11 tips to become more productive
Actually, you have more than enough to do, but you just can’t manage to motivate and start? Let’s see why this could be and what you can effectively do about it.
Surely you know that: Your ToDo list in the head is barely manageable, the clock runs non-stop against you and yet you just don’t get into action. So you go to bed day after day with the queasy feeling of not having come any further.
But why is that?
The reasons for unproductive work
One of the main reasons that people just don’t get on with their plans is a much too long agenda . Sure, it’s guaranteed not to get bored, but how and with what exactly you should start now, you don’t really know.
On the other hand, if the list of projects is manageable, there is often a lack of planning. For example, you go to bed in the evening, know what you still have to do, but not really, when you want to make something of it. You just let everything come to you.
If there is a lack of discipline, it gets tricky. Quickly we get distracted by the mobile phone, the TV or all sorts of other things, only to find out a little bit later that we didn’t get any further.
So that in the future (hopefully) you get a bit better with your plans, here are a few tips:
1.) What to do ?!
Before you can work meaningfully, you should first know what’s to do at all. We often talk about “tons of work,” although we’ve never actually packed that amount in real numbers. So, how much is “much”? Do you have 10 or 20 things to do? More or less?
You should avoid avoiding to have an overview of your tasks. Because the feeling that you still have to do tons of things without somehow clearly outlining them, only burden you unconsciously.
No matter how much you have, write down the things that need to be done! Make a note, get a whiteboard or use a digital checklist. If you have done any of this, you may delete it from the list. Free ToDo lists can also be found in our download area.
2.) Make realistic plans!
One of the most common mistakes is to overreact and get into a spin. Especially when you are motivated, it can happen faster than you would like.
Before you start working, try to pin down a precise plan from when to when you want to work on which task .
For this it is indispensable that your goals for this are also measurable, that is you have defined at all, when your task is considered done. (Read: The SMART Method )
No matter how many tasks you have done for a day, for each day, just define ONE main task that you want to focus on.
This task takes precedence over all other tasks and should normally be the task you start with.
But: Treat yourself to breaks and switch to another activity if it doesn’t necessarily work with the main task. Don’t force yourself until you haven’t got anything worked in the end.
4.) Be well rested and fit!
Get to know your body. Experiment with your nutrition: What makes you fit, what makes you tired (see: Brainfood )? Test if you are more efficient if you do some sport before work. Time for 30-60 minutes of exercise is always somewhere.
Find out how much sleep you need and perfect your sleeping habits .
Check if a 30-minute nap can give you new motivation.
Try to drink more of the day and avoid foods and drinks that may quickly raise your blood sugar levels and drop them off as quickly as possible.
5.) Start well prepared!
See that before you started work, you have searched your work materials, cooked your coffee / tea and did other business.
So you avoid having to interrupt your work every 5 minutes for any – oh so important – errands.
These interruptions are often just a welcome excuse to not have to start or continue the actual work, and that’s what you should avoid.
6.) Learn to delegate!
Try to delegate tasks that you don’t necessarily have to do yourself whenever possible.
Especially as a self-employed, executive or generally ambitious person you quickly fall into the feeling of doing everything yourself best.
That will cost you tons of time, which you could use much better. Often it’s less stressful, more economical and more efficient to have one or the other tasks done by third parties than having to take care of it yourself.
7.) Make yourself invisible!
Make sure that you don’t even get the idea to deal with other things during your work. Check your emails only at selected times (e.g. 3-4 times a day) and banish your phone while working in another room. Why?
The scientist Adrian F. Ward has now shown in a study that a smartphone within our reach rapidly reduces our performance .
Not because some rays are responsible for that, but purely for the reason that we too often get carried away to look at them. Do you know yourself or do you?
So, even if you find it hard to believe that, the world is going on and your friends probably will not call the emergency immediately if you are out of reach for 2-3 hours.
8.) Stay in motion!
Use times when you are “in flow” . If you are doing well with a particular task, be sure to work on it if possible.
It doesn’t make much sense to cut at the peak of your productivity (and maybe creativity) and continue on a whole different task.
Try to listen to your feelings a bit. Are you spraying with creativity, are you just sucking on new learning material or not realizing how time has gone? Then continue if possible.
9.) Don’t be distracted!
Creative minds are always on the rattle. Constantly shoot new ideas, projects and visions in the head, which would like to implement immediately.
Still, you should be careful not to lose the thread of your actual work.
If you have an interesting new idea while working, write it down . If you find something interesting on the internet, bookmark it .
Everything that has nothing to do with the current topic isn’t important at the moment.
10.) Learn from your role models!
And only from your role models. It’s like any other area of life: Don’t orient yourself to people who give tips but can’t get it done themselves.
See how your role models organize their everyday lives and what tricks they use to discipline themselves.
If possible, talk to them and ask for advice. Most people would like to share their knowledge with you.
11.) Find like-minded people!
No matter what your goals are, look for people who have similar goals to you.
Anyone who has ever practiced sports with a partner together knows the effects and benefits too well. Together we are more productive around worlds than alone.
The same applies to study groups in school and studies as well as to work in a team .
Crowds of like-minded people who inspire you and bring you back in the event of motivational holes. Don’t let pessimists or grumblers influence you.