We all look for tips to boost our productivity from time to time.
We work 40 hours a week, but at some point during those five days we hit a stalling point. Regardless of the cause and excuses as to why productivity has dropped off, why not strive to break through the wall keeping you from making progress? More often than not, the only thing in your way is yourself.
So, here are 5 ways to boost your productivity next week:
- Just Do It – Nike’s token phrase is sometimes cliche and overdone, but I cannot emphasize and express enough just how powerful those three words are. The human tendency is to wait for motivation. We think we need to feel ready to do something, but most of the time we will never be ready. Have you ever been skydiving, cliff diving, or whitewater rafting? When you sit on the sidelines watching these things you don’t feel the slightest bit ready to jump out of a plane or rush down a raging river, but the adventure comes when you do it anyway. Being productive isn’t about feeling ready, it’s about putting that aside and just getting things done.
- Plan Ahead – Do you think Steve Jobs was able to accomplish what he did by not brainstorming and planning ahead? Why not build the habit of planning ahead for your work day? One of the most powerful things I do to boost my productivity at work is to write down a ‘To Do” List of things I need to get done the night before I go to work. I write down what I want to accomplish the next day and put a little box next to it that I can check off when I complete that task. There are not many more gratifying ways to gauge your productivity and boost your effectiveness at work.
- Bigger, Earlier – Start the day with your most important or hardest projects. Knock those things out early, relieve the tension you feel because of those tasks and make life a little easier on yourself for the rest of the day. It is so simple, but no less powerful.
- Avoid Interruptions – Are you really productive when you continue to get distracted by emails, phone calls, and people popping in to your office? Close your email client (commit to checking it only 2-4 times a day), put the phone on silent (let it go to voicemail for once), and put a sign up on your door that says do not disturb unless it is an emergency. More often than not people will respect your request for solitude. Be less distracted and you will see your productivity rise immediately.
- Do Not Multitask – Multitasking is a myth. An urban legend. The ability to multitask is about as real as the ability to safely juggle knives, breathe fire and safely kiss babies while treading water in a shark tank. You were not designed to be able to multitask, so don’t push yourself to do something you weren’t created with the ability to do. It’s simple. Focus on one thing at a time. Do one thing and do it really well. You will not only get things done at an accelerated rate, but your end results will be more effective.
I am grateful for learning most of these lessons the hard way and even more grateful that I discovered these 5 ways to drastically boost my own productivity. I’m constantly looking at my processes and work flow to assess whether or not I am being as productive as possible and if not, then how can I change it?
Do you have a tip for boosting productivity that works for you? Would you mind sharing it with me in the comments?