It doesn’t matter if you have taken that big leap into solopreneurship or you still have your nose to the grindstone working for someone else, we all struggle with productivity. For many, like myself, it is a daily occurrence. Let’s face it, some days are just better than others when it comes to checking off everything on your to-do list.
Don’t fret though, there is some good news heading your way.
The struggle will be a thing of the past if you take a moment (yes, add it to your to-do list if you must) to read and then implement these top 5 ways to improve your productivity.
1. Time Tracking
Tracking your time will ultimately boost your productivity by allowing you to see just how much time you have spent on certain tasks. Whatever the task might be: texting, emailing, conference calls, etc – it’s worth tracking. The great thing about time tracking is not only will you be able to see how much time it took you to complete a certain task, but it will also alert you to how much time you are wasting on a specific task. Facebook newsfeed anyone?
Researchers found that people who wore a fitness tracker of some kind, such as a FitBit, increased their physical activity by 26.9%. Undoubtedly, the same will ring true when you begin to track your time.
There are hundreds if not thousands of companies out there that offer amazing time tracking tools to help get you on your way to spending less time on those tasks that are eating up your precious day.
2. Plan Your Day Ahead of Time
That’s right, those to-do lists that some of us love to hate will actually create a more productive person. Planning your day allows you to schedule tasks that will move you closer towards your ultimate goals. Try doing this at the end of your work day or at the very beginning of a new one.
Just think about how excited you become when you are able to cross of task by task on your list. Since plans tend to free up mental space, you will find your mood is elevated and your anxiety is down.
3. Walk Away
If you are anything like me, you jump to reach for your mobile device every time you hear it chime. Or worse, you find yourself sitting at your desk answering emails or researching your next article while attempting to eat your lunch.
The problem with this constant non-stop working regime is that you aren’t ever truly unplugged. Just as our bodies need a shift from deep to more light dream filled cycles, they also require a brain cycle shift from full focus to relaxation every 90-120 minutes.
4. Declutter Your Workspace (and head)
Studies show that too much clutter in a work environment causes brain activity to decrease. Your brain becomes distracted by all the little nick knacks and doo-dads, not to mention the pile of papers in the corner of your desk, preventing you from being able to sail through your task list.
The same goes for all that mental clutter building up. Create your to-do list and stick to it.
5. Go Full Throttle on Your Internet Speed
This might sound like a no-brainer, but again someone has indeed studied it and found that those with high average internet speeds were more productive than those with lower bandwidth.
For a few bucks more (in most areas), you could drastically increase your productivity just by paying a bit more for a higher tier internet package. No, I’m not suggesting you to break the bank to accomplish this. However, every 5 minutes or more that is lost while waiting for a page to load or an internet conference call that has dropped, you could be working on something else that would move you closer to your ultimate goals.
What ways have you find to work smarter not harder? We would love to hear all about them in the comments below.