Productivity is important. For the past few months I’ve been pretty busy. Working, learning, training, eating, socialising… It’s sometimes difficult to get everything done in one day. I used to procrastinate a lot, and still do quite a fair amount. But when I need to get work done, I will follow the following tips to increase my productivity and make the most of my time. Sometimes it’s not possible to get all of the tips done for one session, but even one or two of them will go a long way in making sure the most important tasks are getting done. If it’s not important, don’t prioritise it. Without further ado here are my tips to increase your productivity:
Plan it out
The day before, I will cook my food for the following day. I don’t necessarily meal prep, but I will have my stuff cooked so i’m not spending 30 minutes in the morning or afternoon making my food.
The night before I will also lay out my clothes for the following day, this saves me having to decide at 5.30 in the morning what i’m going to wear.
Know When You’re Most Productive
If you are like me, I am most productive in the mornings. Because of this I wake up early and start working before anybody in the house is even awake. If you’re most productive late at night, plan your sleep around this and stay up later and wake up later.
To Do List
First thing in the morning I will write my to do list, I have been using an app called Balanced lately. I’ve switched from my normal notebook to this because I may not always have my notebook on me, I will always have my phone on me. However, be aware of the tip about using your phone later on. Don’t let this interfere with your productivity. Write the list and move on.
The aim of my list is to keep things as simple as possible, I’m not going to put something on there that’s not achievable by the end of the day. However I will have a small part of a bigger task. For example instead of getting an entire essay done (unless I have the time) I will write the plan one day, 500 words every day following until it is completed.
Now You’ve Began Working
Once I’ve started working, i’m a big advocate of taking breaks regularly. I aim for a few minutes every 30-40 minutes. I have a programme installed on my computer called Iris. This has a built in countdown feature to notify me when I need a break as it is quite easy to get caught up in your work and spend hours at the computer!
Also, when working I try to stand up as much as possible. I have a small standing work desk I work at. For me personally I find my productivity has increased since having this work desk. You can buy stands pretty cheap these days that can convert your normal desk to a standing one.
Reducing Your Distractions
We’ve all done it. You’ve started work, you’re doing well for 10 minutes or so and your phone buzzes and you end up spending 30 minutes on social media or talking to your friends instead of actually working. For me personally, if I need to get the work done my phone will be on night mode so I don’t get notifications. My family and close friends can still contact me if it is urgent, but emails, Facebook, texts.. I don’t get the notifications (Great mode for going to bed too so you don’t get woken up). Don’t get me wrong, I spend way too much time on social media, but if I need to work, this is what I do.
Control Your Environment
Get comfortable, don’t be too hot or too cold. If you’re standing, a hard floor may hurt after a while, whereas a thick carpet may tire your feet (caused by your feet constantly having to make micro-adjustments to your balance etc.).
it’s pretty easy to find that listening to your favourite songs in the background will help you be more productive.. unfortunately you may be losing concentration and productivity because you’re singing along to your songs. There is a playlist on Spotify called “Pure Concentration” which is classical music, I personally play this quietly in the background and find it helps me.
Watch Your Food Intake
Food is important. You have to make sure you’re getting in enough micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). You also don’t want to eat a huge meal just before beginning work, as blood flow will be redirected towards your stomach to digest it. This is why you feel sleepy after a huge meal.
I’m soon going to be trying some new nootropic supplements (Nootropics help with cognition). I will let you know how I get on.
Have Some Free Time
Don’t plan every minute or every day. You will burn out eventually and this will drastically harm your productivity. Allow yourself to rest and relax, my favourite time for this is at the end of the day. I give myself a few hours before bed where I can catch up with TV shows, read my book, eat some good food and just relax before going to bed.
One Thing At A Time
Unfortunately, regardless if you’re male or female – multitasking does not work. To really get a task done right you have to focus on it and make it your sole focus. You will also find you are able to complete the tasks faster than if you try to do 3-4 things at once.
Turn The Phone Off
We’ve all done it, you’ve started working and your phone goes off. You spend the next 20 minutes on there not doing what you’re meant to and just wasting time. So next time you really need to sit down and work, have your phone on night mode or airplane mode to stop any notifications coming through. For night mode you can set favourite contacts on IOS which will still be able to contact you in case of an emergency.
Never want to miss out on a new post? Subscribe to my email list here.