Organizing your home and office, and avoiding multi-tasking are three small steps that lead to huge gains in productivity.
If you work a lot but never get much done, you need to make several small changes that lead to big productivity boosts. The trick is in working smarter, not harder, and these tips will help you both at work and in your personal life.
- Don’t multi-task. Your brain works best when it is handling only two tasks at a time, so act accordingly. Focus on efficiently completing tasks instead of on quantity.
- Get rid of distractions. Turn off the TV, download an app to limit the time you spend on Facebook, and work in a quiet spot. To relieve the Facebook or email itch, schedule times for “scratching.” For example, give yourself three times a day in which you can check email and Facebook for no more than 10 minutes. This also helps you be proactive instead of reactive.
- Tackle the most difficult tasks first. This approach reserves your brainpower for the weightiest issues and lessens the likelihood of you spending unnecessary time on “clutter.” In addition, better time management allows you to get hard and distracting work out of the way first.
- Use your commute to catch up on emails, plan your day or brainstorm. Alternatively, if logistics allow, walk or bicycle to work. The exercise gets your blood pumping for maximum flow to your brain.
- Stimulate your environment. Bring candles or nice-smelling flowers. Hang intriguing paintings to look at. Play soft music in the background. Organize your house and work space so you can work in harmony.
- Plan your meals a week ahead, making grocery lists in advance. This also helps you know what you’re bringing for lunch every day. In this vein, pack your lunches the evening before, and get your clothes ready to go early.
- Exercise at midday. Even a short walk does wonders for restoring productivity. Getting out of the house or workplace into a different environment is quite stimulating.