In Part I of this article, we’ve seen how having long-term goals and understanding your strengths can help you be more productive. Now, we’ll keep exploring some ideas on how to get what you want out of life.
3. Focus on the Present
It is true that having a long-term objective in mind can help you focus on the present task. But don’t mistake this with daydreaming and wondering about possible outcomes. The purpose of having goals is exactly to help you focus on the present.
Being focused on a task means that you are doing it with a sense of purpose, and not just mindlessly pushing buttons or looking at a computer screen. But to do this, you have to think about the most optimal way to approach the task.
Remember, the motto is to work smarter, not harder. So take a few minutes before starting something to think about how you want to tackle it. When you’ve settled on a strategy, it is much easier to stay focused. Keep pushing yourself and thinking of ways to improve how you work.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Say No
Nowadays, whenever we are working we are constantly being bombarded with distractions. It may be a colleague asking you for help, an e-mail from another department, or simply a notification on your phone.
You may wish to get rid of all these distractions, but you probably won’t be able to. So, what can you do? You need to learn to manage all the distractions and ignore the ones that are not urgent or important.
You need to learn to say “no”. You need to have some time to focus in order to be really productive. Did someone send you an e-mail asking for support? If it’s not urgent, put it on a to-do list. If you can, delegate it to someone who is free right now. This is not about being a bad colleague, it is simply learning to prioritize.
5. Have a Process That Works For You
We, humans, are creatures of habit. When our brain gets used to doing something in a certain way, it is much easier to keep doing it that same way. That is why you should have certain habits to improve your productivity.
Having a regular sleep schedule is one of those habits. A good practice is to get up really early to have some productive hours before the rest of the world awakens. If you prefer, you could do the same during late night.
Automate whichever tasks you can. Find ways to get them done automatically. Many repetitive tasks in our days can undergo this treatment. You’ll have much more time to focus on what really matters.
Also, set strict deadlines for yourself. Deadlines give you a certain sense of urgency that is sometimes required to drive you forward. The key is to find the right balance between too much relaxation and too much pressure.
On this 2-part article, we’ve discussed what we think are the top 5 ways to be more productive every day. Follow at least some of them and you’ll surely notice a boost in your productivity. Work smart and Keep looking for ways to improve!