As ambitious people we are always looking to achieve more. Getting more done in a day definitely helps with that. The following are 10 tips to increase your productivity.
- Work in 90-minute intervals. Researchers at Florida State University have found elite performers (athletes, chess players, musicians, etc.) who work in intervals of no more than 90 minutes are more productive than those who work 90 minutes-plus. They also found that top performing subjects tend to work no more than 4.5 hours per day. Interesting!
- Designate times to handle e-mail. Being disrupted by emails constantly through the day interrupts your flow. Instead of stopping what you are doing to respond to each new e-mail, you should consider setting aside a time for responding to e-mails in batches. I believe in setting aside 2 times a day to review and respond to my emails.
- Spend a few minutes preparing for the next day. It is a good idea to plan your schedule for the next day before you finish for the evening. This way you start your next day organized and ready to go.
- Get To Work Early. As you are probably aware, an office that is empty and quiet will often mean fewer distractions. Arrive to work early before everyone begins flooding the office. I have found that those quiet times are ideal for getting a lot accomplished.
- Set a timer for each of your tasks. There is something to be said for giving yourself a fixed amount of time to do something. The pressure of time forces you to be focused.
- Complete your most dreaded tasks first thing in the morning. Whichever activity you are dreading the most is probably the one you need to complete first thing in the morning. This way it isn’t hanging over your head all day and doesn’t play havoc with your concentration
- Keep a notebook and pen on hand at all times. This way, you can write down your thoughts, to-dos, and ideas at any time. The key is to get everything out of your head and onto paper. Then your subconscious mind won’t be reminding you about it every other second.
- Organize your office. The piles of paper around your desk can be a huge barrier on your productivity. Optimize your time by organizing your office, setting up a system, and dumping the junk. Keeping an organized office also saves time on trying to find those lost reports.
- Three Main Tasks. Getting the most important activities done in a day is a sure fire way to increase productivity. Identifying and accomplishing high value activities serves to move the needle forward.
- Eliminate potential distractions. Although interruptions during the workday are inevitable, minimize them to the extent possible. If you have an office with a door, keep it closed. When a co-worker is looking to shoot the breeze, let him or her know that you’re trying to finish a project, but would be happy to chat later. (Just be sure not to brush off any of your superiors.)
Even if you don’t do all just doing some will increase your productivity.