If you are studying or working, it doesn’t matter. Everyone has a moment where they realize they want to get more done at the same time. The only issue is that you often realize it too late. At this point, increasing productivity is a temporary solution to a problem that started a while ago. Fortunately, there is plenty you can do now to be more productive and get things done. In this blog you will get 9 easy ways to increase productivity right away!
What is productivity
Before we can increase productivity we have to understand what productivity really is. The economic definition is the amount of input in contract with the amount of output. For most of us, this means, how much can I do in a certain amount of time. Since time is the most scarce commodity we all know the struggle. So, how can you increase productivity and do more in the same amount of time?
Increase productivity with these quick wins
These tips can be implemented right away and it doesn’t matter what you do! They work for studying but also for being more productive at work!
1. Cut social media usage
This is probably the most obvious way to be more productive, cut social media usage. You have probably tried this many times. I used to delete all my social media accounts from my phones in moments where I needed to be extra productive, only to find out I downloaded them a few hours later.
It is not as simple as it may sound but a way to do it is to set a limited time per app. This way, you get blocked out of the app if you have spent too much time using it. Of Course you can then overwrite the blockade, but hey, you want to increase productivity, have some persistence. Read more about the negative effects of social media, and how to deal with it, here.
2. Pulses of productivity
One way to increase productivity is to work in pulses. Focus for a period of 40 minutes followed by 5 minutes of rest. You can do this focus cycle three to four times before taking a longer break of 20-30 minutes.
In your moments of rest, do something that doesn’t require a screen. This way you are not going to be triggered by any notifications and you won’t open Instagram or Twitter.
3. Plan ahead
This may also sound like stating the obvious but it is often not done correctly. Making a plan is easy, following it is something else. Whenever you are planning, don’t forget to take your breaks from the previous tip in mind. Next to this, don’t plan any moment in your day. Calculate some delays and moments that your focus is not there. Nothing is more demotivating than running behind but on the other hand, being ahead of schedule feels amazing.
4. Get little things out of the way
Whenever you have a lot of stuff to do, start by prioritizing. Something that is really important can be your highest priority but doesn’t have to be the first thing you have to do. For instance, when there are a few small tasks that can be ticked off quite easily. This can be your top priority as well. By finishing all these little things, your mind can focus on the top priority much better. Try it out right away, you will notice the difference immediately.
5. Take advantage of commuting
Everytime I am on public transportation I see a lot of people staring at their screens, doing absolutely nothing… Well, they are doing something, scrolling on social media for instance. According to research, a person spends about 60 minutes per day on a commute.
So you spend around 12,5% of your day on the road, considering you sleep approximately 8 hours a day and work 8 as well. While you’re at it, try making the most out of this time. Make a plan for the next day, or read a book. Just make sure you are not wasting an hour a day scrolling through timelines.
6. Get enough sleep
When we need to get a lot of things done we tend to sleep less so we have more time to do the things we need to do. This is a snowball effect because the opposite is true. The less you sleep, the less productive you are. Recent studies of sleep duration (both short and long), insomnia, sleepiness, and snoring were all associated with decreased work productivity. The advice given by productivity experts is that a good night of sleep should be top priority for everyone that wants to work productively.
7. Chop big tasks into smaller ones
Nothing is more annoying than those big tasks that seem like a mountain to climb. Instead of picturing the mountain as the task, start cutting it into smaller tasks. This way it is easier to get things done. You see progress a lot faster and you will notice that once you check the first few tasks, that the rest will follow.
Measure your productivity
Alright, so now you have made the first steps to increase productivity. The key right now is to make sure you keep applying these quick wins.
However, you also want to see results. Most people will find it good enough to just see the impact it has on their productivity. But for those that want to see some data, start using a software planning tool and see the difference in tasks you finish per day. This way you can see how much you are improving your productivity. Tools you can use are Asana, Basecamp or ClickUp.