The old proverb goes – “time and tide waits for none”. It has always been a challenge to maximize our output in whatever we do – at home or in office. Time is of essence. Many people work hard through the day, stretching their strength and resources. Yet, when the look back, there is nothing much to write about at the end of the day! The reason is – low productivity. Hard work does not always translate into smart work. You may be occupied in several different activities all day long. But it may be possible to do more with less time, using some of the following easy ways to improve productivity.
1. Plan ahead
Benjamin Franklin always emphasized planning; “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. At the start of the day, you should plan on the things you want to achieve. Prepare a to-do list. Think of the resources and approximate time required to achieve the list. Prioritize the task in the list. This way, if there are too many things in your plate, you know the tasks to achieve first. As you go through the day, keep on updating the list. Strike off the tasks (with a sense of triumph!) that you have achieved. Review your progress at the end of the day, and then plan for the following one! Planning is the easiest way to improve productivity in every field.
2. Decide and delegate
Whether it is at home or at work, you should plan which tasks can be delegated or outsourced. There are several activities that don’t absolutely need your time. You can achieve more by delegating them to others. Look for people who can help you with the tasks. Also be watchful for tasks that have landed in your plate, but are not your responsibility. It is always good to help others, but not at the cost of your primary deliverables. Focus on those tasks that require your expertise or close attention. This will certainly help you achieve more with less.
3. Control distractions
It is important to have small breaks in your work. However, if you are obsessed with checking your emails or phones for incoming messages, then it can distract you from the task at hand. Social media has brought the world closer, but it is one of the prime distractors of today. Limit your access to these distractions. Besides this, discourage unplanned meetings or invites that may suddenly disturb your routine. This can vastly improve your productivity and concentration at work.
4. Improve fitness
One of the ways to improve productivity is to enhance your capability to work harder and longer. Physical and mental stamina is the key to achieving more. Hence, you should invest some time daily on a fitness routine. It charges up your body and relaxes the mind from the daily routine. Meditation and yoga can also enhance your mind power and help you work faster and efficiently. This in turn, can improve your productivity.
5. Reward and motivate
The demands are unending. No sooner you have achieved a milestone, the next one appear on the horizon. It is difficult to stay motivated and disciplined for an extended length of time. Hence, it is important to reward yourself for achieving your targets. If you are able to complete the to-do list, or achieve a target, take time to praise and motivate yourself. Review your plans and make changes if required. If you feel you can achieve more, add more aggressive targets to your list. Take a short break or vacation to invigorate your spirits!
Thus, there are many creative ways to improve your productivity. All you have to do is to take some time to introspect and identify your priorities, track your goals and remain alert, healthy and focused.
Use these 5 easy ways to improve productivity and see a positive change in yourself!