You wake up early in the morning. You quickly get your coffee, eat a light breakfast, and go to work. You do your best to complete all tasks on time, but you always seem to struggle with that.
You see that one special employee, who manages to complete much more work than everyone else, and they still enjoy their breaks and casual talks with the team members. This person also goes to after-work parties, works out, reads, and takes online courses all the time.
Why does this happen? How can some people achieve more within the same 24 hours that everyone else has in a day?
We’re not talking about superheroes here. All humans have enormous productivity capacity. The only problem is that each individual is on a different level in the spectrum. The good thing is that we can all push ourselves beyond the current limits, towards a greater level of productivity.
What Does it Mean to Be More Productive?
Higher productivity means
"accomplishing more with the same amount of resources or achieving higher output in terms of volume and quality from the same input."
Being more productive, in simpler language, means to do more work and achieve better results within the same period of time. But that doesn’t mean you should only focus on work and bring yourself to a burnout. The concept of productivity extends throughout your entire lifestyle, so it also means relaxation, exercise, and enjoying the things you love.
So how can you improve your productivity?
We’ll suggest seven simple, but important things you need to know about productivity. When you understand this concept, it will be easier for you to influence your own practices.
7 Things To Know About Productivity
It All Starts With Awareness
Distractions make us less productive. You think you’re working all day, but are you really? If you’re checking Instagram twice per hour and you keep track of that really interesting Reddit thread throughout the day, these activities are consuming time and energy that you don’t have to waste.
It’s important to start tracking how you spend your time. If you’re using Google Chrome for your online activities, there’s a cool extension that tells you how much time you spend on different projects: Clockify! Install it and start checking the reports. They show you how focused you really are.
As for the distractions, there’s another extension to rely on: StayFocusd. This one allows you to limit the time you spend on distracting websites. You can still check Reddit, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and whatever else you want throughout the day. However, you’ll give yourself half an hour to spend on these websites throughout the working day. Not a second more! The app will make those sites inaccessible once you reach your daily limit.
Kevin Robson, a writer and editor for Assignment Holic, relies on the awareness strategy. “It really changed the way I work,” he says. “Not being able to access Twitter whenever I wanted was frustrating at the beginning, but I made my peace with it as soon as I realized I was getting way more productive in my work by blocking social media.”
Breaks Are Essential
If you start working without taking a single break throughout the day, you’ll be very effective. You’ll complete your work earlier than expected and you’ll probably feel really good about yourself. But if you keep up with such a routine for several days or weeks, you’ll quickly lead yourself towards a complete burnout.
In its symptoms, the burnout is almost like a depression. You feel unwilling to do anything. You make an effort, but all you want to do is sleep, rest, and delay everything.
When you think about it, breaks make you more productive on the long term. You shouldn’t feel bad about yourself for taking the daily time off. You deserve it.
There’s a particular Chrome extension that makes you productive by recommending short breaks after each work session: Strict Workflow. It’s based on the Tomato principle, so you’re getting five minutes of rest after twenty-five minutes of work.
Deadlines Are A Good Thing
We have to Know Our Priorities
Everyone hates deadlines. Do you know why? – We think they stress us out.
But it’s not the deadline that makes us stressed. It’s procrastination; that nasty habit of delaying things until they get really urgent. When the deadline is reasonable and we start working on the project on time, it’s actually a very good thing that can keep us productive.
Daniel Moore, a team manager at an assignment service, has something to say about that: “When I don’t get a precise deadline for a particular project, I set my own deadline. I do that for my personal growth goals, too. As an example, I decided to read War and Peace two months ago, and I gave myself a deadline of one month to do that. Without such self-imposed deadlines, I start a book and I leave it behind. The same thing happens with work assignments. The deadline gives me structure.”
It’s time for us to start accepting deadlines as something good. They tell us when a particular project is due, so we can plan the time we have in a way that allows us to achieve the goal in the least stressful manner.
Multitasking Doesn't Work
Do you know what makes that office “superhero” special? This is someone who plans, organizes, and prioritizes their daily tasks.
If, for example, there’s a big project ahead, they will break it down into smaller tasks and they will specify them in the daily and weekly schedule. They will know the priority status of each tasks, so they will cover the most urgent and essential ones first. Then, they will spend less time on tasks that are less urgent and important.
You want to be as productive as this person, right? Then start making your daily to-do lists and found them on priorities. Your priority of the day is a task that’s urgent and important. Then, you’ll cover less urgent and important tasks. You’ll make a realistic plan for the day, and you’ll realize there’s time for yourself along the way, too.
There's No Such Thing as Perfection
Let’s make an experiment: single out the most productive person at your office and observe their daily routine. Do you notice they multitask? In most cases, really productive people do not cover multiple tasks at once.
You won’t see them working on a report during a meeting that’s on a completely different topic. You won’t see a productive student writing a paper while attending another course. This is someone who will pay attention to the class, so they grab the opportunity to learn. If there’s no time for the paper or report, they will outsource the task to a custom essay writer.
Real productivity is based on focus; not multitasking. It’s best to stick with a single task until you fully complete it. When you get closure, you can move onto the next task, staying fully focused on it.
"Me Time" is Part of the Productivity Pattern
Focus is good, but perfectionism is not. You must realize that it’s impossible to be the best one all the time. No matter how well you’ll complete a task, you can’t reach perfection. That’s because there’s always space for growth, no matter what. In fact, if you keep working on something that’s already good, you might spoil it.
You have to recognize the moment when it’s time to complete a task and move on from it. Even if you notice flaws later on, you’ll be able to work on them. But if you’re wasting too much time on a something, it means you’re not open for all other things you could achieve within that day.
Let’s talk about a really productive person. This is someone who goes through a working day with utmost effectiveness. They don’t take the work home. They are so focused and organized that they can cover each task within the time they have. This is someone who also gets up early in the morning, eats a healthy breakfast, and walks the dog before work. When they get home, they have time to prepare a healthy dinner, exercise, engage in a favorite activity, and spend quality time with their family.
Productivity should never be limited to the things we achieve at work. It’s about the things we achieve in life. So leave space for that aspect, too!
When you want to get really productive, the first step is to move away from time-wasting activities that make you unproductive. From there on, you’ll be the boss of your own time.
Joe McLean works as a writer and editor for XpertWriters.com
and a guest blogger for Ggrade Miners
. His flexible schedule as a paper writer
enables him to travel the world without the need to quit his job. In addition to working for the best essay service
, he also finds time for his favorite hobby – travel blogging.