With distractions everywhere, staying productive can prove a challenge. In this guide we’ll look at some ways to ensure you remain as productive as possible, no matter what you’re doing. – DeeDee Yu
1. Block time-wasting websites and apps
You’re probably aware that you spend too much time visiting certain websites and using certain apps when you should be working, so block those sites and apps during work hours.
2. Don’t let notifications be your master
Jumping from one task to another can play havoc with your productivity, so don’t let notifications distract you from the task at hand.
Email especially is very rarely urgent, so turn off your notifications and commit to dealing with your inbox twice a day – once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
You might find it a little harder to ditch text and phone call notifications, but you should strongly consider it when working towards a tight deadline.
3. Make a to-do list, keep it realistic
To-do lists can be a great way to cut your workload into more manageable chunks, but the key word here is manageable.
If you’re making your to-do list unrealistic, you won’t stick to it and your productivity will suffer as a result.
So break each project down into a series of tasks and each of these tasks into a series of subtasks. These subtasks should form the bulk of your to-do list, ensuring it’s easy to manage.
4. Equip yourself with the right tools for the job
Nothing dents productivity like having to work with substandard tools, so make sure you’ve got the right tools at your fingertips.
It also allows you to collaborate with remote teams, and all your documents are saved online so you never have to worry about forgetting a crucial doc.
5. Start using a productivity technique
There are several productivity techniques available to help you boost your concentration, and one of the best know is the Pomodoro Technique.
The idea is simple – you set yourself a task and then set a timer for 25 minutes. During that 25 minutes you work on the task and nothing else (so no checking emails, etc.)
When the 25 minutes is up, you have a short break. Then you reset the timer for another 25 minutes.
Once you’ve clocked up four sets of 25 minutes, you take a longer break. Then you start the whole process over again.
6. Understand your own working habits and adapt
Have you read those articles about the habits of highly successful people and noticed that they tend to work long hours, starting early in the morning? Have you then been tempted to replicate them, but found yourself becoming less productive rather than more?
No two people are the same – some work best in the morning, others in the afternoon and some work best in the evening heading into the night time.
So monitor how you work, and when you work best. When you’ve identified your peak hours for productivity, try to ensure you use them for work as far as is possible. So that means no meetings and not checking emails if you can possibly help it.
7. Take proper care of yourself
Fitness, health and productivity are strongly linked. Chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer knew this, and he followed an intense exercise regime so he’d be able to concentrate on matches that could last up to six hours.
You don’t have to take things as far as him, but keeping yourself in shape can help you be more productive at work.
A large part of becoming more productive is finding out what works for you, so take these tips as a starting point rather than a code that you have to follow to the letter. If something works for you, do it.