Whether you work from home or at an office, seeking new ways to be more productive is always a good move.
The search for a more productive lifestyle has led to a misconception about what productivity means—it’s much more than checking tasks off your daily to-do list. Truly productive individuals don’t focus on doing more things but on improving their systems and results. If you want to improve your productivity, put these habits into play:
Using a time block is a well-known, established productivity strategy. You consciously work on a specific task during each block by creating dedicated time frames in your schedule. Time blocks are generally divided into 60-90 minute sections.
Create a System
You’ve probably developed a few habits that ruin your productivity over the years. To counteract these habits, create a system that fits your daily life. For those who compulsively check emails, plan a morning, afternoon, and evening time slot to manage your email box. Otherwise, you’ll get distracted from completing more important goals throughout the day.
Getting distracted is normal, and for some, focus does not come naturally. However, this skill can be developed. One of the most common distractors nowadays is the use of cell phones, so turn off your notifications or turn your phone to airplane mode. Remove all distractors, set a timer, and work in timed sprints of 20+ minutes; this strategy is an excellent way to focus for extended periods.
Now that more and more workers have shifted to remote locations, getting sunlight is even more critical. Natural light improves workers’ wellness, health, and productivity. Sunlight also boosts mood and alertness.
It may be odd to suggest taking breaks when talking about increasing productivity, but regular breaks between work decrease stress, promoting productivity. Most workplaces ensure employees take frequent breaks; however, if your workplace does not monitor your activity, consider taking short 10-15 minute breaks to step away from work and help your mind rest and return with renewed motivation.
If you work as part of a team, look at your daily tasks and consider if you can delegate any to your team members. We usually take on work that others can do far quicker. Delegation is about something other than offloading what you don’t want to do; it’s about ensuring everyone works according to their skills and ability.
Focus on Yourself in the Mornings
Checking your calendar and emails in the morning can be a giant productivity killer, allowing others to dictate your day. Try starting your morning by skipping emails, getting a nutritious breakfast, meditating, or working out. This approach ensures you have the necessary fuel for a productive day.
Ask For Help If Necessary
If you prefer not to ask for help—especially on things you feel you should be able to do—it can take much longer to figure out how to tackle a task. Smart people ask for help; it saves a lot of time in the long run. Yes, it may be hard to set aside extra time to ask for help, but in the end, you’ll be more efficient when working on your tasks.
While it’s good to be flexible and take new opportunities for career development, it’s also important to set boundaries. To effectively complete your tasks, you must be able to complete them within a reasonable timeframe. Setting boundaries can be challenging, but it’s an essential skill to learn. By setting boundaries, you can improve your work-life balance, reduce stress levels, and boost your productivity.
Multitasking can be very tempting, as you may think you can get things done quicker. While multitasking may feel productive, juggling numerous daily tasks rarely produces optimal results. Focusing on only one task at a time improves the quality of your work and reduces the time it takes to complete your tasks, allowing you to move on to the next one swiftly.
Did you know that our physical environment directly impacts our work and productivity? Whether you work in an office or the comfort of your home, you can control the cleanliness of your workspace. Decluttering helps us be more productive, as finding what we need takes less effort. Decluttering also improves focus, clarity, and peace of mind.
Five Minute Rule
If you usually find yourself procrastinating, try the five-minute rule. This rule works by promising you’ll spend just five minutes on an outstanding task and eliminate all the excuses that might stop you from starting. Most of us can dedicate just five minutes to research a topic, write an email, fill out a form, or outline a new task. When the five minutes are over, we are often motivated to continue.
This originally appeared on Planet Natural.
Melissa Pino is a biologist, master gardener, and regular contributor for Planet Natural. Melissa’s work focuses on promoting environmentally-friendly practices, helping people create healthy gardens and finding ways to achieve overall health and wellness.