What is productivity?
It may seem obvious to some, but we often have a misconception of what productivity actually is. Productivity isn’t doing a million things at once, nor is it working from the minute you wake up until the second you fall asleep. Productivity is attaining your goals in the most efficient way possible. Being productive requires recognizing what is worth your time, based on the resulting output. This isn’t always easy, especially as we are humans, not robots. However, there are ways we can be more productive. For example, overcoming procrastination, making an effort to be more organized, managing our time better and avoiding the temptation to multitask.
5 ways to increase your productivity
Studies have shown that rewards can work magic on our motivation to do something. If you tie something that you love doing with the action you want to complete, then you are much more likely to complete it. For example, if you love listening to a certain album, reward yourself with it as soon as you have finished your task.
Sometimes the hardest part of a task is starting it. To reduce that initial stress, it’s helpful to break down each task into more manageable tick lists. If the task at hand is too vague, then it can be very daunting to start doing it. For example, instead of setting a task as ‘read book’, it’s much more helpful to be specific and write ‘read pages 1-5’.
Set aside half an hour each day to plan your time for that day. We spend 45% of our waking hours thinking about multiple tasks at once, which impedes our ability to focus on the task at hand. According to Cal Newport who wrote Deep work, scheduling every hour of the day is one of the biggest factors of success. Not only does this set you up with a clear task list but also gives you limited time brackets to make you complete them faster.
Multitasking can come as a consequence of poor time management. As much as we want to do as many tasks as possible in one go, it decreases our brain’s efficiency and mental performance, which in turn negatively impacts our productivity levels. Doing 2 tasks at once has been proven to reduce productivity by 40%,
Love what you do
Finding something that you enjoy doing and that you are good at can help you maintain your levels of productivity for a long time. Motivation only lasts so long, so it’s important to choose something that you will look forward to doing. Studies have shown that people who enjoy their jobs are more likely to be optimistic, learn quicker and make less mistakes.