We all want to be more productive in our daily lives. Being able to increase our output without increasing the amount of time we spend working is the ideal scenario. Working harder or working smarter? Working smarter is the obvious choice, but when it comes to implementing the “work smart” concept, the difficulties seem to present themselves.
There are a few small changes that everyone can implement to increase their day-to-day productivity.
1. Put your phone away
I know – it sounds scary. But it will be fine. If your job does not require you to have your phone with you, try putting it in your bag or your drawer for an hour so that you can truly focus on the task at hand.
Sure, a quick check of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and your texts won’t make a big difference, right? Well, when you do it constantly, it does.
So, put your phone away and focus. The funny cat meme will still be there in an hour.
Sounds incredibly simple, but few people actually do it. At the beginning of each day you should look at your list of to-dos (you have a list of to-dos, right?) and decide which three entries are absolutely the priority that you must get done on that day.
Now, three things to accomplish doesn’t sound too bad, right? Focusing on three tasks at hand is manageable and it leaves wiggle room for the things that usually come up throughout the day and have to get done too.
3. Create a to-do list
My mom says that there is no better memory than a written piece of paper. Having a running list of items to complete will keep all your to-dos top of mind so that avoid having things fall through the cracks. Besides, there are few things more satisfying than crossing an item off the list after it is done.
Your list can be something as simple as a good ol’ pen and paper or something more sophisticated like Wunderlist. The medium doesn’t really matter; the point is to make sure you write down everything that you need to do.
4. Block it off
Few people are actually good at multitasking. That’s because it is hard. Instead, you can try blocking chunks of time off for specific activities. You need to write a blog article? Book off one hour on your calendar so you can dedicate yourself fully to that task. Or maybe you need to complete that big report? Set aside two hours of your afternoon to get it done.
You can go even further than that and block time off for email checking. That way you don’t get distracted by email notifications while trying to do your report.
Ask for a helping hand
5. Ask for help
You want to work hard and do a great job. You want to deliver the goods. That is fine, we get it. But sometimes you need help. There’s no shame in that. Sometimes there is someone on your team who is great at the specific task you are struggling with.
Go ahead, ask for help. It will help you get the project or task completed faster and potentially better too.
So there you have it. These are the five easy tips you can start implementing today to start seeing increases in your productivity!