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In last week’s article, I discussed tapping into our natural biorhythms (circadian rhythm) to increase productivity. If you missed it, you can read/listen here.
I will stick with the theme of biorhythms and productivity for the next couple of articles. This week, as promised, I’ll outline some additional tools for managing productivity.
For one each of the nine tools I’ve outlined here, I could write an entire article. However, I hope I’ve given enough information for you to consider encompassing some, if not all, into your daily routine.
If you’d like me to expand on anything, please leave a note in the comments or DM me your thoughts, and I’ll endeavour to incorporate them into future articles.
9 Tools to Enhance Productivity
1. Set realistic goals and prioritise
The first step to being more productive is setting realistic goals for yourself. Start by breaking down your larger projects into smaller, more manageable tasks.
Then, prioritise these tasks based on their level of importance and urgency. This will help you stay focused and ensure you’re using your time efficiently.
In addition, when we complete tasks, especially complex ones, we get a shot of dopamine (the reward chemical). That makes us feel good and naturally increases our motivation.
2. Use time management techniques
Effective time management is vital to productivity. There are many different techniques you can use to manage your time effectively. In last week’s article, I discussed two:
- The Pomodoro Technique – working in 25-minute intervals with five-minute breaks in between.
- The 52/17 method – working solidly for 52 minutes, followed by a 17-minute break.
Other techniques include time-blocking, where you schedule specific blocks of time for different tasks, e.g. emails, calls, writing, etc., prioritising tasks based on urgency and importance.
3. Minimise distractions
Distractions can significantly drain productivity, so minimising them as much as possible is important. Some common distractions in the workplace include email notifications, social media, and co-worker interruptions.
To minimise distractions, try turning off email notifications and social media alerts, and consider wearing noise-cancelling headphones to block out noise.
Of course, home working can present its array of distractions. However, if you employ the Pomodoro or 52/17 techniques, you can help mitigate distractions.
4. Take regular breaks
Taking regular breaks can help you to recharge and stay focused. Try taking a short walk, stretching, or doing deep breathing exercises during your breaks. Additionally, taking breaks can help to improve your overall productivity by preventing burnout and allowing you to stay motivated.
Also, if your work is screen-based, intermittently looking up and focusing on the furthest point you can see in the distance is clinically proven to improve your eyesight, avoid eyestrain and give your brain a much needed micro-break.
5. Use technology to your advantage
There are many productivity tools and apps available that can help you to stay organised and focused.
Some popular productivity apps include Trello for project management, RescueTime for time tracking, and Evernote for note-taking and organisation.
6. Delegate tasks
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to others. Delegation can help you to focus on your most important tasks while ensuring that all tasks are completed efficiently. Additionally, delegating tasks can help to build trust and collaboration with your team members.
It’s also important to delegate tasks within the household. I often work with people nearing burnout because they mistakenly believe they must do everything in the house. It’s important to remember that household tasks are life skills. Not getting your children involved in such tasks will not help them when they finally leave the nest!
7. Stay organised
Staying organised is essential to productivity. Ensure your workspace is clean and clutter-free, and try to keep all your important documents and files organised and easily accessible. Additionally, consider using a task management tool or app to keep track of your tasks and deadlines.
8. Take care of your physical and mental health
Taking care of your physical and mental health is essential to productivity. Ensure you get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly.
Additionally, taking care of your mental health by practising mindfulness, meditation, breathwork, or other relaxation techniques can help you to stay focused and motivated.
I’ll cover some of these in more detail in upcoming articles.
9. Learn to say no
Finally, one of the most critical aspects of productivity is learning to say no. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or overworked, saying no to additional tasks or responsibilities is okay.
Learning to prioritise your needs and boundaries can help you stay focused and prevent burnout. For more information on setting boundaries, please read my previous article here.
In conclusion, productivity is essential to success in any work environment. By setting realistic goals, using time management techniques, minimising distractions, taking breaks, using technology to your advantage, delegating tasks, staying organised, taking care of your physical and mental health, and learning to say no, you can boost your productivity and achieve your goals.
Remember, productivity is about working smarter, not harder, so don’t be afraid to take a step back and reassess your approach when needed. If you need help with anything I’ve written here, please get in touch with me to arrange a 15-minute discovery call.
Next week, I’ll discuss sleep, including what to do if you can’t fall asleep, how getting daylight in the back of your eyes early in the morning will improve sleep, plus why we wake up at 3.00 am and what to do about it.
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