I am always on the lookout for ways to improve my productivity. Do you often get to the end of the day and think I have been busy but don’t feel like you have achieved much, I certainly do. You can tick off items on your to do list but just as many have appeared and if anything it’s grown.
Being productive seems to be the holy grail and something that we all strive to be but are not really sure how to achieve it. In this post, I want to cover 5 ways in which you can improve productivity.
Time blocking is a time management technique where you will allocate a specific amount of time to completing a task. These time blocks generally should not last more than 60-90 minutes to avoid your concentration and focus waning. So what are some of the benefits of using time blocking?
Having an allocated time for a specific task can increase your focus as you only have the time you have allocated to complete that task. You are less likely to become distracted as all your focus will be on completing the work in a small time window.
Time blocking means that you will need to prioritise your tasks list to allocate a block to it. A good way to do this is by blocking out chunks of time in your calendar so that people can’t put meetings in as it’s booked for completing that specific task.
Another technique that can be used with lends itself to time blocking/time management strategies is using a Pomodoro Timer. You can download an app to your phone or computer or just use a timer and set it to a specific amount of time and that’s the amount of time that you have for focused work. This is generally 25min of followed by a 5 min break.
We often think that if we multitask you get more done and you are more productive. This, however, is not the case, by multitasking you are actually reducing your focus because you are going back and forward between multiple tasks at a time and not giving your full attention to any of them.
Due to the continuous switching between tasks, you are also more likely to make more errors. This is because your brain can only really focus on one task at a time makes errors more prolific when multitasking. This also leads to taking longer to complete the task than if you focused on one of them at a time.
So overall focusing on one task at a time will lead to an increase in the quality of work being produced as well as getting them down a lot quicker with a lot of stress. So in short do one thing at a time.
People can often find it difficult to let go of specific tasks and delegate them to others but this can certainly improve your productivity. There may be some tasks that are more suited to a colleague’s abilities and therefore delegating those tasks allows you to spend time focusing on tasks that are playing to your strength or are the most critical tasks. Or perhaps you realise that outsourcing tasks to people like intake conversion experts could free up your time, make you less stressed, and give you the results you need to take your business to the next level.
Another by-product of delegation is being able to improve your work-life balance. It allows you to reduce your workload and relieve some of the stress that comes with the struggle to clear a never-ending to do list. This will also give you more time to spend and be more present with your family.
We live in a world full of distractions which can lead to us procrastinating and becoming less productive throughout the workday. Limiting the number of distractions around you can go a long way to you being able to main the focus you need. Some of the main sources of distraction are
- Social Media
- Open Internet browsers
There are some strategies that you can implement to reduce these distractions such as
- Using focus modes on your phone (turn off notifications)
- leave your phone in your bag or on the other side of the room
- turn off notifications and turn your phone on silent
- Install plugins that block certain websites at certain times
By Implementing strategies to remove/reduce these distractions will give you the space to focus on those key tasks for the day.
Focus less on Email
Emails can zap your productivity, they consume most of our time in an attempt to reach that elusive mailbox zero. Not that emails can’t be productive but they can also be classed in the distractions category.
If you’re like me I see a notification of an email coming into my inbox and I have an overwhelming urge to open it and 9 times out 10 I will. This then stops us from focusing on that one task that we should be focusing on. Receiving a lot of emails can also cause stress and impact the ability to be able to prioritise tasks.
So it’s important to try and manage your email in an effective way this could include:
- Allocate specific times to look at your emails.
- Setting up Rules e.g. to move emails to folders
- Setting up folders to organise your emails into
- Turn off your email notification or close your outlook/email client
Looking for more tips then check out My Productivity Tips Post.