21 Simple Tricks For Boosting Productivity
A couple of years back; I had a really hard time getting things done. I would wake up at random times, slouch on the sofa for hours and maybe work 2-4 hours in a single day. The truth is soon after I realized just how much I was “slacking”, I decided to work on my productivity…
Two months down the line…
I was working a good 8 hours a day barely yielding 2 hours of results. Most people do it… They work for 8+ hours, yet they produce what they could in 1 to 2 hours of SOLID work. What’s the main culprit?
So I put together 21 simple tricks for boosting productivity:
- Plan Your Day
How the heck are you supposed to manage your time unless you actually plan your day? Seriously… boosting productivity is all about time management. It’s all about saving time and using it effectively. So, at the end of every day; plan your next day. Make a simple list of different tasks and at what times you will do them.
2. Time Every Task With A Timer
A few years ago time management was alien to me; now it’s everything. Planning my day was enough “time management” for the first few months. The next idea I had was to use a countdown timer to ensure I stook to my plan. After a few days of planning out my day and the times in which I’d complete certain tasks… I would end up spending twice as much time doing certain tasks and not completing my full day.
3. Kill Distractions
This is stupidly obvious, but I can’t stress it enough. Most people know this, but still have the TV on in the back ground while they work. It’s proven; ANYTHING and I literally mean ANYTHING in the background will distract you from pure focus. In order to get things done as fast as humanely possible; you must kill ALL distractions. Is music allowed?
Well it depends on what kind of music. It’s been proven that certain music enhances your focus because it sends you into a trance. An almost hypnotic trance where you’re 100% focused on working.
4. Complete Boring Jobs In The Morning
This one will save your ass if you have a load of client/job work that you have to complete at home or even in the work place. Complete your boring jobs in the morning! As the day progresses you’ll find it more difficult to complete boring tasks. It used to happen to me all the time. I’d have around 2 tedious jobs I knew I had to spend 6 hours per week doing.
So on Monday I’d leave it till last minute and then say “you know what, I’ll just put in 2 hours tomorrow”. Come 8pm on Tuesday I’d say “damn I’m tired; I’ll just do 3 hours on Wednesday”. The stupidity would continue until Thursday evening where I’d say “I may as well knock out all the work on Friday”. Complete the tasks you hate most in the morning!
5. Cut Off Internet
Cutting off the Internet is one of the most powerful productivity boosting “activities” you can do. Let’s face it; none of us have the will power to stop checking our emails, Twitter or Facebook accounts. It’s just so easy and because we get so much satisfaction doing it… we… well… can’t resist.
Whenever we do go off on a “2 minute” email check we end up clicking a few links, reading a few articles and before we know it; we’re watching cats do funny things on Youtube. The only way to stop ourselves is to cut off the Internet. So whenever you’re working (writing an email, an article, document or whatever) just disconnect from the Internet and you’ll thank yourself later!
6. Check Emails Twice A Day
Checking email is one of the biggest time wasters and productivity killers on the planet. Do you really need to check your email 10 times a day? Nope. Do you really need to check your email 5 times a day? Probably not. The truth is you could save 1+ hours a day if you just checked your email twice. Pretty self explanatory; just check it in the morning and mid day.
7. Take A Stroll
Sometimes the human brain sort of stops working. You know when you’re trying to write a sentence but the words just won’t come out. In fact; it’s happening to me right now and you can tell in this part of the post. Distractions are around me; people are talking and watching television.
I can feel myself losing focus and it’s a struggle to write these sentences. The words aren’t flowing anymore. At times like this, taking a short 10 minute walk saves the day! Walking clears your mind, the space around you releases mental blockages and the fresh oxygen helps you think clearly.
Blogging is fun, simple and pretty easy to do. It’s also useful for boosting productivity. How? By documenting your achievements, goals and failures. It lets you track your work and keep a sort of success diary. It’s also great for personal development.
9. Plan Your Meals For A Week
Eating has got to be the second biggest time waster in existence. Most of us do it 3 times per day and we spend a lot of our lives preparing food. The preparing is generally what takes so long. Preparing, cooking, serving and eating all 3 meals takes most people the best part of 3 hours.
30 minutes for breakfast, 1 hour for lunch and 1.5 hours for dinner. That’s a lot of time considering we only stay awake 14 or so hours a day. Planning your meals for an entire week not only saves time, but is great for a healthier lifestyle. What I recommend people do is plan out their entire week’s meals on Sunday. So they know exactly what to make and when. If you really want to save time, have the same meals 5 days a week for a month at a time. Always leave the weekends free to go crazy and do what you like.
Exercise is good for the human body; we’ve all heard that right? It’s good for just about everything and can boost your productivity like nothing else! Exercise relieves stress, all sorts of pain; it makes you feel great and therefore boosts productivity.
11. Get An Office
I can’t stress this one enough, get a damn office! I spent the majority of my early work days casually lying around my living room. Having a work ZONE is vital. In order to be fully productive you need a room dedicated to working.
As soon as I got my own “office”, I just started getting more done in the day. But you can’t have any office. Your office must inspire you. It must be creative, colourful, cool, interesting and inspire you to get shit done.
12. Organize Your Stuff
As a school boy I was never organized. I was the one who never had a pen, ruler or pencil sharpener. I failed to hand in homework because I forgot to write it down in my school diary. I continued to have terrible organization for years until I decided to make a change.
I started by organizing my paper work. I then made files/folder that are now dedicated to very specific things. Whenever I want to find something or start working on a specific part of my business; I know exactly where to go. Organize your stuff online too! (pens/paper/desk/folders/binders/tables)
P.S. Leave me your thoughts and questions in the comments below. Also put your name and email in the form on the right for more cool productivity boosting tips, tricks & secrets.