Do you have lots of tasks in hand that you need to finish? Are you feeling overwhelmed with all the things you need to do every day? It is time to relax because this article will give you some unique tips on how to be more productive. If used correctly, these tips can make your life so much better and make you a more efficient person than before. You will be able to manage your life and your tasks with less stress and more ease.
Here are the 12 number of tips on how to be more productive in life.
Focusing on the MITs ( Most important Tasks)
Every single day you have many things on your to-do list. Of course, you have different aspects of your life, and they all demand some specific tasks to be done. Getting groceries, Washing dishes, Writing a blog post, Studying for exams. The fact is that not all tasks in your to-do list influence your life equally. Only 20 percent of what you do each day produces 80 of the outcomes. (Forbes)
This means there are definitely some tasks which are more important than others. To be a more productive person, you need to focus on the most important tasks that influence your life the most. Ask yourself,
What is one thing only you could do that will impact your life the most today?
Asking this question will help you to find the most important tasks (MIT). These tasks are going to differ from person to person. The most successful people do not focus on everything; they focus on the most important things. Put your most effort into these tasks.
Keep a list of distractions.
Every day when you sit for doing a job, whether it is writing a blog or doing your homework, you will bump into many distractions. Distractions are tiny enemies to our personal productivity that can make a whole lot of difference. It is essential to know what really distracts you from doing your most important tasks.
If and only if you can identify these distractions or time wasters, that is when you can be aware of them. A person who doesn’t know his enemies cannot win a war; just like that, these small distractions prevent you from reaching the maximum level of productivity.
- Just before starting an important task, sit down with your pen and paper.
- Write down the things that could distract you, whether it is your digital devices or your household members.
- Deal with each distraction differently
If it is a digital distraction, you can choose to keep the phone or laptop away from you. If you are working on the device, you can use certain apps like Forest that will help you block distracting websites and apps. If any household member is the reason for distraction, make sure to notify them about your schedule so that they do not intrude on your work at certain times. A gentle reminder is all you need to give them to stop distracting you.
Related Article : Learn more about The Forest App Here!
Generating more ideas
If you want to know how to be productive, you also need to know that productivity is not only about doing something faster or more. It is also about finding the best solution to a problem. Remember that we can solve most problems in our student and work life in several ways. You need to figure out what works best for you and what does not. To figure that out, the best way to do it is to generate more and more ideas.
How do you that? Brainstorming. If you are thinking about solving a problem, try to think on paper. Write down all the things you know about the problem, how you can solve it, and other information related to it. Thinking on paper will lay out the complete picture of the problem before you, and you can visualize the problem much easier. This will be better for creating more ideas and finding better and efficient solutions to each problem. Whenever you come across a problem, sit down with a pen and paper and write every single thought about it on paper. You will see this will open up your brain and will introduce you to newer and better solutions
Thought dump and closing the open loops
Our brain is not always as intelligent as we think it is. It tends to remind us of irrelevant thoughts during inappropriate times. How many times have you started working on something and your mind started wandering off to other thoughts? All the open loops in our minds start to pop up when we want to do the most important tasks of the day.
For completely focusing on the task at hand, you need to close these open loops of thoughts or reminders. The way to do it is the Thought Dump Technique. Here is how the thought dump technique works:
- First, before starting a work session, sit down with a pen and paper (you can do it digitally, but I prefer Handwritten)
- Start writing the things that come to your mind, anything and everything, even if it is stupid and irrelevant. Just note it down.
- After writing all your thoughts, find out what you are going to do about it. Some irrelevant and weird thoughts will not require action but most will.
- If something is too urgent and doable right now, do it immediately.
- Keep the other “next actions” written.
- Then get back to your job. In case anything pops up in your mind apart while working, write it down too. (You don’t have to think about the next action, but keep it noted)
The thought Dump technique works because it closes all the open loops in your brain and helps you focus on the task at hand. It relieves the stress off the shoulder and keeps your mind at ease, which helps you concentrate on your work.
This is probably one of the most common productivity tips out there. Every productivity guru on the internet is going to suggest you stop multitasking. But I have a slightly different take on this.
Everybody has some tasks on their to-do list that can be done even while sleeping. These tasks do not require much focus and can be done without much cognitive effort. I suggest you do these tasks while multitasking. These do not require much focus, and even if you do not give your full attention, these will not matter too much. For example, you can do your household chores while listening to your favorite podcast.
But when it comes to the MITs (the most important tasks). It would help if you gave your time and also your complete focus on it. You cannot let your mind wander off, nor can you let yourself be physically distracted from it. Context switching can cost as much as 40% of your productive time . So stop multitasking on these important tasks, keep your mind and body fresh and focused while performing these tasks, and forget multitasking.
Eisenhower was the 34th president of the United States who served two terms during 1953-1961. It is said that he has lived one of the most productive lives anyone can imagine. Eisenhower had a different approach for taking action and organization of tasks. It is not too complex but really productive.
