How to boost productivity - 5 top tips
When you wake up, are you instantly stressed by how much you need to get done? If so, you're not alone! There are only so many hours in the day, so making the most of your time in order to be more productive is essential.
Think how amazing you would feel if you did everything you set out to do in a day? You could actually relax in the evening, knowing you’ve accomplished your daily goals. Clearly, this isn’t always the case, we often feel overwhelmed by the mountain of work we have, and so by the end of the day, throw the towel in, feeling defeated by our to-do lists.
It is difficult to wake up one morning and change your whole life based on what you’ve read in a blog or magazine. They often provide you with ‘100 top tips to productivity’, which can be extremely daunting and quite frankly unrealistic for many of us! So, we’ve broken it down and decided to give you the top five tips we feel are actually worth a try!
Does your morning routine consist of you lying in bed as late as possible and barely making it to work on time? Starting your day off on the wrong foot and negatively impacting your mood. Maybe you should try changing your morning routine slightly to help give you a little boost!
I’m sure you’ve heard from countless people about their ‘miracle morning routines’ -anything from waking up at crazy hours of the morning, exercising first thing, and even downing pure celery juice (this isn’t one we’re willing to try). Nonetheless, some aren’t quite as unique as this and are definitely worth a try!
Waking up early at the same time every day (yes, even weekends) has some great benefits. It can help to improve your body’s natural sleep cycle, making it much easier to bounce out of bed without feeling groggy and unenergized. Regulating your sleep may not sound fun, but it certainly pays off in performance; 89% of adults with excellent sleep say they feel very effective at getting things done, compared to only 46% of poor sleepers.
One of the worst habits that so many of us have is picking up our phones first thing in the morning. When you start your day by diving into emails, texts or even Facebook, you lose focus and your morning becomes integrated with everyone else’s lives. It’s much healthier to take those first few moments to do something that sets a calm, positive tone to start the day.
Some other tips that are worth a try; start your day with a healthy breakfast, make your bed or clean up your workspace. Ultimately, any morning routine starts with having a good sleep the night before, so get to bed early if you want a productive day ahead!
Get your work life in order
There are only so many hours in your workday, so making the most of this time is critical. To be more productive, you either need to put in more hours or work smarter. I’m not sure about you, but the latter sounds better to me!
Getting your work life in order means you will have more time for you! Your evenings will no longer be filled with the stress of work and you’ll actually have the time to do those tasks that have been sat on your to-do lists for months.
It is important that you track and limit the amount of time you spend on tasks. You should consider setting a certain number of hours to a task, and not a minute more. If you know you have a certain amount of time to work on a specific task, you will make sure you use that time wisely and actually do everything you need to do. Don’t forget, when planning your day, you should be scheduling in breaks. I know, it sounds counterproductive, but scheduled breaks can actually improve concentration and productivity levels - so give it a go!
Looking for more tips on getting your work life in order? Check out a previous blog of ours to find out our expert tips for breaking free of your day-to-day distractions.
Dreaded task first
Whatever activity you are dreading the most, is probably the one you should complete first. Think about how good you will feel after - having the rest of the day to do your enjoyable tasks. This can be anything from hoovering your bedroom to admin at work- whatever it is, just get it done!
Many people start their day by checking their emails in order to create the illusion of having achieved more. If you're reading through your emails, are you actually focusing on your own objectives for the day or are you dealing with other people’s problems and letting your own goals fade into the background.
Do the worst tasks first because you have more energy in the morning to tackle them!
Step away from the computer
So many of us are glued to our screens for 8 hours or more a day without blinking or moving a muscle (maybe with the exception of grabbing a snack). The internet has become one of our biggest distractions. So, to increase productivity, try to do as much of your work offline as possible.
We all know exercise keeps you healthy but it can also increase productivity in all areas of your life. For many working professionals, it can be hard to fit exercise into their hectic schedules, but taking time to exercise can actually increase how much you get done in the day.
Don’t worry, getting out and moving doesn’t mean you necessarily have to run 5K on a treadmill or lift ridiculously heavy weights. Simply taking yourself on a 20-minute walk at lunch to stretch your legs and get some fresh air can get those creative juices flowing.
The key to good time management is knowing where to be and what to do at any given time. If you learn to schedule every minute of your day, you will have more control over your time and increase your productivity dramatically.
You’re not alone if you have a love-hate relationship with making lists. They’re great because they keep your priorities in line and allow you to not forget the important things. But they can be stressful - the longer a list gets, the more you may find yourself avoiding it, which is obviously not productive. Having said that, even if you don’t manage to finish every item on your list, simply writing one will make you have a more productive day than usual!
At the end of the day, you need to find what works for you, whether that be one of the examples we have listed above or something as simple as listening to podcasts or productivity-boosting music. Regardless of the situation and the demands of your time, some careful scheduling and creativity are all you need. Use these tips to start seeing improvements in your productivity - no More Excuses!
3Search is an award-winning UK recruitment consultancy, specialising in marketing, digital and tech positions. Whether you’re seeking new talent or looking for your next career move, we can help. Learn more at 3Search.co.uk