The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success. No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, it’s important to be able to get the most out of yourself and your abilities. While important, it’s not something that obvious to everyone. The following contributed post is thus entitled, 10 Ways to 10x Your Productivity.
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We’re all looking to squeeze more from our lives, yet we are limited to only having a certain number of hours in each day. Therefore, we need to find ways to get more done in less time.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at ten great ways to boost your productivity this year.
1. FIND OUT WHEN IS BEST TO WORK FOR YOU
We all have our own inner rhythm when it comes to the best time of day for us to work, for instance, many creative people find that working through the early hours of the morning can be the most productive time for them, whilst for most people, the early morning tends to be their most productive time as their brain is refreshed and their body is re-energised.
You need to work out when you are at your most productive, and focus on building a schedule around your natural rhythm rather than trying to adjust your natural rhythm, which can feel like a very difficult uphill struggle, at the end of the day.
2. WORK IN MORE LIGHT
One of the most vital components of creating a focused work environment is that of natural light, as the lighter a room tends to be, the more easy it tends to be to focus on the task at hand. Therefore, if you’re used to sitting down to work in a dark room, you’re setting yourself up for an uphill struggle.
Get somewhere with an abundance of natural light, or even artificial light, at worst case; just think of how much clear and productive people tend to feel when walking around an art gallery – in parts its the decluttered nature of galleries, but another large part of this is the fact there is so much light bounced around the space due to the white walls and lighting setup.
3. WORK IN SPRINTS
If you think of how much more calories people burn in high intensity interval training, where they might go flat out for twenty seconds, then rest for ten, and then go again – the same is true when it comes to focusing on your work. There are many advantages of the rotating shift, for the same reason, and you want to try to adopt this approach to your own work.
Focus in short bursts, rather than for long blocks of time, using something known as the pomodoro technique in order to ensure you maximise the maximum output when working.
4. USE THE PARETO PRINCIPLE
The Pareto Principle talks about how 20% of your activities will tend to account for 80% of your outcome… meaning, there will be just a few tasks or activities on your to do list that will have a massive impact on how much you achieve. Therefore, you want to prioritise those tasks and focus 80% of your energy on the 20% of tasks that will get you the most results.
5. USE LISTS
The world’s most successful people tend to use lists for everything. There are a wide variety of apps available to help with this, such as Wunderlist, that can help you keep track of your most important tasks. There’s something psychologically rewarding about ticking items off of your to-do list as this builds momentum, in that if you’ve ticked 3 out of 5 of your items off that list for the day, then you feel very motivated to get the other two finished.
6. DON’T TRY TO DO EVERYTHING YOURSELF
Whether in business, or your personal life, try to avoid the temptation to feel like you need to do everything yourself. Try not to overstretch yourself by taking on too many tasks and be sure to outsource low value but high time tasks, for instance, cleaning, to a supportive network of people that help ensure you get more done.
7. TAKE A VACATION
It’s really important to take a vacation from time to time, and have weekends, as so many people feel the need to work through their weekends and like they don’t have the time to take a vacation – yet, actually, the productivity benefits of having some down time are absolutely massive. Think of how even the fittest of boxers still require rests between rounds, and it’s only as a result of having that rest, that they can keep going – and come back stronger.
You need to allow yourself time to rest, and time away from your work, therefore taking a vacation from time to time and ensuring you use your weekends, are great ways to improve your productivity.
8. WORK WHEN YOU WORK
You want to be ensuring you “work when you work” meaning, when you sit down to work your focus is 100% on the task at hand – you don’t have the TV on in the background, or kids playing around your home office. You have a one track mind, in terms of the focus you have for your task – and this idea of working when you work means you can also “play when you play” or “rest when you rest”.
Too many people today are trying to cram too much into their lives, all at once – trying to balance multiple things all at the same time. The most productive way you can go about any task, is to sit and focus on it, in a very single minded manner.
9. CHUNK IT DOWN
Sometimes, we spend so much time fretting about how to approach something, that we never get started. For instance, let’s say you feel overwhelmed by having to write a big report – the first thing you want to do, is to break it down into headings and subheadings so that you can then start to fill in the gaps. Therefore, the first thing you want to do when dealing with a big task is to create the structural framework so that you can then go about filling in the gaps.
10. GET UP EARLIER
This one might sound incredibly simple, but get up an hour earlier, and use this hour to get your most important tasks done. It will skyrocket your productivity levels.