9 Tricks to Improve Your Personal Productivity

If we can increase our productivity, it would have a huge positive effect on our whole life. Productivity is not being busy all the time. Productive people prioritize their work and plan accordingly. They are disciplined, organized, focused. Productive people achieve good grades in school, are highly paid in their work, performs better than their teammates and enjoy quality time in their leisure.

Productivity means doing your work efficiently in a more organized way. It means being focused on your task and not getting distracted by external events. It is about getting maximum value out of every single moment. Being productive ensures good outcome from your work that helps to achieve your desired goals.

Let’s take a look at some of the golden rules of being productive:

1. Make your own deadline

If you are given a deadline, set your own deadline at an earlier time. Try to fix the deadline using 2/3rd rule, i.e. you are allowing yourself 2/3 of the time that are actually allowed. If the rule is not applicable because of external factor (especially for group project) then try to set it reasonably. Deadline encourages discipline. So try sticking to your deadline.

2. Break it into small

Large complicated project seems overwhelming to us when viewed as a whole. We do not feel quite sure where to start or how we can finish it, which inevitably leads to procrastination. But if the project is broken into smaller parts, it seems more manageable. So it is wise to break the project into smaller chunks.

Allocate each part a deadline for itself and try to finish it by that time. Now you can feel a sense of accomplishment after completing each part and this will keep you motivated all the way to the end until the whole task is completed.

3. Make a to-do-list

Make your note each night. You should sit on a quiet place before sleep (not that time when you are sleepy). Take your time to plan for the next day scheduling each task. Make this habit a ritual. The advantage of it is that, in the next day you don’t have to think about, but just to read and follow the list.

The schedule should have two columns where on the left side the task and on the right the time allocated and the time-block of day. By making notes you are conscientiously prioritizing some task over other. While preparing notes, look at the previous note. Include anything that is unfinished in the previous day or omit them if possible. For those jobs that are finished, thank yourself for each one. Feel happy for what has been done.

4. Block your time

Divide your day as several block of time. Allocate work and leisure in those blocks. At the end of each block take a 5/10 minutes break for refreshment or small snacks. For more mentally demanding job, set one or two block of time when you are less interrupted. Hanging a do-not-disturb sign, muting your phone, turning off unnecessary devices is helpful to avoid interruption.

For similar routine job, do all of them in one block of time. For example checking e-mail, updating Facebook/twitter status are similar jobs - so allocating 10/20 minutes 2/3 times a day may be a good practice.

5. Delegate less valuable

Try to delegate lower value task to other even it incurs some cost. If hiring an assistant means to free up your time for more income, then hire one. If home cleaning cost you a day using which you can earn more, then call for it. Thinking of a logo for new business is no longer necessary as you can outsource them easily and cheaply. Some apps are really helpful in everyday task - so it is worthy to look for.

6. No to multitask

Our brain cannot fully focus on each job when we are multitasking. Tasks take longer time to finish and are predisposed to error while multitasking. Context switching apparently cause more error due to insufficient attention. For each switching of job the brain is compelled to restart and refocus. Rapid toggling among tasks is stressful to our brain.

So stop multitasking for important task. Instead you should focus one task at a time and do all of them sequentially. If the job is routine and do not need much attention then it is ok for multitasking. Otherwise quit multitasking.

7. Shake off distraction

When you are distracted, quickly get back. Ask yourself two questions which would help you to get back quickly.

  • Why am I here?
  • Is this the task that I am intended to do?

It’s like when we fall we intend to quickly get back on our feet. Actually we often subconsciously welcome distraction because it comes as a relief from a more demanding job. We tend to distract easily when the distraction comes as pleasurable or at least less demanding than the ongoing job.

8. Deal with your procrastination

We all procrastinate by some point. But procrastination eats our time and productivity. You may be mild, moderate or serious procrastinator. But getting out of procrastination will certainly boost up your productivity and also increase satisfaction. The less we procrastinate the more productive we are.

9. Develop self-discipline

Try to implement a disciplined life. Try to organize not only your work-time but also your fun-time. Let some time left for your family and some time to hang around with your friends at weekend. Ensure that you have quality leisure, proper sleep and healthy eating habit.

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