Productivity is a dreaded term that makes most of us common people tremble in knees. This is probably because we are distracted as ever and have the lost the willpower to stick to any work. Often we just end up dragging the work along never really completing it in time and then feel guilty. Very very Guilty! It’s about time we realise that everything we plan to do in a specified time, must be done. Here are some productivity hacks I have been studying about, making us stick to our goals.
Most importantly, time management. This cannot be stressed upon enough and nothing can get you to higher productivity levels than this. For managing your time well, you must a have a good estimate of what task takes how much time. We need to know how much time has to be spent on pre-work to perform the task(eg: travel time to the destination where we’ll be performing). I use Instant to track my commute times.
Goal setting: We should have a clear idea of what is to be performed and in how much time. Another factor that we must take into account is the most appropriate time for performing a task. It’s no point doing an activity at a time when you know that its going to take you more time than usual. For example doing a concentration intensive task after lunch. These points help a lot in managing time wisely.
Unrealistic goals: What most of us often do is that we setup an unrealistic target. This not only means that we are unable to complete our targets, but also it pushes our morale down. If you think that more tasks at hands will make us do more to complete most of them, you’re mistaken as it just leaves us overwhelmed and we tend to give up completely. This means not even performing the feasible items on the list.
Sleep: Most of us tend to undervalue sleep a lot. Lack of sleep slows us down a lot while performing the task as our thinking capacity goes down. Lack of sleep makes us waste time too a lot and in general reduces our patience. Having an optimum amount of sleep allows our tasks to be performed with better quality and much faster than usual. It actually more than compensates for the time you slept extra for optimum sleep. To get a better idea on our sleeping patterns, we can use ‘Instant’ to track our sleep. You can also read more on sleep tracking here.
Putting our device buzzers off : We get tons of notifications all the time from various applications on our phones. If we actually stop and check all these notifications all the time, it will be really hard to ever finish our work. So, silencing all the unnecessary notifications really helps. Distractions are always the worst killers of productivity.
Focus: Our ability to focus plays a vital role in this task. If we keep shifting our focus very often , we’ll just end up taking a longer time for completing a task which often leads to the loss in patience. The Pomodoro technique is great for this. It recommends we run a timer for 25 mins as a base and work throughout it then take a 5 min break. Repeating this can help keeping us focused.
Keeping track : Its actually really important to keep track of the tasks we perform and in how much time. This allows us to compare our efficiencies and pushes us to do the task in a shorter amount of time. This is a really good habit and allows us to free up much more time and really gives an idea of where we stand.
Free time: We need free time too. Taking out even 10 minutes for ourselves calms us down a lot and really helps us get back to our work rejuvenated and with more willpower to do it. This speeds things up quite a bit. The free time we have should be appropriately placed between our tasks for max productivity. It needs to be placed right after the most stressful work or after the maximum time worked.
Work environment: The environment we work in must be appropriate us so as not to discourage us from working. Mostly, a cluttered table is the reason why we procrastinate and tend give up working. The environment is also important. If you have too many distractions there, it becomes too hard to work. Make sure you don’t have too much stuff on your plate. Having too much stuff to do just slows us down and makes us unable to perform the most important and necessary tasks .
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