Everybody has been provided 24 hours in a day by mother nature but still we find that some people manage to complete much more than most others. Mystery of this lies in being productive rather than remaining busy. To get more done at the end of each day gives a sense of accomplishment to the person. There may be numerous productivity tips, but I give here a few essential ones that I have found very useful in my own life:
1. Golden Hours
On any given day there are so many tasks waiting for our attention and the most common tendency for most people is to get started with the easiest job in the day. My personal observation is that once we start our day this way, then we no longer remain in control. I find most people doing diligently the works that are not at all required to be done. For maximum productivity I would suggest to devote for next 21 days the first two hours of your work day to the single most important job that you have for you. This acts as a very good catalyst and set up the momentum for the day. Once you work on your single most important task you get better hold of it and give it your best productive time when you are fresh and have the maximum energy in the morning.
It has been observed that 80% of your results are because of your 20% of efforts. When you do as advised above the results start to pour in and you feel motivated. This further increases your energy and you work with increased vigor thus entering an upward spiral of productive work.
Once you continuously work for 21 days in this manner it results in formation of habit and thereafter you will always work in that fashion. There will be no procrastination and final outcomes will be there for all to see.
2. Remove distractions
Another thing that eats away your productivity is distractions. Do you ever check on your social media feed or get involved in unnecessary chit chats with your coworkers during the work hours? Do you start your day with checking on emails? Do you look at your mobile phone at the first beep? If your answer is yes, then you are part of vast majority of people who are killing their productivity because of distractions.
It is a known fact that once your concentration is broken, it takes at least 10 minutes to regain your focus and return to your productive best. Just imagine your status if your phone rings every now and then. Best strategy is to work in an environment where you are assured of no distractions and then just dive into your most important tasks. You will yourself be amazed at the amount of work you are able to accomplish in same time.
3. Choose your peer group wisely
It is said that you are sum total of 5 people with whom you spend majority of your time. The qualities and work culture of your peers gets rubbed down to you. So choose your peer circle well. If you are the smartest person among your group then it is time that you change your group. For personal growth you need to be standing with people who are able to provide you fodder for your development and who encourage you to challenge your limiting beliefs and level up with them.
If you remain with people who are lesser than you (this is different from arrogance and no offence meant to anybody) in terms of habits and work culture than you will not be increasing your potential and remain in comfort zone. Nobody grows in a zone where they are comfortable. You have to Embrace Discomfort for Growth. This is what happens when you upgrade your peer circle, your hidden desires to reach their level gets wings and remember desire is the first step for all accomplishments.
4. Leverage and delegate
As already discussed that your 20% tasks contribute to 80% of your results and for maximum productivity you should focus on these most important tasks. Having said this there are still many tasks and sub tasks which may not be so important but still are required to be done. Develop a team, use the power of effective delegation of such less important tasks to somebody. This gives you freedom to devote your time on the most productive jobs. The amount of money you spend on your team will be nothing when compared to the final results you can achieve with more focused approach. Another advantage of having a team will be that you will be able to tap into their perspectives and may be come up with some more ideas. Remember, none of us is more intelligent than all of us.
5. Always work as per the plan
For maximum productivity always work as per the plan. Make a to-do list, arrange in order of priority and keep it in front of you all the time so that you don’t deviate from it. A point to remember here is to make these to-do list a night before so that you have a head start. Ten minutes of planning may save you up to two hours in working.
6. Have your rest time
It is no secret that productivity decreases after some time of your continuous working. Your brain gets stressed out and its efficiency decreases so I would suggest you take a short break of 15 minutes after two hours and a longer break of about 45 minutes to an hour after 4 hours of work. Sip on a cup of coffee or may be listen to some music. Make sure it relaxes you and replenishes the reservoirs of energy to take you again to your peak state and enhance your performance. These breaks apart from offering the advantage of mental relaxation are also physically good for your heart and body at large.
7. Self Appraisal
In the end it is all about your own personal preferences. Every individual is different so in order to get best out of yourself make your own strategies or tweak these as per your nature. Always develop the habit of self appraisal. Analyse what is working for you and what isn’t.
There are other large number of productivity enhancing activities that you can adopt according to your own liking but always try to be more productive rather than just spending more time on the desk because now is the time for not only hard working but also smart working.
Related article: 8 Time Management Tips