How to Be More Productive: 7 Strategies You Can Implement Today
Getting things done and having the most productive day possible can seem complicated, but it doesn't have to be. Establishing ground rules and practicing discipline can help you get there faster.
January 6, 2019

Getting things done and having the most productive day possible can seem complicated, but it doesn't have to be. Establishing ground rules and practicing discipline can help you get there faster.

Busy schedules, new policies, distractions and long meetings often make us feel like we didn't accomplish anything significant by the end of the workday. Today, we will be reviewing how to reach peak productivity to reach your goals and develop your career.

Limit Your Distractions

It's easy to get distracted in this immense digital age. There are constant, neverending things that beg for our attention. However, it just requires a bit of discipline and strategy to overcome distractions.

Using social media and other distracting sites during your working hours is a bad habit of many professionals. It's tempting to leave your Facebook tab open during the day, but before you know it, you'll have spent too much time keeping track of your Facebook notifications.

You also don't need to leave your email inbox open all day. Close it and spend 15 minutes a few times per day responding to and sending emails. If something is critical, your coworkers will still pick up the phone and call you.

You're fortunate if you have coworkers you enjoy working with, but chatting with colleagues can also be a distraction. Don't be afraid to let coworkers know you need uninterrupted time to focus. Wear headphones, make a ‘do not disturb’ sign, or find a quiet, solitary place to focus on your work without interruptions.

Make a To-Do List, and Stick to It

The first thing in the morning, develop a prioritised to-do list and follow it. Focus on one task at a time. It can be tempting to put off your most time-consuming or important tasks, but if you tackle them first, you'll be more productive.

It can also be helpful to set periods of 'deep work' time. Try 90 minutes or so, and take a 15-minute break in between to help you refocus, then get back into your productive work mode. You'll accomplish more in those 90 minute periods than you ever thought possible.

Stop Multi-Tasking

Many people have the assumption that multi-tasking helps them accomplish more in a smaller amount of time. It's easy to believe in the delusion because you are working on several tasks at once.

However, you actually get less done when you multi-task because it takes your brain a minute or more to refocus each time you switch from one task to another. Finish each task or get to a good stopping point on a project to get more done in less time.

Use a Project Management Tracking Program

Smart companies use project management tools to increase overall productivity. For example, Samewave is social performance management software that helps team create to-do lists, important goals and targets in a transparent environment.

Team members create goals, are held accountable to their promises to their coworkers, track their progress and communicate via group and individual chat streams. Best of all, Samewave is free. Download our iOS, Android, PC and Mac applications today to create a more productive workplace.

Cultivate a Work-Life Balance

Some people naturally are more of the 'workaholic' type than others. These types of people may be incredibly passionate about their work, but they often burn out more quickly than others who intentionally foster a good work-life balance.

Make sure you feel comfortable delegating some of your work to someone else, rather than taking it all on yourself. Make time to focus on other areas of your life outside of work. Pay attention to your personal life and hobbies away from the office.

Join a gym or a book club and spend time with your friends and family. Your work life will only benefit from taking care of your life away from your professional duties.

Take Care of Your Mind and Body

Do you have the habit of only getting four to five hours of sleep on a regular basis? Some people think it's okay to neglect self-care, but it won't do your career any favors.

The most productive people get at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night, eat a healthy diet and make sure to find time to exercise. Exercise is also great for your brain and helps you process those better ideas you can bring to your next meeting.

Avoid Long, Unproductive Meetings

Ask any seasoned business professional what they waste the most time on at work, and you're likely to hear them complain about long, pointless meetings. Meetings aren't avoidable, but they can certainly be limited.

Good meetings have a clear purpose, a direct agenda and a moderator to keep things on track. Perform an audit of your departmental meeting calendar and make sure every meeting has a clear purpose. For example, don't have a standing one-hour meeting on a weekly basis when the objectives can be handled in 30 minutes every other week.

Also, make sure that each person invited to the meeting has a good reason to be there. If they don't have any action items from the meeting or have no reason to speak up, there's a good chance they don't need to be there – and can spend their time being more productive accomplishing their work.

Reach Peak Productivity Across Your Organisation

Reaching optimal productivity throughout the company doesn't happen automatically. Great productivity stems from small changes and a cultural mindset over time.

Foster productivity by making one or two small changes and implementing new, productive practices into your work style over time. Before you know it, you'll be accomplishing more in less time while meeting individual and organisatonal goals faster than you thought possible.

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