Highly productive people are not from another planet. You can be a productivity king too in a short time if you can make smart changes to your daily work regimen. This blog teaches you how to ace productivity without making things complicated.
“I don’t have time to go on an outing with my family this weekend, I have too many pending tasks to finish. Working overtime is the only way out.”
“I don’t know why I am not able to finish my work on time despite working hard. Some of my colleagues do not work as hard as me, but they seem to have enough time on their side.”
“I am unable to cope up with the work pressure. I feel stressed out and mentally exhausted most of the time. My work-life balance has taken a huge blow.”
If you can relate to these lines then you are more or less in the same situation I was in not too long ago. I just couldn’t find a way out. In my efforts to be more productive, I was trying too many things without any concrete plan.
I was amongst the most productive people in my organization a few months ago. However, things changed for me (for worse) and I had no clue about my waning productivity.
I knew I had to change my approach to work but did not know how. Working hard is not the only way out, I had realized.
And then one fine day I met John, my childhood friend who also happens to be a senior manager at a reputable digital marketing agency. John appeared calm, happy, joyful, and told me how much he enjoyed working with his team.
During the conversation, John had sensed that I was not at my normal self. I took no time to express my anguish over my loss of productivity at work.
“John, how come you manage to stay productive so consistently?”, I asked him.
I was looking up to John to come up with some tips and tricks to help me get out of the mess. John smiled at me and said, “you don’t need a magic wand to stay productive. You need to work smart and not just hard.
"And most importantly, you don’t have to go mad to be more productive. You can be the productivity king by making simple changes to your daily work routine.”
So, John handed me out a list of tips to follow that can help me get rid of my productivity woes.
I implemented them the very next day and what a wonderful turnaround it has been! Within a matter of a few days, I was able to get my productivity train back on track and soon it gained momentum I was helplessly striving for.
In this blog, I am sharing with you these simple yet amazingly effective tips to help you ace productivity in no time. Understand them, follow them, and you’re sure to reap amazing benefits (like me).
So, here we go!
5 Golden Tips To Help You Be At Your Productive Best
1. Use a Time Management Tool
According to the latest 2021 research, an astonishing 82% of people don't use any time management system. Now, in the age of digital tools, if you’re not tracking your time at work, then you’re likely to be on the losing side.
Use a powerful time management tool to record how much time you are spending on what tasks and check if you are able to complete certain tasks within the estimated time. Once you’re able to figure out how long it takes for you to do a task, you can set the pace of your work and plan your schedule accordingly.
As soon as I started using one, my time management improved significantly. I could identify which tasks took how much time, which enabled me to prioritize my work schedule. Setting time estimates gave me a target to achieve and instilled a sense of purpose in the work I was doing.
2. Don’t Hesitate to Delegate
At work, I was a Mr.Do-It-Yourself. I would do all my tasks by myself even if that meant working beyond scheduled working hours. I used to look at delegating work as an excuse to pass on your responsibility to others’ shoulders.
John was shocked to hear this and gave me an earful for not trusting my team members to get the job done. “What message are you trying to give your team? You are discouraging them by not showing confidence in their ability,” said John. He asked me that by delegating less important tasks, you not only get to focus better on tasks at hand but also show faith in your team members.
I started to delegate work when I had my plate full of tasks, and my team members felt motivated to do the assigned work within set deadlines. If you delegate well, you will have much of your productivity issues sorted out.
3. Clear Your Mind
What? We are talking about being a productivity killer, and I am talking about clearing your mind! Sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it? However, clearing your mind implies not thinking too much about the last week’s tasks or work coming up later in the week.
Trying to forget everything when you have so much to do and remember might appear to be a helpless attempt to ignore our job responsibilities. Rather, taking this approach helped me start every day of the week with a clean slate. I just focused on what I needed to do immediately, and then today.
Thinking long and hard about tasks to be done later in the week makes little sense. You won’t be able to start them unless you wrap up the tasks at hand.
4. Make a Distraction List to Stay Focused
98% of the workforce say they are interrupted at least 3 or 4 times a day.
Whether you’re working remotely or from the office, distractions are always there to make us lose focus on the tasks at hand. Whether you’re working on urgent tasks or just dealing with some regular stuff, distractions are productivity killers. One effective way of dealing with this is by creating a distraction list.
You can make this loss either on physical paper or by using Google Docs. While working, whenever you feel distracted by a thought or things happening around you, jot them down and resume work. This method is powerful because some distractions do call for your urgent attention (paying your electricity bills). However, you do not have to divert your focus on them while at work.
You can come back to them during a break and deal with them.
5. Take Breaks From Work
Do you have to push yourself to the brink of a potential breakdown to take a break from your work? Certainly not! Your mind and body both deserve a break, both short, regular ones and long ones. According to the time-tracking app, Desktime, the most productive people work for 52 minutes, then take a break for 17 minutes.
Even the most productive people can’t focus on work for long. That’s why taking short, regular breaks is important. Even a 10-minute break can help you relax, recharge, and come up with new ideas.
Now, you should avoid taking random breaks that can actually distract you from work. Your breaks should be scheduled, deliberate, and structured. I followed the Pomodoro Technique, which suggests 25-minute blocks of work with short 5-minute breaks. You work intensely for a specific amount of time, and then take an intentional short break to regroup yourself.
Everyone wants to be productive, and they think that working hard is the only way to achieve this goal. This is only partially true. In order to be a productive king, you’ll have to work smartly as well as make both subtle and noticeable changes to your daily work regimen.
The aforementioned five tips can surely help you to do more in less time while achieving a fine work-life balance. Do you want to share any other effective techniques for acing productivity? Feel free to comment below.
AuthorNandini Sharma is the Assistant Marketing Manager at ProofHub - an all-in-one project management software and a top monday.com alternative loved by thousands of teams and businesses across the globe. Nandini brings close to a decade of experience in the field and has successfully executed a number of brand-building and marketing campaigns throughout her career. A specialist in the field of marketing, Nandini is well-versed with technical know-how, and always stays on top of the latest trends in the digital world.