Many people like to keep themselves busy; it seems to be the perfect excuse to not get a whole lot done each day. While there are many jobs that, such an attitude will continue to get you paid, there are very few where it will lead to you progressing up the career ladder. And if you happen to be in self employment or working on any sort of freelance basis, then you are wasting nobodies time but your own. Here are my top six ways to improve your productivity while working plus one way to be more productive in your regular life.
Distractions are one of the key killers of productivity levels. From background noise to constant interruptions, if you wish to really increase your productivity levels you need a space where you are free to work. If you are required to work in a noise environment, where ear plugs. If you are required to work around co workers, inform them that you do not like being interrupted. If you are able to do any part of your job at home, set up a small working area where you can have some peace and quite.
Remove non productive activities
There are many things that we do on a daily basis that keep us busy but don’t actually involve us getting anything of value done. Take a note of the ten activities that you do most often throughout your working week and assess which of them actually leads to results. One of the best examples is starting each day by checking your emails. Spam actually doesn’t waste as much time as you would think. The main killer is regular enquiries from co workers and customers that do not benefit you. There is a delete button for a reason.
Do you ever notice that you are particularly productive at a certain time of the day? This is not in fact your imagination; it is very common to be better at certain things at certain times. Figure out when you get the most done and then do the things that are most time consuming at those times. If you find yourself tired in the evenings do the activities that require the least thought at this time and vice versa.
Eat, sleep and take breaks
Many people think that by sleeping a little less and taking shorter breaks they will get more done, this could not be further from the truth. You need a good nights sleep to be at your best and without adequate breaks your mind simply will not function as effectively as it could. An extra hour in bed and an extra five minutes for your lunch can actually be highly beneficial as well as reducing the risk of you having a heart attack from rushing around all the time.
Do one thing at a time
Multi tasking is a word that people love to throw about the place and brag about but there is actually plenty of research out there that illustrates that people get far less done when they actually do it. Simply concentrate on a single task at a time, complete it and then move on. Constantly bouncing from one thing to another generally provides a lot of room for procrastination and it greatly reduces your ability to effectively concentrate on what you are doing.
Stay off the Internet.
Almost all jobs nowadays involve the use of a computer. And while computers allow tasks to be performed highly efficiently, they also offer endless ways to be distracted. Simply browsing the internet for a couple of minutes isn’t a big deal until you realise you are doing it about ten times a day. Therefore if you have work to do that doesn’t actually require being online, try to do it on a computer that isn’t connected.
Productivity Levels Outside of Work: Do everything in Bulk
Though the financial incentive may not be there, increasing your productivity levels outside of work can leave you with far more time to do what you actually enjoy. One of the easiest ways to free up more of your time is to shop, bank and cook in bulk. Do all of your shopping and banking for each week in a single trip and this will greatly reduce the amount of time you spend queuing and driving about the place. Remember that cooking five meals often requires pretty much the same effort as cooking one.