Productivity can be elusive to sustain for many of us when times get stressful; it is much easier to procrastinate with menial tasks.
Boring tasks will always be on your to do list, but with certain attitudes and habits in place you can combat negative mindsets and behaviours that are anti-productive.
Those ‘extremely productive people’ you hear about still have good and bad days, no one is productive all the time, but here’s how you can be productive more of the time!
1. Figure out your most productive time of day
This time may differ for everyone. Some suggest universally 1:30pm is the most productive time of day – test this out for yourself! Once you understand the patterns of your own mind, you can schedule the most important tasks for your most productive time and schedule the easiest tasks for when you will be least productive – such as late afternoon. You certainly can’t expect to be 100% productive every minute of the day!
2. If something seems impossible or never ending, step away from the screen
Take a 5–10-minute break, walk around, get some fresh air, then break the task down into smaller tasks on a to-do list and make a start. Take as many small breaks as you need between tasks and you’ll find it’ll be done sooner rather than later – with minimal pain. Trying to force yourself into nonstop work to get something done faster actually makes you less productive.
3. Make less decisions in your day
Decisions and having the will power to be decisive will eventually tire you mind, which can overall make you less productive. For example, Steve Jobs wore the same outfit every day, so he didn’t have to think about what to wear, which saved his brainpower for more important things. Are there a few decisions in your day you could put on autopilot?
4. Stop multi-tasking
By now we know multi-tasking is a hindrance and not a help, particularly when stressed as it frazzles the mind. Trying to do too much at once is anti-productive as the quality of work decreases, so wherever you can, cut multitasking out and schedule yourself focus periods where you work on one thing at a time!
5. Say no (sometimes)
Similar to multi-tasking, saying yes to too many things will leave you overwhelmed and anti-productive. If you have three large tasks sitting on your to-do list for the morning, politely decline extra work or helping a co-worker with their workload until you have finished your important tasks. Once finished you can offer your assistance!
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