Of all the things that we complain about, not being productive is in the top five. Productivity is something which has been a major concern for people in recent years.
We often observe that an entire day goes away in front of us and we would not have achieved the goals that we’ve set for ourselves on that day.
Many things can be the agent causing this, one of which is the distraction that we have created for ourselves in the form of technology. What follows is a list of tips that can be put to use by anyone in order to achieve more out of their day.
1) Time Table
This is probably the oldest trick in the book. Ever since we were children, we were either advised or forced to adhere to a strict timetable. As adults, the same can be used to enhance your productivity too. Many of us are not able to track the amount of time we spend on the tasks that are carried out on a daily basis. This means some tasks get more attention while others get neglected. You could go old school and use a whiteboard to plan out your day or go digital and use a day planning app. It is necessary to ensure that you stick to this timetable.
To ask a person to work for all the hours that they are awake is as silly an endeavour as it sounds. No one, not even your employer, can expect from you to work non-stop and neither should you. When planning out your daily activities make sure to leave yourself some breaks. It is inadvisable to go for a long break, as it may cause you to lose focus and abandon all the tasks to come. If you think you need an hour-long break, divide into two half-hour breaks and place them such that they occur after three or four hours of work.
3) Avoid Meetings
For those of us who have watched the UK adapted American series The Office, we can agree that meetings can be a huge waste of time. They are time-consuming, keep you away from your desk and cost you time which could be used to getting some work done. Meetings are a necessary tool which helps improve communication among employees and gives everyone a choice to voice their opinions. However, sometimes sending a common text or email can also achieve the same task.
4) Finish small tasks immediately
It could either be booking tickets for a soon approaching trip home or paying a simple phone bill online, everyone would agree that these tasks will not take any longer than a few minutes. Long back these tasks may have taken longer to complete, but with the help of the internet, they are easily doable. It is advisable to finish such these tasks as soon as they appear, or otherwise, they may be pushed about for too long.
5) Listening to your favourite music
Music has a way of effecting a human’s psyche like no other form of art can. This form of expression has been around for long and have been used to increase productivity since the dawn of industrialisation. Whether it was the joyous sailors on a ship in search of the new world or unfortunate slaves in the cotton fields, they all sang songs to keep the work progressing. Even today, many professionals believe that doing any task while listening to your favourite music makes doing the work a little more fun. Make sure you have a good pair of headphones to really be able to zone in on your work.
6) No Multitasking
In the Indian epic Mahabharat when Arjuna was asked by his teacher, who had asked him to shoot the eye of a clay bird with his bow and arrow, what do you see, Arjuna said ‘I see nothing but the eye’. The lesson here is to be focused only on the task at hand. You may fancy yourself as a person who is capable of doing multiple things at once but it is not productive. While doing one task, hundred percent of your brain is involved in it and such is not the case while multitasking.
7) Using travel time
A large portion of your day-to-day activities involves travelling. Most of us use this time to daydream, surf through social media or get a high score on some game. This is actually valuable time which you are missing out on. This travel time can be used for replying to emails, sending some work texts or making or altering your to-do list.
8) Progress, not perfection
A lot of strain is put on us today by the one person who should take it easy, and that person is us. We aim for perfection, try our best to achieve it and are disheartened when it does not happen in a day. This causes for us to lose focus and not perform well the next day. Focus on making progress on a daily basis and soon you will be able to achieve perfection. This way your morale stays up and every day you return with more gusto and can be more productive.
9) Stretch a little
Offices in Japan have been known to carry out small fifteen-minute breaks where the employees stand near their desks and carry out simple exercises like jumping jacks or some stretching. Not only is this good for your health, but the increased blood flow will help you in doing the remainder of your work with a happier attitude.
10) A nice view
A nice view can lead to increased productivity only if you play it correctly. Many believe that looking at something nice helps you be more productive. Office spaces encourage employees to put up pictures of their families, favourite sports teams or any other activity that can brighten up your workspace.
Productivity isn’t a fabled concept which is impossible to achieve. If you use the tips listed above and practice some self-restraint, you will soon be able to see the difference in your work.