The power to do more (even with less) is the secret of success. While putting in more work could translate to more success, there are only so many hours in the day, by working smarter instead of just harder, you could boost your productivity and achieve more than you ever could by just working hard. Work smarter with these 8 tips and increase your productivity.
1. Set goals, targets and deadlines
There is always much to be done, but setting goals will help you focus on your high-level priorities and not squander your time on everything you come by.
Learning to recognise non-essential tasks is a crucial skill for anyone who wants to be productive.
So set goals that cover all the vital things you need to get done and keep them in sight at all times. This will make it easy to spot inessential activities, so you can avoid them.
2. Make your life easy and boost productivity by using the right tools.
Irrespective of the work you do, there are lots of great tools that will help you work faster, more efficient and more effective.
Leverage technology and automate as many tasks as possible. Always be on the lookout for efficient tools in your field and leverage them.
3. Organize your work environment
A chaotic work environment can hinder efficiency. Have only the things you need around and create or find an environment that stimulates your productivity.
4. Weed out distractions
Take decisive steps to shut out distractions, minimise the time you spend with energy vampires. Intentionally spend less time with people that waste your valuable work hours and also turn off notifications when working.
If you stumble upon an interesting article, then save it. The same goes for checking emails and your social media accounts. Unless they are part of your job, save them for later.
5. Eat healthily
When we think about the factors that contribute to work performance, we rarely give much consideration to food, but the foods we eat affect our productivity.
As it turns out, just about everything we eat is converted by our body into glucose, which provides the energy our brains need to stay alert. When we’re running low on glucose, we have a tough time staying focused and our attention drifts. This explains why it’s hard to concentrate on an empty stomach.
Also, not all foods are processed by our bodies at the same rate. Some foods, like pasta, bread, cereal and soda, release their glucose quickly, leading to a burst of energy followed by a slump. Others, like high-fat meals (think cheeseburgers and BLTs) provide more sustained energy but require our digestive system to work harder, reducing oxygen levels in the brain and making us groggy.
As research shows that the right food can boost your brainpower, choose your nutrients wisely to be more productive.
6. Delegate and/or outsource
The most productive people don’t carry the weight of their entire business on their shoulders. If there’s someone better suited to a job, they’ll delegate it. Smart delegation of tasks helps you stay focused on the big picture.
Find people who are better than you at certain tasks and delegate. It will increase efficiency and also free up your time.
“If the work is something that needs to be done but (1) can be better done by someone else (2) isn’t part of your scope of work or (3) isn’t the best use of your time, delegate it out to the relevant people. Striving to get the maximum out of the time you have involves taking out items which aren’t effective uses of your time, such as administrative work.” —Celestine Chua (PersonalExcellence)
7. Exercise regularly
A habit of regular exercise will help keep you mentally sharper and improve your overall health.
Exercise aids productivity in several ways. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain. And that sharpens our awareness. Exercise enhances our body’s ability to transfer glucose and oxygen throughout our brain and body, thus increasing our energy level. According to studies, walking both indoors and outdoors can make us 60% more creative.
8. Take breaks
Do you set aside big chunks of time to get work done, only to end up feeling like you’ve barely made a dent in it? Do you have that one task that always seems to get pushed off to the next day? Do you end your workday feeling drained rather than satisfied with what you’ve accomplished?
You need a break!
If your brain is completely fried or if you are physically too tired, give yourself a time out. No point in pushing yourself onward and moving millimetres forward when you can give yourself a good rest and boost yourself after that. Else, you’ll just end up in a productivity slump.