Do you find yourself struggling to do all the tasks that you need to do every day? Do you want to learn simple, effective methods to increase your productivity in ways you never thought possible? It’s time that you learn how to properly double or triple your productivity! Here are 7 tips that can get you started on the right track:
Work at your energy peaks
We all have our own time of the day where we feel at our very best. Some people are more energized in the morning, while others in the evening. Figure out what part of the day you are at your very best mentally and physically, and this is the time that you should be doing your most important and demanding task. Also, by keeping a healthy lifestyle, you will make your energy peak periods last longer, which is to your advantage in becoming more productive.
Prioritize your to-do list
Separate your to-do list into different parts, depending on their level of importance. For example, break down your list in parts 1, 2, 3, and 4. In part 1, list all your most important tasks. Then in 2, list the second most important tasks, and so on. Then, ONLY work on part 2 items when ALL part 1 items are completed. This will not only help you organize your to-do list into a more practical manner, it will also make you focus only on the most important tasks at hand. Imagine how productive you get if you always work on the most crucial task at any given moment!
Do worst thing first
Stop procrastinating the task that you don’t want to do. Get it done, and get it out of the way as soon as possible. You will feel better, trust me! If you linger around, doing other things, you will never get that harder task done. Usually, the harder tasks are the more important tasks, so if you can master this rule, you will witness your productivity skyrocket. Take the habit of doing the things you feel less like doing first, as this is the key to self discipline, which will boost your efficiency.
Organize your work area
Many people tend to work in a cluttered environment, with all kinds of papers and documents lying all over their desk. They claim that they can “find themselves” throughout all that mess. This is a common occurrence. Truth is, a clean desk equals clean work. So stop telling yourself that “this is how I work”, because you are fooling yourself into accepting less than optimal conditions to increase your productivity and success. Develop the habit of always filing away what you don’t need right away, and throw away things that you do not use. Keep your desk and work area clean, and in order. Your productivity can only be maximized within such an environment. You might want to read 10 Tips For Productive Desk Work for more information on this.
Use commute time effectively
Most people spend over an hour per day commuting to work and back home. Think of the most effective way that you can use this hour of your day to enhance your productivity. You can take that time to read a book, or go over important documents or notes. If you are driving, you can listen to motivational audiotapes, or audiobooks. In any event, there are many ways that you can use this commute time more appropriately so that you can benefit as much as possible from it.
Optimize your work processes
In many of our tasks, there are steps that can be fixed, skipped, or optimized. This can save us a tremendous amount of time, as research has shown that up to 30% of processes can be optimized. Take a look at the processes involved in your tasks, and see if you can optimize them as much as possible. Work requiring less steps is also more likely to be of better quality, as well as a huge time saver. See if you can do your work in batches for example. Remember that there is always a more efficient way of doing what you do, so keep that in mind and let it motivate you to improve your work processes.
Balance out your life
Keep in mind that while we live in a success and achievement driven society, most of our happiness comes from our relationships with one another. So make it your duty to spend time with your loved ones and cultivate your friendships. Happier people work better and more efficiently. This leads to more success and more free time for your relationships, so you can see how this comes full circle. Boosting your productivity will end up making you a happier, more successful person as a whole!
Mark Twain affectionately referred to doing the hardest thing first as “Eating Your Frog For Breakfast”.
There are numerous studies that clearly demonstrate that when we check off the hardest thing in the beginning of the day, we are more likely to accomplish more of the things we have set out to do. However, when we leave it for last or procrastinate on doing it, the rest of the things we have set out fall to the wayside.
Completing the hardest thing first gives us a surge of dopamine that makes us motivated to work at everything else.
I find my best times of the day is morning and evening. I always make a to do list the night before and after finishing each task I tick it off and move on to the next. So far it works well, though sometimes things take longer than planned. I am guilty though of having clutter on my desk, even though I know it’s a bad thing!
yes, you are right! there is a time in a day that you feel great and wants to do more of the tasks at hand. It also depends on the people that surrounds you. I also like to be with happy people in turn you will have a worry-free day.
