In our current digital age – with social media and all its distractions – productivity in the workplace is more difficult than ever. While you may feel like you are certainly busy, this does not necessarily equate to being productive, and consistent activity doesn’t always equal getting things done. In an ideal world, we would all be able to become productivity machines overnight – however, becoming more productive is a gradual process, with small adjustments leading to lasting changes.
While endless list-making and drinking excessive amounts of caffeine isn’t going to help you get things done efficiently, cultivating healthy habits over time are the key to making effective progress with your work. With effort and consistency, you can be on your way to maximising your productivity not only in the workplace, but in all areas of life. Here are 5 of our healthy habits to increase your productivity and cut back on procrastination:
- Set Tangible Goals
When you set goals, you have an idea of where you are heading, and an ends to your means. When daunting tasks seem too large, one easy way to increase productivity is to break down your projects into smaller, more tangible goals. These bitesize goals will be much easier to digest, and help you to put steps into place towards getting things done. Creating smaller goals also allows you to estimate how long tasks will take you to accomplish, and in turn allows you to set timelines for yourself to complete them in good time.
- Prioritise Certain Tasks on Your To-Do List
Try starting the day off with your hardest task. Buckling down on the hard stuff ASAP prevents you from procrastinating on it over the course of the day, therefore increasing your overall productivity. When you face a particularly challenging goal head on, first thing in the morning, you are much more likely to feel motivated enough to tackle the rest of the day’s more manageable to-dos, and in doing so, your productivity is maximised.
- Stop Multi-Tasking!
While it’s one thing to break up your goals into smaller tasks, it’s another to approach them in a way that maximises productivity. We suggest focussing on one goal at a time; when we work on multiple projects at once, we actually may become less productive. Switching from task to task be confusing, tire us out, and prevent us from getting to the nitty-gritty of each individual goal. A great way to increase productivity is to get into the habit of sticking with one goal until its completion, giving it your full attention and never skimming over the surface of what you are working on.
- Apply the 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule states that eighty percent of your results come from twenty percent of your actions. So what does this actually mean? Well, the rule suggests that a large percentage of your results come from only a small percentage of your actions. So, similarly to prioritising certain tasks on your to-do list, you need to be fully aware of what tasks bring you the best results, and focus on these in order to propel yourself towards productivity. Eliminate activities that have a minimal impact on your work day until you end up with the twenty percent that gets you the eight percent of results.
- Take Regular Breaks
No-one can work at maximum productivity, eight hours a day, five days a week, no matter how many healthy habits they cultivate. Distractions eventually find their way to us, and it’s how we deal with them that matters. Taking regular breaks can be a hugely effective way to combat distractions, help you recharge and generate new ideas. It’s important to be proactive about breaks, keeping them structured and deliberate. A good way to do this is to implement techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique, which suggests twenty-five minute blocks of work, followed by a short five minute break. However, setting regular break times to suit your own work style can certainly keep your productivity levels up throughout the day.
With consistency and effort, these five healthy habits are sure to help you cultivate productivity and overcome procrastination in the workplace, and in all other areas of life.
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