Are you ready to get to work and get a lot done but … it just never seems to actually happen? Procrastination and disorganization are big problems that can turn your productivity level down to zero.
Get Your Mindset Right
If you’re barely able to open your eyes or groaning like a bear coming out of hibernation after a very long and cold winter then now is probably not the time to get down to work on redoing your back garden or blitzing through a huge workload.
Try to envision your day and the work you can get done. Pump yourself up with some music and a coffee or a healthy smoothie. Think about what you’ll do once you’re done and work out when you will take short breaks as well as a longer break for lunch.¹
Keep Your Overall Goal In Mind
What’s your goal? In business, at home, in your communication and even in everything you do establish a goal. Maybe your primary goal right now is to earn money, or to expand your business, or to seek new opportunities, or to sell your house.
Don’t spend time doing work that doesn’t contribute at least in some way to your goal. Sometimes you have to do work that’s full of drudgery, but at least make sure it’s leading to your end goal.²
Break Into Steps
One secret of productivity is to break bigger tasks into smaller steps. Do the hardest things first, but instead of picturing an impassable mountain in your way think of all the stops and little “base camps” along the way.
Step one, e-mail colleague, step two write introduction, step three check for new updates, and so on. Keep a list and tick it off. Even large tasks can be made manageable by breaking them into steps – and your productivity will soar.³
Don’t Just Rely On Willpower
Sometimes it can be tempting to just wing it and try out best to get things done without really making our environment the best it can be. What this means is that you have to cut out distractions. Don’t just rely on your own willpower and determination to power through difficult tasks: turn off the TV, close your browser tabs, turn off Whatsapp and other notifications and get down to work.
If there’s loud sounds outside close the window, if there’s something on your mind that’s really bothering you sit and process it before you dive into work instead of stopping every five minutes and getting lost in your thoughts. Your productivity level will rise dramatically.⁴
Email and online communications are one of those things that can be necessary for many people’s jobs but that can also massively hurt productivity. Simplify your approach to email by only responding to what’s necessary. Star conversations that you must reply to and do so all at once instead of bit by bit.
Avoid refreshing your inbox constantly and only check it every hour or two. Write short, clear responses to people and limit your personal communication for when you’re done work.⁵
Know What Motivates You
This won’t come as news, but not everyone is the same. For some people deadlines will motivate them, for others it will lead to procrastination right up until the last minute. For some people some light background music can get them inspired and focused, for others it will be like a mosquito buzzing in their ear and throw them way off of any productive track. Know what motivates you by testing it out, then stick to it and watch your productivity rise.⁶