A productive individual is one whose effort achieves the purpose of trying out an endeavor in the most effective way possible. I always put an effort to know more about ways to make myself more productive in every area of my life, and since you’re reading this, I’m pretty sure that you’re also putting in an effort to learn ways to be productive. If you’re not interested in doing that, then you wouldn’t be reading this article.
There are numerous plans and strategies that you can apply to increase your productivity. However, with all the self-acclaimed productivity experts claiming to have the perfect formula for increasing work productivity, how do you know the strategy that really works? What those productivity experts don’t tell you is that what works for one person will not necessarily work for the other. However, there are some strategies that will work for anyone. As such, I have come up with three habits that will help improve your productivity, regardless of who you are.
1) Color Code a Calendar
There are days where I find myself overestimating the extent of what I could handle. On those days, the plan is usually to push myself and create way to many ambitions that I want to achieve that same day, which usually results in situations where I find myself overwhelmed and scattered — leading me to become less productive than usual.
The essence of using a calendar is that it prevents us from getting overwhelmed, as it will help us have a proper understanding of the day in a more realistic manner. Also, knowing what the day looks like helps us to be realistic about things, and gives us a sense of satisfaction when we’re running at optimum capacity.
When Should I Take Breaks?
Irrespective of the importance you attach to your daily activities, you should not forget to take breaks. Each day should be treated with its own plan; some days require that you wake up a bit late, while others may require that you get up as early as possible — the bottom line is that every day has its own requirements, and you need to treat them as such. Sometimes, a day demands a full-day focused effort to get the desired result. While we can’t deny that days like this may occur, you shouldn’t live every day of your life like that. Don’t forget to take a break when you’re tired or hungry. A short rest is highly beneficial to your health (both physical and mental).
There is the usual temptation to feel that you’re being unproductive by taking breaks, but those little moments of rest will help you recharge and improve your mental sharpness, allowing you to be more productive when you start working again.
2) Utilize a list for your daily activities
As said earlier, each day has its own requirements. You may have to work on similar tasks some days, while other days may require that you work on very different tasks and solve a variety of challenges. A way to effectively tackle each day’s challenge is by making a list of each day’s tasks — you should do this in conjunction with utilizing a calendar. Having a list and using a calendar helps you to plan out your schedule daily and weekly. One impressive benefit of looking deeper and making a list of your daily tasks is that it helps you to have a logical view of what’s actually going on day to day. You can then look at each specific action you need to do daily.
How Much Work Should I Have Planned For Each Day?
There is no universal way to measure the capacity of work everyone can handle, as each person’s capacity is unique to them. Instead, you should gather data from your productive days and find an average to measure the extent of work you can normally do each day.
After figuring out your capacity, you should create a goal that’s a bit below your optimum capacity and take measurable steps to reach that goal. The reason why it’s essential to give yourself a goal that’s below your optimum capacity is to give yourself some slack when those goals become seemingly impossible to achieve. It will be easy to reach those goals on some days, while other days will seem like everything is completely against you.
The most important reason why you should set targets below your optimum capacity is to prevent situations where you overwork yourself, which can lead to decreased energy and reduced productivity. You should give yourself that feeling of satisfaction from working hard and be determined to use your victory in a completed task to fuel your effort for a new task.
3) Time Your Activities and Hold Yourself Accountable
I often find myself in situations where I’m highly distracted — this usually occurs because I tend to procrastinate my tasks due to the fact that I have the entire day to achieve them. This procrastination usually happens when people have a long period of time to achieve a task. Although there is no adverse effect on taking your time to ensure that a task turns out well, the problem arises when you have the mindset, “I have all day, why not wait a little bit longer to start.”
One tool that can help prevent such an occurrence is a timer. If you assigned a task that you can get done in two hours, you should have a two hour timer, as it will help you work optimally. When you tell yourself, “I still have time,” it gives room for distraction.
Ben Tejes writes for Ascend Blog where he covers Ohio bankruptcy and New Jersey bankruptcy with the goal to help lead people to achieve debt and financial freedom. He also covers topics such as Coronavirus Unemployment and Bankruptcy, Can You File Bankruptcy on Medical Bills and Chapter 13 Dismissal Refund. When not working, Ben enjoys going on adventures with his wife and three young daughters.