Small moments make a full day. Thus, if you take care of these small moments and spend them wisely and productively, then you can be assured of having a very productive day. And when each day of yours is productive, your months, years and in brief, your life becomes a productive one, a life that you can be proud of. “Have a productive day” does not mean just a great day at office but even your time spent at home can be very productive if you care about few things. Here is a list of pointers that you can take care of and follow to ensure that each day of yours can be referred to as the most productive day.
The following mentioned are few productivity tips at work on how to be productive at work and also the best productivity things to do.
1. Get up early:
Do not get tempted to touch that ‘snooze’ button. Get up early. The adage that early to bed and early to rise makes one healthy and wise hasn’t been said just like that. Getting up early means that you have extra time to do things and you will go about your routine in a relaxed way. That ensures that your entire day will be spent like that. Getting up late makes you rushed all day and you will not be able to put your 100 per cent in what you do.
2. Make your morning good:
Just wishing yourself a good morning won’t help. Do things that will turn your morning in to good, better and productive morning. If you have read interviews of CEOs and achievers, you will notice a common thread in their lives and that is the way they spent their mornings. Exercise and a healthy and wholesome breakfast are the common features in their daily life. Exercise not only makes you energised for the entire day, it also blows away your stress and tension. A healthy breakfast comprising fruits, nuts, cereals, etc, ensures that you have the energy to face the day.
3. Clutter in your home and office can clutter your mind, leading to stress:
An unclean environment and clutter all around can make the environment stressful. So, de-clutter and organize. If you want a productive time spent in your kitchen, then clean, organize and clear the mess from kitchen. While in office, arrange stationeries and files in an organized manner. Keep only those things that you need on the desk and push the unwanted things in the drawer. A clean and non-messy environment helps you enhance your productivity, even experts will watch for that.
4. Don’t try to please all:
No matter, how much you try, you will never be able to please everyone. So, stop trying. One way of doing that is to say less ‘yes’ and more ‘no’. When you agree to do too many things, your productivity at work too takes a backseat and thus say yes only when you want to and not because others expect you to.
5. Make a ‘to-do’ list:
Be it at office or at home, if you wish to be productive, then plan and prepare. Make a list of things that you will have to do for the day. Take the most important things at the top and no-so-important to the bottom. Go on ticking on the list as you complete each one of them. The most important advice – stick to the list. Keep checking it at regular intervals for a reminder.
6. The other important list-Stop doing list:
Don’t look surprised, for this list is as important as the to-do list. For example, say, you are in the midst of doing the first activity from your to-do list and suddenly you have the urge to day-dream or go for a bite or talk to your friend, you get distracted and you will not be able to do things as per your list and your productivity will go for a toss. Hence, make a list of things that you won’t do or a list of activities that you think will distract you or waste your time. Steve Jobs once said in an interview that the secret to the success of Apple was not the projects that they completed but the projects that they chose not to take up. Now, do you need any other proof?
7. Set up your priorities:
Productivity is often ruined when you have long list of activities to do and you don’t know which one to take up first. It is simple. Just take up the task that is most urgent and more fulfilling and keep that as the number 1 task in the to-do list. Prioritizing can help you pay attention to more important ones and thus make your day more productive. When most important tasks are done first, you will also feel more relaxed and will reduce your stress and anxiety levels, which mean you can now do the other pending works more constructively and relaxingly, which in turn makes you put your best foot forward.
8. Focus, focus and more focus:
This is one of the most important mantras to be productive. Keep aside your day-dreams, your tension, your anxieties, distractions at bay and concentrate on the task you have in front of you. Look around and find what disturb you and try to do away with them. Distractions can be anything, noise, voice, your unnecessary habits such as the urge to check your social media accounts every now and then, etc. Stop doing these and your productivity will double.
9. Commute time needn’t be boring:
Many people complain that they have a long commute to office. But have you ever realized that you can use even the commute time to be more productive? For example, if you are spending an hour daily to commute, each way, then per day you are spending two hours in commuting that means you have 12 hours a week to yourself. Use this time to read inspiring books or listen to audio books or audio inspirational speeches or broadcasts. Or rather listen to programs that will help you learn more about your job or the field you are working in.
