to the list to share with everyone? Let us know in the comment below.
Follow us on: