How to Double Your Productivity

Posted by Andy Holmes on Mon, Jul 11, 2022 @ 09:00 AM

The day is winding down. You’re getting ready for bed and wondering what you accomplished for the day. You know you worked hard, went to the office and went through the motions but it feels like nothing happened.

We’ve all felt this way. The feeling of a day wasted feels terrible, especially when that day started out with the possibility of being productive.

Is your productivity low because you are lazy or unmotivated? I don’t think so. That may be the case with some people, but the majority of people I know want to get things down and produce on a daily basis. I’ve found that habits and small changes in how we operate can go a long way in increasing productivity.

Time is precious

We all have the same amount of hours in a day to use. It’s how we use them that makes all the difference. If we don’t exert control over our time or work hard to create more time we can wind up feeling like the day was wasted by dinner time.

One productive hack is to use a schedule and stick to it. Productive people map out their day and compartment their time meticulously. It may feel like there is no time to organize, but time sitting down writing a schedule out is time well spent. Make a habit of writing a list of tasks to be accomplished each day. Before you sit down to work, take this list and lay out a schedule with each task having an allotted time to get done. This will allow you to focus on one thing at a time so you don't spin your wheels.

Another way to save time, especially if you are at home working remotely, is to look for ways to automate your chores or household duties. It might cost a little extra to use Instacart or another grocery delivery service, but the time you save making those trips adds up. I, also, advise subscribing on Amazon for any consumables or household items such as dog food or toilet paper so these things are always there when you need them. There are other ways to leverage apps or technology to automate everyday activities so you can squeeze out a few more hours of work.

No Multitasking

Social media, movies and technology may have us thinking we can do it all simultaneously and with total professionalism. No one can blog, handle timesheets, file taxes while answering emails and tweeting with the TV on in the background. 

Give yourself time and space to get things done. Allocating a solid hour per task can seem like you are getting less done, but you might find yourself completing tasks more efficiently. Focusing on one action at a time boosts efficiency. Knocking out multitasking and sticking to a singular task for a solid compartmented hour gave me a sense of freedom and accomplishment as I was getting more done. 

Taking Breaks is mandatory

Some of us can go ten straight hours on the job while eating lunch at our desks and some of us die out around lunch...but we all burn out eventually and need a break.

When we hit a point of work related burnout, pushing through this to continue a task can kill efficiency and quality. We do our best work when we are refreshed, rested and alert. When your eyes are dropping and vision straining you are apt to make mistakes and turn out low quality work. Stepping away from the keyboard to go for a short walk, read a book or simple rest for a few min may seem like a lazy way to spend the afternoon, but those 30 min can recharge your batteries.

Taking a break and then coming back to work refreshed can keep you working alert and quickly.

Drill in good habits

We instinctively know what habits and routines will help us be more productive.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that watching Netflix while working isn’t the best way to get things done.

There is no one-size-fits-all system to maximize productivity. Using schedules, maximizing time and cutting out multitasking might help you. You might also have other organizational methods that work better for you. It’s important to find what works for you and then routinely do it until productive actions become habits.

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Topics: workforce development, web-based mentoring, Things to do when working virtually