10. Follow the Pareto Principle:
Pareto Principle is referred to as the 80/20 rule. It says that you should concentrate on that 20% of your work that will give you 80% benefits. So, focus on those projects that will yield best returns and take them as your priority.
11. Take decisions and stick to them:
Much of your productivity is hampered by stressing over decisions that you have taken. Stop doing that. Take a decision after giving much thought to it and then stick to the decision. Remember, not all the decisions that you take will be deal-breakers but it is ok to make mistakes, only if you learn a lesson from it and never repeat it. Go ahead, take that decision and face the day with more confidence.
12. Give your phone a break:
Answer the phone only if it is an urgent call, be from family, clients or colleagues. When at work, if your mobile phone is on where you won’t get professional calls, then switch it off and keep in your drawer. If there is an emergency at home, your family will call on your landline number. Studies have stated that much of the productive time at office is taken by unnecessary phone calls and the time spent on answering and calling during office hours.
13. Check your urge to check emails every now and then:
Okay, what if there are chances that there will be urgent emails every now and then? The checking of emails at every 10 minutes or so isn’t necessary and this habit can be a big bolt to your productivity. Check emails every hour or every two hours or so.
14. Take up the task that you are afraid of:
Sometimes, too many pending works mean you are not productive or providing less productive work. Build the courage to take up the work that you were hesitant to take up because you were afraid you will ruin it. You can make mistakes, you can ruin things and only when you do, you will learn how to do a perfect job. Take up challenging works and do full justice to it and this is one great way to enhance your productivity not just for the day but also in the long run.
15. Conduct lesser and shorter meetings:
Too many meetings do spoil productivity. Conduct meetings only if they are very necessary. Nowadays, you can communicate matters swiftly through phone, emails or via video conferences. Even if you have to conduct meetings, have stand up meetings, that is, you and your team members conduct the meetings standing. This ensures that the meetings get over in a jiffy and not much time is spent on conversing.
16. Try the Pomodoro practice:
Pomodoru practice refers to taking breaks after every 25 minutes. Taking regular breaks keeps away stress levels and makes you more productive as after every break, you are more charged up and are equipped with more energy levels that you can spend on remaining work more constructively.
17. Time management is the key to enhanced productivity:
Make a schedule and stick to it and this is the best way to manage time and do something productive. Before you make the list, do a study of your time, how many hours you have, how much of it is spent on work, how much of it is wasted and how much of it is spent on breaks and so on. You can pair up activities to manage time better. For example, listen to news while you are exercising and similar paired up activities can help manage time well and thus help you increase your productivity.
18. Avoid heavy and junk foods and drink more water:
If you are dehydrated, you will not have much energy to do work. Thus ensure that you drink enough water for the day. Eat healthy food and avoid fast and junk food, because they are high in sugar. Too much of sugar intake can make you lazy and unproductive.
19. Go, take a short nap:
Yes, this is a suggestion put forward by experts. If you feel sleepy in the afternoon and you are trying to concentrate on work in between feeling sleepy, then you are neither doing your work nor are you sleeping. The best way out is to take a power nap of 10 minutes or so. You will bounce back feeling more positive and more energized, that’s for sure.
20. Reflection and celebration during ‘me time’ at the day end:
As the day ends, take some alone time out and reflect on the day. See what you have accomplished, what tasks you have completed and what are pending. See what you have succeeded at and what you couldn’t do or what you have messed up. Learn from every mistake and success. Reward yourself for the achievements and feel proud of yourself. Next day is another day and be confident about yourself . You will do a better job tomorrow.
How do you measure your work productivity? You should not measure it by somebody else’s words or remarks, rather you should be the judge. When you leave your office or you are on your bed, thinking of the day spent, if you feel a sense of achievement, do you feel your day was good and you have been able to spend it well, then you had the most productive day. The above 20 steps will help you in your efforts and you can make each day better than yesterday and give a complete turnover to your work, life and your fortunes by being productive at work and thus being happier.