What’s the best way to achieve ultimate productivity? We all have days where we are insanely productive but what causes these days to be different from the rest? Have you taken a step back at the end of these productive days to try to find out what made it possible? Reflecting on productive days can help us just as reflection on life events does.
We could also look at the flip-side… What makes a day not as productive as others? Maybe we’re burning out and need some time off, maybe we’re stuck on a task that we’re not really into and just procrastinating or maybe we’re spending too much time reading ‘how to be more productive articles.’
I’ve always felt a sort of a distaste for productivity posts since they just seem like a procrastination tool for the reader rather than offering anything of real value. However, I chose to write this one to offer actual methods that help me be more productive at work. In turn, I hope you find you can adopt some of these and improve your efficiency or maybe you’ll learn they don’t work at all for you. The thing is, we’re all different and what works for one obviously won’t work for all. It’s about finding out what helps you the most.
When I first get into the office, I take care of the mandatory items first; things like emails, announcing upcoming webinars and the like. With this out of the way I can then focus on my bigger projects like blog posts or videos. Before I even get started with these projects, I take a look at my to do list. Motivational speaker and fitness trainer, Chalene Johnson, is a big proponent of making these lists and I can see why.
There are many free apps and websites that help with these but as I’ve mentioned before, I use Trello. This easy tool helps me prioritize my list and add notes to each item if I want.
Takeaway: Keep a to do list.
I’ve realized that there are two times in the day where I am able to stay more focused on my work compared to other times. These are first thing in the morning and in the early afternoon, not too long after lunch. I take advantage of these times by scheduling my need to do projects during them.
Takeaway: Get the daily tasks out of the way first thing in the morning so you can spend your time till lunch on bigger projects. Try to figure out when your productive spots are. Those where you focus better and plan to work on your bigger projects at these times.
Throughout the day, our team is on Skype to communicate with each other. We chat as a group as well as one-on-one. This is excellent since it somewhat reduces talking to each other in person and disrupting the others in the office and makes it so we can choose when an interruption occurs. I have all Skype notifications disabled so that way if someone messages me, I’ll get it when I’m ready to take a break from my work and check it out rather than right away.
Takeaway: If you can, use a messaging app with your team and turn off all notifications. This will allow you to decide when interruptions occur rather than your co workers deciding.
It’s pretty easy for me to get into the zone when listening to music through ear buds. I use Bose in-ear buds because they’re comfortable and have good sound quality. You might find an over the ear pair better for you since it indicates to those around you that you’re focused.
As for tune selection, I can work with any of my music playing but sometimes it’s easier to get in the zone when listening to non-vocal tracks. Classical music is probably everyone’s first thought, and I do listen to it sometimes. However, my go to album for non-vocal music is by the artist called Foxhole and the album is called “We The Wintering Tree” (if you have Spotify it’s on there!)
Takeaway: If music helps you be more productive use it!
There are many tools available for increasing productivity whether it be a product or simple tip that helps you. The point here is to try out new things to see what works best for you. Through reflection you can analyze the results of each day and figure out how to optimize the next.
I’d dig hearing your productivity methods or tips in the comments below.
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