Ok, so I’m sitting at my computer ready to write this post about productivity tips to get more done.
And I suddenly got the urge to do nothing.
It’s funny. Where on earth did that come from? I rarely sit around and do nothing. Even in my “free” time, I’m getting stuff done. And why did the urge come up when I need to discuss productivity tips? Ironic.
It’s not uncommon for me to experience some internal resistance when I have something big to do. I think that a lot of us go through this too. The bigger the task, the more we want to put it off.
But deep down, we want to be very productive. The struggle is real here, people!
So, what am I going to do about this? Well, first I’m going to get lots of caffeine. Then, I’m going to pull out my handy dandy list of productivity tips to get on the right track.
What are my productivity tips? I thought you’d never ask.
Here’s a list of 14 tips that help me the most when I need to step up my productivity game. I hope they help you too.
Perfectionism, or striving to meet flawless performance standards, can actually be a flaw when it comes to productivity. This is because we spend so much unnecessary time completing details and often no one else will even notice. There are times when I have spent so much energy making sure that one thing was done perfectly, when several “average” items would have been acceptable. There is a trade-off and sometimes it is better to do something well instead of perfect.
A great way to boost your motivation and pump up the effort that you’re putting into a task or project is to have an anticipated reward. A lot of times when I know that I have something hard to do, looking forward to a treat or some kind of prize helps me get psyched up enough to perform the task. The key is to identify a reward in advance and keep your mind set on getting it.
Using a calendar or planner is a great way to look at what you have scheduled so that you can take care of tasks at the most appropriate time. I like to use a planner to make sure that I am getting things done in time for meetings and appointments. I also make sure that I know when I’ll have blocks of time to be productive. We can’t be super productive every day, but we can be when our schedule allows.
There are many times when it is possible to get more done by involving others. Many projects or tasks can be divided up and the parts (or whole thing) can be given to someone else to do. I have to remind myself often that I do not need to do everything on my own. This frees me up to take care of what I like doing and/or am better equipped to handle.
Often times you will find that the way you start something sets the tone for how the rest of it will go. This is why mornings are very important. You have the opportunity each morning to set the pace for the rest of the day. I have several things that I do each morning, and my morning routine allows me to feel very productive right away and continue getting work done throughout the day.
Let’s face it. Some tasks and projects are so big and scary that we need to bring in reinforcements to help us stay on track. This is normal. In situations like this, I find that having someone who is familiar with my project helps me stay on course because I have a natural fear of letting that person down. I will actually work harder when I have an accountability partner so that I can show them that I am successful.
Sometimes when people are faced with having a lot to do, they do things very quickly. While racing do get things done, they find that their work may contain errors that need to be corrected. Fixing those errors adds additional time to the project that could have been avoided. I like to work at a fast pace but never too fast so that I make unnecessary mistakes. Corrections waste time that could have been spent getting something else accomplished.
Have you ever noticed that people who spend time together develop similar characteristics? This is because we are heavily influenced by others. I have gone through my list of acquaintances and find myself preferring to spend time with those who are productive and ambitious. They give me valuable advice and model a productive lifestyle for me. I leave lazy people alone so that their lack of ambition does not rub off on me.
We all need to take time to relax and enjoy life. However, there needs to be limits on how much relaxing we do, especially when we also have a long list of things that need to be accomplished. Watching TV, surfing the net and scrolling through social media can eat up a ton of time. I have completely eliminated TV time from my life and only spend necessary time in front of a screen. This frees me up tremendously for actually performing the things that I need to do.
One way to have a higher completion rate when it comes to the tasks you get done is to reduce the number of tasks you commit to doing. This does not mean that you should have nothing to do on your plate, but you should also keep your plate from overflowing as well. To find the right balance, you have to be very mindful of what you agree to take on. I find it easier to tell someone in advance that I cannot do something than after they are expecting it to be done.
Another way to get more things done in a day is by increasing the time you have in that day. Since it is so important to start the day off on the right foot, many suggest that it is better to wake up earlier to give more time to accomplishing to-do items. I have always been an early riser, but recently I gave myself the gift of waking up every day at 4:30am. This gives me a perfect opportunity to get more done while the rest of the world is still sleeping.
It make perfect sense that the environment you keep affects your productivity. An organized and well set up place to work is going to be much more conducive to high levels of productivity than a place that is full of chaos. Distractions in the form of noise, clutter and other activities should be kept to a minimum. I have a dedicated workspace in my home that is always kept quiet, clean and stocked with supplies that I need to carry out various tasks.
This is a very effective productivity practice for many people who really need an extra boost of motivation. Nothing reinforces the need to get stuff done like a good old-fashioned due date. We work so much better when there is a time limit to accomplishing a task or project. As I think back to some of my most memorable achievements, they have all resulted from the gentle (and sometimes, not so gentle) pressure of a deadline. This is especially true when I know that someone else is depending on my work at a certain time.
Technology is a friend to the high achiever in more ways than one. Not only does it make it possible to perform tasks easier, technology also makes it possible to get things done without having to do anything. How does that work? Through automation. I have set up many things to take care of themselves so that I don’t have to spend the energy or effort to get them done. For example, almost all of my bills are paid automatically, and I do not have to do anything to make sure that this important job is done.
And wait… there’s more! Here are several additional tips and tricks that I use in order to stay on top of things and get stuff done.
And finally, make sure that you are not trying to do too much in one period of time. Even hard workers who regularly accomplish a great deal need down time to recharge and think. I do this by keeping my to-do list focused and short. I find that by prioritizing my list of tasks and breaking them down to three to five items that absolutely need to get done in a day makes me feel far more productive than if I were to accomplish zillions of little insignificant things. And three to five important items per day amounts to 21 to 35 critical tasks that are accomplished in a week!
Please leave a comment sharing your top productivity tips.