TL;DR: Being productive is a habit. You have to do small acts every day to train your brain and create the mindset of doing the tasks that are necessary. The more of this you do, the easier it will get.
Do you sometimes feel that you have a to-do list for the day but it seems that you are not making any progress? When this happens, we get anxious; we think that we don’t have enough time or there are too many things on our list.
The best way to tackle this is to train yourself to be more productive. Being productive allows you to manage your time better and complete your tasks more efficiently. But it is easier said than done, and in an era where distractions come in many ways and forms, it is better to be aware of the things you can do to be more productive.
Seeing progress in what you are doing is a morale booster. It gives you positive energy and motivation to do the tasks you are working on.
Here are some practical tips to help you to be more productive in your daily life:
Wake up Early
When you wake up earlier than usual, you have enough time on your hands to do your morning routine without the hassle of rushing, for one. Since you wake up early and have more time for yourself, you can meditate and exercise, which helps boost creativity and productivity. It also prepares your mind and body for the day ahead.
Another advantage of waking up early is you can plan and manage your tasks for the day, organizing them to maximize efficiency. It is always better to know what you will be doing for the day so you can control your time better.
Plan Your Day
Knowing what you will do for the day will give you a sense of direction. It’s more likely that you will block out the unnecessary noises of your day and only focus on your tasks. You know what to do throughout the day. You can even add “taking small breaks” so you’re setting yourself up for rest.
Being able to do multiple things at once is good if you are in a hurry. But in doing so, you are sacrificing the quality of your work.
Multitasking slows the brain; a study shows that people who are doing multiple tasks are less efficient and more likely to make mistakes than those who are focusing on one thing. It is hard for the brain to bounce back and forth from one task to another, especially when it is complex and needs attention.
The human brain is not designed to do multiple things at once. It is better to focus on a single task rather than sacrifice the quality of your work and hinder your productivity.
Take Small Breaks
When we are working on something for long hours and feel drained, it is a sign that we need to take a break.
Taking small breaks helps you to concentrate better and boosts your mood. It will also help you maintain good performance during long tasks.
Having your brain pause for a while will make you more productive and creative. So take that 15-minute break to enjoy your coffee or stroll down to the nearest park to clear your head.
Distractions are the main enemy of productivity. When you are distracted, it hinders your ability to focus on the task at hand, and worse, you might procrastinate.
Minimizing or eliminating all distractions while performing a task helps you concentrate more and boosts your productivity. I recommend decreasing or eliminating the notifications on your phone. Or, you can simply put your phone away during working hours.
Here are other practical things that can help minimize distractions:
- When working from home, choose a room that’s away from the TV.
- Take breaks once in a while. You’re less likely to get distracted when you’ve rested.
- Follow a schedule or schedule your time.
Deadlines are a form of positive pressure on yourself. Sometimes it is better to put positive pressure on ourselves to drive us to be productive.
Don’t go overboard though, seeing all the tasks that need to be done and the deadlines to meet can be overwhelming. It is better to set small deadlines to give yourself time to finish a portion of your goal. Setting a deadline for yourself not only makes you more productive since you are moving at your own pace, but you are also giving yourself time to do quality work.
For example, if you set a goal to do a small portion of your work daily, you set a specific time when you will work on this goal. You would put pressure on yourself to be productive and do a small amount of work consistently.
Being productive is a habit. Sometimes, we are motivated by what we are doing and sometimes we aren’t. Hopefully, these simple tips on how to become more productive are going to be helpful. Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for how to be productive, but once you get your momentum going, you’ll be amazed at how much more you can get done each day.
Krysti (Lan Chi) Vo, MD, is a psychiatrist, speaker, and advisor that helps people become the best versions of themselves. Did this help you how to become more productive? Visit our website and read more articles like this.