14 tips to improve your productivity

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Whilst we’d all like to think of ourselves as unrelenting productivity engines, even the best of us would admit that sometimes we don’t work optimally to achieve our best results.  Speedy decided to look into some tips that could help you improve your productiveness and see the many benefits that could bring/ 

 

  1. Track and limit how much time you’re spending on tasks.

You may think you’re pretty good at gauging how much time you’re spending on various tasks. However, some research suggests only around 17 percent of people are able to accurately estimate the passage of time. Having a visbile desk clock that’s not your phone or using one of many apps available to track your time you could soon solve this particular problem. 

  1. Take regular breaks.

It sounds counterintuitive, but taking scheduled breaks can actually help improve concentration. Some research has shown that taking short breaks during long tasks helps you to maintain a constant level of performance; while working at a task without breaks leads to a steady decline in performance.

  1. Set self-imposed deadlines.

While we usually think of a stress as a bad thing, a manageable level of self-imposed stress can actually be helpful in terms of giving us focus and helping us meet our goals. For open-ended tasks or projects, try giving yourself a deadline, and then stick to it. You may be surprised to discover just how focused and productive you can be when you’re watching the clock.

  1. Follow the “two-minute rule.”

Entrepreneur Steve Olenski recommends implementing the “two-minute rule” to make the most of small windows of time that you have at work. The idea is this: If you see a task or action that you know can be done in two minutes or less, do it immediately. According to Olenski, completing the task right away actually takes less time than having to get back to it later.

  1. Just say no to meetings

For want of a better way to put this meeting are one of the biggest timewasters around, yet somehow we continue to unquestioningly book them, attend them and, inevitably, complain about them. The average office worker spends over 31 hours each month in unproductive meetings. Before booking your next meeting, ask yourself whether you can accomplish the same goals or tasks via email, phone, or Web-based meeting (which may be slightly more productive).

  1. Stop multitasking.

While we tend to think of the ability to multitask as an important skill for increasing efficiency, the opposite may in fact be true. Psychologists have found attempting to do several tasks at once can result in lost time and productivity. Instead, make a habit of committing to a single task before moving on to your next project.

  1. Take advantage of your commute.

Instead of Candy-Crushing or Facebooking, use this extra time to get through some emails, create your daily to-do list, or do some brainstorming.

  1. Give up on the illusion of perfection.

It’s common for entrepreneurs to get hung up on attempting to perfect a task–the reality is nothing is ever perfect. Rather than wasting time chasing after this illusion, work through your task to the best of your ability and move on. It’s better to complete the task and move it off your plate; if need be, you can always come back and adjust or improve it later.

  1. Take exercise breaks.

Using work time to exercise may actually help improve productivity, according to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. If possible, build in set times during the week for taking a walk or going to the gym. Getting your blood pumping could be just what’s needed to clear your head and get your focus back.

  1. Be proactive, not reactive.

Allowing incoming phone calls and emails to dictate how you spend your day will mean you do a great job of putting out fires–but that may be all you get accomplished.

  1. Turn off notifications.

No one can be expected to resist the allure of an email, voicemail, or text notification. During work hours, turn off your notifications, and instead build in time to check email and messages.

  1. Work in 90-minute intervals.

Researchers 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, an interesting notion to us all. 

  1. Give yourself something nice to look at.

It may sound unlikely, but some research shows outfitting an office with aesthetically pleasing elements–like plants–can increase productivity by up to 15 percent. Spruce up your office space with pictures, candles, flowers, or anything that gives it an aesthetically pleasing feeling.   

We hope some of these tips might help you if you’re needing that extra boost to transform your workday. 

 

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