Nice blog post. We’re all looking for effective ways to do things more efficient. KEep it up 😀
Loved the tip about the do worst things first!
I intergrated this a while a go and it really brought my life
to the next level!
So so true! I especially agree with to-do list. This helps everyone to be focused on what they need to do.
Focus on your target and optimize your work process. And don’t forget to be happy. Very nice one.
Optimize your work processes can be great when eliminating steps, but when it comes to outsourcing – backfires.
More steps does not always mean more work. In fact, it allows you to be more specific when you explain things to people and they can get the job much faster.
When you simplify steps for the sake of making things work more efficiently, it has to be done through testing. I wouldn’t go simplifying things before I test if that’s really “simplifying” as I would have thought initially.
In general, simple things work best.
Thanks for sharing Frederic, you’ve made some good points!
So true, do worst things first (to avoid procrastination). Commute time reduction, I gave up commuting long time ago. Working from home is much better (greener too, cheaper saving on gas) and healthier because you eat home cooked meals.
Great tips. I also use online tool for to-do list and that helped me a lot in productivity.
I spend about 10 hours each week commuting, and what do I do with this time? Nothing! Well, that’s not completely true, I do listen to music that I sing but I rarely give this much thought. Anyway, I could certainly use this time more productively and I will by doing some reading starting with tomorrow’s commute. Imagine what I can do with 10 extra hours in my week, now!
On a side note, I love the tip on doing the worst things first. I find that when I dread doing something I tend to put it off for later in the day. Lately, I’ve switched to doing the most important and most difficult things first and I find that the entire day becomes more productive when I do so.
You know, I actually learned the 2nd tip that you had – “Prioritize Your To-Do List”… from J.B. Glossinger at MorningCoach.
He called it the Sacred 6 system… and said to write down a list of 6 things to do each day… prioritize them in order of importance… and don’t move on to the next until the previous one is done.
Then if there are any tasks left over at the end of the day… move them over to the next day on a new list.
Great post Frederic!
Like this post
As it’s Spring its quite appropriate as it feels like a spring clean for your productivity.
Particularly like the statement on balancing out your life:
“Keep in mind that while we live in a success and achievement driven society, most of our happiness comes from our relationships with one another. So make it your duty to spend time with your loved ones and cultivate your friendships.”
Having fallen foul to extreme pressure being applied to me in the work environment I have suffered major impacts in my personal life. Any advice that can help to avoid these situations are invaluable as they are both unwelcome and uneccessary.
Keep spreading the word
I especially liked the section on cluttered work environments. It is amazing how simply tidying up and organizing your work environment can boost productivity and improve work ethic.
It’s almost as if your work is a reflection of the environment in which the work was completed.
Anyways, again, great post.
I really need your tips .. i’ll do first the worst things which is gives
me really stress everyday..
thanks for sharing your insights..
If it is possible to let others do the worst things (like a virtual assistant or someone who actually likes doing the task you don’t like doing) I say let them do it! Life is too short to do things you don’t like doing.
I agree completely with doing the worst things first. Once
we are able to get over that hump it is all downhill from there.
None of us want to face that uphill battle first but that is truly
when we learn a lot about ourselves.
It’s true!! I have my “to-do lists” for work and for things I have to do outside work. I always do my things for the simple reason that I like crossing it out from my list. Thanks for the tips!
Great tips. I think using your commute time effectively is the best one. Many times we use that time to relax and when we get home we’re thinking of a task we didn’t get around to doing. Might as well use our commute to get things done and enjoy our time at home.
I love the first one the most as it really hits home with me since I cannot work during the late hours like most people cause I am tired. I am more a morning person…
I outsource to a virtual “time saver”! Plus I use some automation when applicable.
This helped me finishing my assignment, thank you!