We all have the same 24 hours in a day. The only difference is – successful people use those hours well and cleverly. Others, waste too many of those hours on things that shouldn’t take so long. Increasing your productivity means you’re more likely to utilise those 24 hours in a way that’s most beneficial to you.

Here are some ways to boost your productivity:

  1. Mental Deadlines

It’s like setting your watch 5 minutes fast to make sure you’re on time.

Mental deadlines are important – if you think something is going to take you 1.5 hours, give yourself 1 hour. By doing this, you are giving yourself an incentive to work faster than you otherwise would and this will increase your focus and determination to complete the task as quick as possible. However, never compromise on standard just to be speedy.

Similarly, if you’re a student, and have a piece of coursework due in for a certain date, give yourself a deadline of a few days ahead of the assigned date to ensure you will have completed the work on time. You will then have a couple of extra days to go over and perfect your work.

  1. ‘Me’ time

Every week, you should make it a point to schedule in such much needed ‘power hours’, where you work on your most important tasks. During these scheduled times, you should steer clear of any distractions – i.e. social media, your phone, your pet, whatever it is. These should be your most productive hours where you work your best on what’s important to you. Make sure to let family and friends know that during this time you will not be available.

You should never negotiate on this ‘me’ time, as it means you are sacrificing on things that are important to you. It’s okay to have to reschedule, but make sure you have these power hours at least once a week.

  1. Not to-do list

Basically a to-do list, but instead – a list of things for you to not do, or stop doing. The list should include bad habits and distractions that waste your time. Having a list of things that make you less likely to reach your goals and having a visual aid of your goals side by side, make you want to cut back on these bad habits and chase those dreams.

However, in order for this exercise to be useful, you have to be honest with yourself and completely ruthless. If you know something you do is a waste of time, put it on the list. There’s no point pussy-futting around the truth, you need to be able to see the harsh reality and act on it. That brings me to my next point – act on the list. Sure, you’ve made a list of bad habits and time wasters, but there’s only a point in doing that if you’re actively going to avoid these things and vow to accelerate your productivity by leaving these toxic tasks behind.

  1. Minimise multitasking

We all joke about the difference in men and women’s ability to multitask, but in actual fact – multitasking could be hindering your productivity. When you focus on too many things at once, your brain’s focus is divided, which may lead to you delivering in quantity, but not quality. By multitasking, (something we all do too often these days), we are stopping our brains from working at full capacity.

When I speak of multitasking in this context, I don’t mean cooking and talking to your friend on your phone – those are routine tasks that don’t require much creativity or thought. However, where creativity is needed, the use of brainpower is essential, so the less multitasking we do, the better. Your brain isn’t meant to juggle too many things at once – context shifts which occur from shifting activities, increase the risk of things dropping out of your short-term memory. Also, in order for your brain to work at full capacity, there needs to be minimal disruption to the mental flow. For example – think back to when you did essays at school. Starting was always difficult, but once you got started, it was easy to get going and write that essay quickly, because there was a natural mental flow. Now imagine getting into the swing of things with that essay and then deciding to start another essay, then getting into the flow of that and starting something else. You get the idea. You lose the rhythm and flow, which in turn decreases your productive capacity.

So in other words… focus on one thing at a time and maximise your brain power!

 

 

 

Do you have any top tips on how you increase you productivity? Let us know in the comments section below! GSY