Tips to increase your productivity

ProductivityDo you want to increase your productivity? Then this is the article for you. We have collected 15 tips for you with which you can complete your tasks faster and gain more benefits from your time.

1: Be realistic

Assigning yourself with as many tasks as possible, doesn't help you to become more productive. It is actually demotivating if you do not attain your unrealistic goals. Therefore choose goals that are realistic. You are better off choosing just a few goals that you can attain, than a whole list of goals that you can only realistically attain half of.

2: Priorities

Ask yourself what is important and set your priorities. Is it not clear where you should start? Then this may give you stress. If you just start somewhere randomly, the chances are that you are not working really efficiently and then your motivation will go down after a while.
This is how you set your priorities:

  1. Write down everything you want to do. Writing down what you want to do gives you more insight and is more effective than setting priorities in your mind. Moreover it helps you clear your mind, so that later you can work without having any stress.
  2. Look at all the tasks critically and cross out the tasks that are not important or put them on a separate list of tasks that are not important. 
  3. Make a top three of the most important tasks/goals and put these on top of your list.
  4. Divide the rest of the tasks/goals in the order of importance.
  5. Is your list quite long? Then you can best separate the list in short to-do lists.

3: Short to do list

To do lists work well to increase your productivity, but then you need to do it in the right way. A super long list with everything that you still want to do is not a good idea. Such a long list doesn't really work in a motivating way, but it will give you a lot of stress.
It is easier to make a short to do list per day. Write down the most important tasks on top. For long term tasks you can make a separate list. Also separate the tasks that have priority and those that are not in a hurry to be completed.
Are there tasks that you cannot do right away? For instance because you do not have the necessary tools, it will work in a distracting manner. It can even be frustrating if you can not tick that one task.

4: Avoid distraction

Internet, smartphones, social media: all are very handy. But at the same time are an enormous distraction. Switch these off when you want to be really productive. You will notice that without WhatsApp, emails and updates that keep popping up, you will gain a lot more from your time. Turning off your smartphone even in your free time, or at least the notifications, can also be a very good idea. This way you will enjoy your free time more and also the company of your loved ones.
Do you always work on the computer and are you always distracted by many interesting websites that are constantly within arms reach? Turn off your internet temporarily if this is possible. Is this not possible, because you need the internet for your work? Install a program with which you can block certain websites (temporarily).
Other distracting factors, such as noise, or people around you, can best be avoided. Perhaps you can put on some noise cancelling headphones and listen to ambient or more upbeat music, without vocals from any language that you speak preferably, as those might also be distracting your mind from your tasks.

5: Check your smartphone usage

We are most days not on our smartphones for hours, but every time those few minutes in between add up. Do you want to know how much time you are spending on your phone? Install an app that gives you insight into your phone usage. These apps show you exactly how much time you are on your phone and also what you are doing on your phone. There is a big chance that you are surprised by your own smartphone usage. You do not have to get upset with this behaviour. As soon as you know how much time you actually spend on your phone, you can change your behaviour to improve your productivity.

6: Reward yourself

Do not only be strict to yourself, but also reward yourself. For instance with an extra break when you just finish a difficult task or by doing something fun after working a whole week.
How often and what you choose to reward yourself with depends on your situation. You can for instance make a deal with yourself that you can relax for 10 minutes if you have worked efficiently for 60, minutes without having done anything else during that hour. But you can also choose to reward yourself with going away for a weekend after finishing a big project.

7: Take care of a cleaned up space

Being all nice and productive while your surroundings are a mess? There is only a handful of people who can actually do this. Most people are most productive in a tidy space. Therefore take your time to clean your desk, office or working space and keep it clean.
After a regular tidying and cleaning it is also important to create the habit for you to put away stuff directly after you finish using it. In this way your space will stay tidy and you can keep working.

8: Take breaks in time

Skipping your break to keep working? You would naturally think that this ensures that you get more work done. You are of course working for a longer amount of time and so it should make sense. However, in reality this has an adverse effect. By working hours on end, you end up being tired and are less able to focus. This way your work becomes less efficient.
By taking a break and giving your brain a little rest, you can go hard after again, in this way you will get more work done.

9: Move

Are you doing your job seated? After a while you will probably start to feel a little dull. The solution? A walk or a short sport session. This will give you an energy boost and ensures that you can work freshly again. The time you invest into this, is not lost time. Because after doing these kind of things you can work more productively, you will catch up with your lost time in no time!

10: Multitasking? Nah... 

Multitasking sounds rather productive. You are doing more stuff at the same time, right? It is really the question however if it does make you more productive. In practice, multitasking turns out to not be that efficient at all. It costs you a lot of time and energy switching from task to task every time. Moreover it doesn't do your capacity to concentrate any good and it also has the effect that you are making more mistakes.
Do you want to be super productive? Then choose for 'single-tasking'. What is that? Well it is just is a fun term for doing only one thing at a time. It works much nicer for you and it will give you the following benefits:

  • You finish in less time
  • You can concentrate better, which makes sure you do not make as many mistakes
  • You experience less stress
  • You learn more because you are investing your full attention to only one thing
  • You come quicker to new insights and ideas

11: Learn to set your boundaries

Do you want to focus on the thing you are doing? Then it is important to set your boundaries. For instance to refuse other tasks or to ask other people to temporarily not disturb you. This can be done in a friendly manner and will do your productivity a lot of good.

12: Enjoy

Enjoy the things that you are doing. Do not only focus on the result, but try to enjoy the activity of work itself. That is not only better for yourself, unconsciously it will also increase your productivity. Whenever you are doing something that you fully enjoy, there automatically is more awareness and less distracting thoughts will be there. Without distracting thoughts it makes sense that you become more productive. Even more difficult tasks can be more enjoying for yourself by making sure you are in a nice ambience, make a nice cup of tea and most importantly choose a positive attitude.

13: Do not postpone unnecessarily 

Do you need to finish something that you have already been fearing for a while? Be strict to yourself for a little moment and just start doing it. Every time you postpone a task, it will cost you energy. This may cause an unsatisfactory feeling about yourself and this won't benefit your productivity.
Completed tasks in effect will generate a lot of energy and a positive feeling. Especially if it was a task that you didn't want to do, you will be extra happy and relieved once you have completed it.

14: Wake up early

Waking up early really helps to make you more productive. If you wake up late and go to bed late, you can of course be awake as long as when you go to bed early and wake up early. Extra time in the evening is more often than not not really spent productively. The time in the morning is usually spent more productive on the contrary.
If you start working early, then you are already ahead the whole day. This gives you a positive and motivating feeling.

15: Good nights of sleep

To be productive, you of course need to sleep well. Make sure that you are sleeping enough during the night, so that you can work full of energy in the day. Can your nightly rest be better? Use the tips listed below:

  • Keep to a certain sleeping pattern
  • Avoid exciting activities before going to bed
  • Avoid watching a screen of a minimum of 30 minutes before going to sleep
  • Make sure your bedroom is dark and silent
  • Invest in a good mattress 
  • Do not drink to much in the evening so that your bladder is not so full


Article written by: roybor
Times read: 1495x
Added: 23-12-2016 08:07
Last modified: 20-01-2017 22:50

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