Chances are, you’ve sat at work wondering where to start on a certain product. Or you’ve tried to figure out exactly how to get everything done.
Life is overwhelming and sometimes you want to run and hide at the prospect of all you have to do.
Well, you don’t have to. We have 20 tips to increase productivity. These tips can apply to work, life, and the work-life balance. Keep reading for more!
1. Cut Back on Caffeine
Cutting caffeine doesn’t mean cutting all of it. In fact, caffeine is fine, even helpful, in moderation. Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks that can lead to lagging productivity.
Some of these less-than-desirable effects include stress and anxiety, as well as lack of sleep. It also only lasts for 4 to 6 hours which means you’ll crash and need more.
Needing more caffeine too late in the afternoon goes back to affecting your sleep. It’s quite the vicious cycle.
2. Get Enough Rest
If you’ve ever sat in your office and wondered how you would get through the day, you probably need more sleep. The longer you’re awake, the more work you get done… right?
Probably not. There are a few issues that arise with not getting enough sleep. You’ll make needless errors and mistakes, which in turn takes time to correct.
Being overly tired can cause you to nod off or daydream, neither of which are productive. Overall performance is hindered, too. It can affect mathematical and cognitive abilities and impede your memory.
3. Set Your Hours
If you hold a 9 to 5 job, figure out what time you normally get there and what time you normally leave. Allow for a bit of cushioning to end the day at a good stopping point.
Other than that, once you go home, be mentally present there. It’s unlikely you let your home life interrupt your day at work, so don’t let your work interrupt the evening. This company has great information about the balancing act we call life.
4. Eat Appropriately But Adequately
Eating too much can leave you feeling full and sleepy. But eating too little of anything will drag your attention from your screen.
People say don’t shop for groceries while hungry. This is because you’ll impulse buy things you don’t need or things you just “want.”
That bad decision making at the grocery store is from low blood sugar. Low blood sugar is also shown to affect other decisions, including how productive you choose to be. So when you sit down to lunch, make sure you’re eating in a balanced way.
5. Organize Your Materials
Before beginning a task or even starting your day, make sure you have all materials you’ll need.
This serves two purposes. First, it prevents you from wasting time running around the office. Second, seeing them staring back at you will prompt you to get to work.
Having a system to your desk organization is a timesaver too. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just helpful. That way, you don’t have to go digging for something every time you need it.
6. Limit Distractions
You’ve heard “limit distractions” a few times, but it is still worth repeating. Quit checking your text messages or email every time you think the phone buzzes. Work in a quiet environment (that won’t leave you listening for the buzzing phone).
Another way to keep the process moving is to complete those tiny projects that only take 1 or 2 minutes. Not only will completing them make you feel productive, but they won’t be there to distract you later.
7. Social Media Notifications
It’s safe to say you or a co-worker are logged into at least one form of social media on whatever computer you use at your job. Log out.
The notifications on the side of your screen will tempt you to click over to that page while leaving work still to be done. Even if you don’t see what the pop-up is about, you’ll still spend time redirecting your attention.
8. Proper Posture
Posture affects your mood, energy, and overall productivity.
Better posture is shown to lift the mood and help you feel successful. Believing you are happy and successful puts you one step closer to becoming so.
Higher energy levels will make it easier to focus, and focus, of course, improves productivity in all areas.
9. Take a (Short) Break
Yes, take a break. Drink some water, walk around, and stretch.
Even with maintaining proper posture, your body will welcome the break. You don’t need an entire routine, but stretching will increase blood flow and make you feel more energetic and focused.
It prevents injury from sitting for long periods as well as strains and stiffness in your back and hips.
10. Peppermint to Concentrate
Chewing on peppermint gum, sucking on mints, or even smelling the essential oil has been shown to enhance your memory. It is also thought to help you concentrate on monotonous tasks and complete them quicker than usual.
11. Background Music
Some people find it hard to concentrate without some type of background noise. That’s fairly normal, and having something playing in the background can help with concentration and productivity.
However, you can’t just put on today’s top hits and expect to meet every deadline with ease. Some studies have shown that songs that include nature sounds work best.
Others have found songs you enjoy or songs you don’t care about. Some studies show music with no words is effective. Keeping your music at a medium volume and at a tempo that matches the energy you need to project is key.
12. Go Old School
Keep a pen and a notepad with you at all times. It is just something to jot down ideas, deadlines, or new tasks with. Consider getting a planner as well.
This doesn’t mean you can’t use your phone’s calendar or other electronic means of taking notes. Most people simply find it easier to scribble a note than type a task or idea and a planner is easier to visualize.
A great idea always strikes when you SHOULDN’T pull your phone out.
13. Morning Meditation
Starting your morning off with a few minutes of meditation will help center you and improve your focus. Regular meditation actually increases grey matter in the brain. These benefits naturally improve your productivity both at work and home.
A few other positive things that come from meditation is decreased stress and anxiety, increased self-awareness, and compassion.
Don’t let the “morning” part of this fool you, though. Meditation can be done at any point during the day and you might find it helpful before starting a major project.
14. Find Your Time
Some people claim to be night owls or morning people. You might be a mid-morning or an afternoon person. No matter the time of day that your body works best, you should maximize it.
If you’re more of an afternoon person, take that into consideration when planning your day and the projects or meetings requiring the most attention. Likewise, don’t start a project that you can do with your eyes closed at your time of peak energy.
15. Just Say No
That co-worker that always seems to be pulling her hair out with obligations at home, deadlines, and kids’ stuff? She never says no.
Learn to say no when necessary. If it’s an invite to a function you don’t really want to attend or will take too much time from your family, it’s okay to say no.
If it’s something you don’t have a choice on, attempt to compromise. Use the planner you bought earlier to see if you can rearrange things.
16. Set Exciting Goals
Setting a goal you’re not excited about is pointless. So, set a thrilling goal that you can’t wait to meet.
You need to tell others about your goal. In other words, speak them into existence. It’s going to make you feel bad when people ask you about them and you say you’ve abandoned the goal or haven’t started.
In other words, set your goals the right way. This includes smaller, easier-to-achieve goals which are further broken down into steps. This is called a plan. When you follow it, it works.
17. Write a To-Do List
Writing lists will almost guarantee your productivity. The trick is, to write the list based on your priorities for the day and then the week.
Enjoy the process of checking off or scratching out whatever the item is on the list. Use a fun colored pin, or send it to your spouse as a mini celebration.
18. Time Suckers
Find and eliminate all the time suckers you can. Time suckers can include things like running to the grocery store because you didn’t plan dinner, going to the bank when you have the mobile deposit feature, or not setting up auto-draft for bills.
Your daily commute might be a huge time sucker. If this is the case, consider speaking to your boss about telecommuting a few days per week.
19. Get a Hobby
Find a hobby that you enjoy. It could be beach volleyball once or twice a week, a nightly bath to relax. It might be going fishing on the weekend or swimming laps.
This promotes a healthy work-life balance and can act as a healthy “reward” for a job well-done.
Final Tips to Increase Productivity:
Just. Do. It.
That’s it: do it. Just start the thing you dread and go with it. Nothing is going to get done if you don’t start. The longer you put it off is the less time you have to get it done.
Getting Down to Business
The tips to increase productivity will not only make you more valuable to your boss but also increase your happiness and memory. Beginning to follow these tips will make you more aware of what you do on a day-to-day basis.
This prevents the dreaded, “where did the day go!?” question. Life will run smoother, and you’ll be finding things that “just work out.”
If you want more tips to simplify your life, check us out!