He used the decision matrix below :
- Urgent and important: These are the tasks that are you should do immediately
- Not Urgent but important: These are the tasks that you should schedule for later. If you want to be more productive, you should be spending most of your time here.
- Urgent but not important: These are mostly tasks that you should delegate to someone else.
- Not urgent, not important: These are the tasks that you should eliminate.
If you take a short time of your day and fill up different tasks in these boxes, then you will have an effective plan in your hands. You can use this for any broader productivity plans e.g
- What should I do this weekend?
- What should I do to do well in exams?
- What should I do to enrich this blog?
Having a comfortable work/study space
We all ignore how much important a proper study space is. Study space is one of the first elements that can motivate you to stay productive when you don’t feel like it. The Paper Giant Study found that 49% of workers felt that they needed a better workspace if they want to continue work from home .
A perfect workspace has the proper ambiance, temperature, calmness that can help you to work better and faster. You do not need to buy expensive gear or rent a whole place to create a good environment. You can do it at your home with the right methods and knowledge.
Related Article : Learn more about creating a perfect study space Here!
Following some RULES in life
Now, most of these techniques on how to be more productive in life are also closely associated with being disciplined. You need to have a bit of self-discipline to follow all these strategies. Here are three rules you need to follow :
The 2-minute rule: The 2-minute rule states that we should do anything we can do within 2 minutes immediately without any delay. You can do many things in two minutes, like decluttering your desk, washing the dishes, cleaning up the excess storage, etc.
The 5-minute rule: This rule states that you should trick your brain when you are feeling friction to start a task by saying that you are only going to work for 5 minutes. Once you initiate the task, you will see that it is not very hard to go on. It is the starting of a task that is difficult.
The Pareto Principle: “Work expands to the time allowed to it.” This is fairly true. It means that no matter how much time you are given, you will end up completing the task at your deadline. So you need to create some imaginary deadlines that will help you finish a task much faster.
Batching has been one of the most productive strategies that I have implemented for myself. Think about it for a second, how many times in the day do you open your Gmail app to check your mails and reply to them. I would guess more than a dozen times. Your workflow could be two-three times productive if you started batching similar tasks together.
Whether checking your emails a dozen times every day, fix a definite time to check your mails. This is a simple example. You can do it for every single task. Batching a similar task will make your workflow more productive and save you a lot of time. So start stacking these tasks right away
Finding ways to delegate
Many of us feel skeptical about delegating our tasks to someone else. But delegation is probably one of the best ways to get your “urgent but not important” tasks to get done. It is recommended that you do not waste time on these tasks but rather find people or automated programs for doing these kinds of tasks.
Sometimes you might not feel confident of giving someone else the responsibility of a certain task. But remember that delegation will free up a lot of our time which you can use for doing more important tasks. It would be best if you gave the delegation a try.
A Productive NO
A big principle of productivity goes into doing the important things and letting go of things that matter less. Sometimes it becomes really hard for us to say No to someone or something. But these skeptical NOs take a lot of our time and also wastes a lot of energy. In the end, you do a lot of work, but they do not produce many results.
It is time you learn to say NO or avoid things that start taking up time unnecessarily. If you practice saying no to the most useless things in life, then you will see that your life has become much more productive than it ever was. For example, If you avoid the unnecessary emails in your inbox, you will probably see that you have very few emails that require some replying. You can focus on these important emails and hope that they bring good outcomes.
Learning to work and read faster
I am guessing that a lot of your time goes on sitting on a computer, working, reading emails, writing assignments, and so on. Just think for a second if you could save 1-second for every time you took action on your computer, how much would you save? The cumulative result will be huge.
That is why learning the shortcuts of a computer or writing much faster is so important because it can help you work much faster. Speed reading is also another very important skill that you can acquire through skills. Unlike most other techniques on how to be more productive, these two things, speed reading, and fast typing, both require some practice.
Here are some keyboard shortcuts that might help you to write a little faster :
Delete a single sentence
- Command+ Del (Mac)
- Not available on PC
Delete a single word:
- Option + Del(Mac)
- Control + Del (PC)
- Command + A (Mac)
- Control + A (PC)
To find a word in your text:
- Command + F (Mac)
- Control + F (PC)
Screen shot :
- Shift + Command + 4 (Mac)
- Windows logo key +PrtScn button or Fn + Windows logo key + Space bar (Pc)
Switch between tabs:
- Control + Tab (Mac)
- Ctrl + Tab (Pc)
There are so many more. You can check here.
Being productive is more than just some simple strategies and tips; it is about the mentality of developing yourself and your efficiency. Anybody can do it if they appropriately follow these tips on how to be more productive. It is no rocket science, but without the right mentality and motivation, you will still be stuck in the vicious cycle of procrastination.