Productivity is all about single-tasking, knowing when’s the right time to do stuff, focusing on your current activity, boosting your energy level, prioritizing and being able to start without procrastinating.
But there are also some practical tips you can use in order to get more done in less time.
All the tasks we do during the day can be completed in a better, smarter, faster and easier way. You just need to implement some new techniques.
All of the following methods are taken from people who have already benefited from them.
15 Techniques to Increase Your Productivity
Tips #1-4 by Ludvig Sunström from StartGainingMomentum.com.
These tricks are just a few of what he writes about in his free eBook “75 Practical Self-Development Tips”, which you can get once you subscribe to his blog.
1. Find your prime time.
The first thing you must do to become productive is to find your prime time. This is the time of the day when you are the most productive; when your energy levels and your mental focus are at their peak. For most people this time is in the morning. Especially so if you skip breakfast and/or consume stimulants.
2. Create a not to-do list.
Sometimes it’s easier to tell yourself what NOT to do, than what to do. Because there’s so much you know you should be doing, and you simply don’t have the time to do all of it at the same time. But, you CAN avoid doing the things you know you’re NOT supposed to be doing.
3. Don’t do more than 1-3 big things per day
Because if you do, you’ll not be able to reach a state of cumulative concentration.
You see, concentration and creativity are often built up over time. This means that you’ll be more efficient by spending your time focusing on a few things per day than you will be by doing many things. Because if you do many things it’s less likely that you ever get into a state of high concentration where you do really productive work.
4. Take 5-30 min power naps.
This can increase your total output in terms of mental focus and energy levels throughout the day. Beware of power napping for longer than 30 minutes, because that will often make you even more tired than when you began the power nap.
Tips #5-7 by Dan from TropicalMBA. They are part of the post An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Being Productive.
5. When the winds of passion are blowing, put your sails up.
If I want to build something, write something, make a movie, write a song– I do it right then and there.
6. Get good at letting little bad things happen.
7. Before you go to bed, write down the three big, proactive things you’d like to get done the next day.
Tips #8-12 by Leo Babauta from Zenhabits.net.
8. Do the tough tasks first.
You know what those tasks are. What have you been putting off that you know you need to do? Sometimes when you put things off, they end up being things you don’t really need to do. But sometimes they are things you just gotta do. Those are your tough tasks.
Do them first thing in the day.
9. Simplify information streams, crank through blogs & email.
Think about all the information you receive (email, blogs, newsletters, mailing lists, magazines, newspapers and more) and edit brutally. You will drastically reduce the time you spend reading. For everything else that begins to come in after your editing process, ask yourself if you really need to be getting that information regularly. Most of the time the answer is no.
Now, after this process, you should be left with less to read. Here’s the next step: crank through it all, really only reading the really interesting ones.
Editing and cranking through the information you receive can free up a lot of time for more important things — like achieving your goals.
I set a timer for 30 minutes, and then work like mad until the timer goes off. Then I set the timer for 10 minutes, and do something that I really want to do (email and feeds for me, maybe Twitter or Digg for you). Repeat as often as necessary. The key is sticking to your timer — don’t stop while the 30 minutes is still going, and don’t go beyond your 10-minute break.
11. Make quick decisions on things in your inbox, do not put them off.
Letting stuff pile up is procrastinating on making decisions. Process your inboxes (email, physical, voicemail, notebook) at least once a day, and more frequently if needed. When you process, do it from the top down, making a decision on each item, as in GTD: do it (if it takes 2 minutes or less), trash it, delegate it, file it, or put it on your to-do list or calendar to do later.
Carry a small notebook (or whatever capture tool works for you) and write down any tasks, ideas, projects, or other information that pop into your head. Get it out of your head and onto paper, so you don’t forget it.
When you get back to your home or office, empty your notes into your to-do list.
Tips #13-15 by Robin Sharma. Find more here.
13. Use your commute time.
If you’re commuting 30 minutes each way every day – get this: at the end of a year, you’ve spent 6 weeks of 8 hour days in your car. I encourage you to use that time to listen to fantastic books on audio + excellent podcasts and valuable learning programs. Remember, the fastest way to double your income is to triple your rate of learning.
14. Get lost.
Don’t be so available to everyone. I often spend hours at a time in the cafeteria of a university close to our headquarters. I turn off my devices and think, create, plan and write. Zero interruptions. Pure focus. Massive results.
15. Workout 2X a day.
Exercise is one of the greatest productivity tools in the world. So do 20 minutes first thing in the morning and then another workout around 6 or 7 pm to set you up for wow in the evening.
In the end, we all need to try different techniques and find out what works best for us.
So I hope you enjoyed the tips I collected and at least 1 or 2 grabbed your attention. Give them a try.
Can you add another one? What do you do that helps you be more productive?
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
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