“Improved Productivity means less human sweat, not more.”—Henry Ford
This quote by Henry Ford points towards the misconception most people have about productivity. Ellen Sue Stern also highlighted this issue by saying, “In a society that judges self worth on productivity, it’s no wonder we fall prey to the misconception that the more we do, the more we have worth.” Ok fine, got the point but how can we be more productive? I am sure that this is what you are thinking, right.
You do not only have to productive but you have to stay productive for long in order to succeed. For that, you should focus on building a habit of being productive because we are what we repeatedly do. In this article, we will look at seven habits that will take your productivity to new heights.
1. Make the most of your productive hours
Even the most productive amongst us cannot stay productive throughout the day. There are uptimes and there are downtimes. Make it a habit to take full advantage of your uptime and your productivity slump will not cast a negative shadow on your productivity. You can also put your down times to good use by using it for more value added activities instead of wasting that time on useless stuff.
2. Create a To-Do List
Another habit you need to adopt if you want to stay productive is to create a To-Do list. A To-Do list can help you know how many tasks you have already completed and how many of them are left. As you continue to tick off the tasks completed, it automatically reduces your stress and boosts confidence. More importantly, a To-Do list assists you in maintaining focus on tasks in a much better way. Prioritize and streamline your tasks by creating a To-Do list to get things in order. You can easily create a To-Do list with online task manager and digital tools.
3. Complete Complex Tasks First
Human psychology plays an important role in your productivity. The way you approach tasks or the mindset you have will determine your productivity. Research has shown that your alertness level is at its peak in the morning therefore, you should make a habit of completing the most complex tasks first thing in the morning. This will also ease the nerves if there are any before starting you and let you settle into the day. With most complex task out of the way already, you will pursue rest of the tasks with more confidence. As a result, you will end up being productivity at the end of the day.
4. Avoid Multitasking
Our perception of productivity is that the more we do, the more productive we are. Combine that with the competitive business environment and never ending race of getting ahead of the competitors and we are forced to multitask. Even worse, we consider it a good thing and a productivity enhancing habit. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Our brains are design to focus on one thing at a time.
When we multitask, our brain will have switch focus between two more tasks, which takes up even more time. As a result, it will make you less productive not more. Ask any productive people and the advice they will give you is to focus on one thing at a time. You must follow their advice and you will feel that you are completing more tasks as compared to when you multitask.
5. Keep Distractions at Bay
One of biggest productivity killers at work is distractions. Whether it is email, meetings, noisy co-workers, social media, web browsing or anything else, all comes under the umbrella of distractions. Distractions can easily put you off your path. Most productive people value their time and have a habit of keeping all these distractions away. In fact, this is one of the secrets behind their higher productivity.
You cannot only be able to achieve your productivity goals but can also go well beyond it, if you can stay away from these distractions. Even if you cannot completely stop using smart-phone, spend hours on social media or endlessly browsing the web, reduce the time you spend on these activities or use it in break time.
6. Take Breaks
Are you a workaholic? Do you work without taking breaks? If that is the case, then you should stop doing it immediately. Did you know why? Believe or not, you are hampering your productivity by not taking breaks. Take 20 minutes break after every 90 minutes of work. Taking multiple breaks throughout the workday can help refresh your mind and body. In addition to this, it will help you to focus on your work in a much better way. Utilize breaks for relaxation and get back to work more energized. This will help you to achieve more in less time.
7. Take Feedback
Are you one of those who do not take feedback because of the fears of negative criticism? Did you know what does that mean? It shows your unwillingness to improve and be more productive. Take feedback regularly and try to improve yourself in the light of the feedback to become a more productive resource. Take negative feedback as a positive note as it highlights your flaws and makes it easier for you to overcome these flaws. Constructive feedback can help you improve and achieve better results in the future. Make it a habit of taking feedback because others can judge your work in a much better than you can do yourself.
After reading this article, you might have realized that productivity has a lot to do with your habits. If you adopt the right habits, you will be more productive. Change your habits and transform yourself into a productive machine. Which of these habits do you have? Which of these habits do you want to adopt in order to be more productive? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.