To find recommended tools and other great resources, check out the Productivity Academy Resource Toolkit: https://productivity.academy/resources
Have you decided that you want to be more productive but don’t know where to start from? Are you looking for some practical advice on how to achieve results faster? You came to the right place.
A good way to see immediate improvements in your productivity is to plan your day better. In this article, I will share with you some easy tips you can start implementing today. They won’t take up a lot of your time, and you won’t need any special tools or programs.
The Daily Review
I always start my day with a daily review. It is at the heart of my productivity process and it will improve yours dramatically.
You can use your favorite tool for this, but you will need a space to write things down. So grab your notebook, your Word document, or your Best Self Journal. Start by gathering all the tasks and loose items you have for the day – check your calendar, your Evernote, or your post-it notes.
The next step is to go through what you have written and prioritize your tasks. You can organize them in batches, or list them by priority. Make sure to put the really important things at the VERY top of the list, and don’t forget the planned meetings and other commitments you cannot move around.
Kick Your Productivity into Action
Now that you know what you need to do and what is the top priority, it’s time to get to work. Some people find that actually getting into action is harder than planning or even working extra hours.
It’s that first step that they can’t overcome. There are two ways to tackle the issue – try them both and find out your favorite method.
- Eat The Frog. This popular strategy suggests facing the biggest challenges first. Once you have completed the hardest or less-likable tasks, the rest will just come easy and natural. Based on the book “Eat That Frog”.
- The gradual approach. Not everyone likes to start the day with a difficult task. Some prefer to gradually ease into work. Start with something small and simple, or something that you really enjoy. It will then be easier to just keep going now that you have the momentum built.
It is important that you try to figure out your best schedule. Are you a morning person? Or do you work best in the evening?
By keeping track of your time you will easily realize when your productivity peaks are, and you can then plan your day accordingly.
Don’t forget to take breaks. The Pomodoro technique can help you get into the habit of taking regular breaks. This focus management method relies on 25-minutes long blocks of intensive work alternated with breaks when you can stretch your body and let your mind wonder.
Again, adapt these times to your specific needs and natural productivity cycles.
You’ve Got to Roll With the Punches
For as much as you can plan, accidents and distractions happen. Especially if you work in an office environment, you will have managers adding urgent work at the last minute, and coworkers distracting you time and time again. Take that into account, and prepare as best as you can. How?
If you understand how your schedule works, you can avoid being sideswiped. If you know that at 2 pm you will receive a many phone calls and emails and the office will be particularly loud, there is no point in planning your intensive focus time there.
You can also communicate with those around you. Let people know when you wish not to be disturbed. Chances are, they will understand and appreciate your honesty, and work with you.
Review and Improve Your Productivity
As with most things, practice makes productivity perfect. Keep track of your daily reviews, your targets, and what you have achieved.
Dedicate 30 minutes every week to go through your productivity history and see what is working and what can be improved.
You will be able to appreciate your progress and boost your motivation as well as come up with new ideas to work better and faster.
I hope these simple steps will help you go a long way. Test things out, you will quickly realize what fits your needs and circumstances and start seeing results soon.