Productivity has the ability to hurt just as much as it can help. A lack of this intangible commodity can make the workday longer than it needs to be.
A lack of task efficiency can lose you a game-changer of a client because of missed deadlines. Poor productivity can destroy your personal life, leaving you miserable and hating the work you do.
Whenever you set goals for the day, peak productivity needs to be at the forefront of that day’s plans. Here’s 5 productivity-boosting goals you should start setting for yourself right now.
1. Love it.
If you’re chasing after more productivity doing things you hate, you’ll always find reasons to put things off. Worse, if you hate your life or are somewhat unhappy in your current situation, it’s inevitable you’ll be less productive throughout your day.
Happy people tend to be 12% more productive than those who are not. Do whatever it takes to love yourself more — exercise, meditation, dating, going digital-free, time with the family, travel — and your productivity, even doing things you don’t like — will skyrocket.
2. Light it.
How much more efficient would you be if you could squeeze in over a half hour of extra sleep per night? The way to get there isn’t making the room darker where you sleep either. It’s actually about increasing the level of natural (or natural-imitating) light you’re exposed to while working.
Research has proved that people who get more natural light during the day actually get more sleep at night, enjoy a higher quality of life, and are more productive than those who work in a stuffy windowless office all day long.
It all comes down to how our circadian rhythm works, and more natural light via the sun (working outside or beside a bright window) or by outfitting the office with natural lighting that imitates the sun’s rays will equate to a more productive you!
3. Track it.
Tracking your time is an absolute must if you want to get the most out of your daily activities. Few people truly track what they’re doing at work like they would tasks outside the office. We strive every morning to get to work within a set period so we aren’t late. And, lunch break is an hour, can’t stretch that in most cases.
But checking emails, writing weekly reports, creating a blogpost, and other activities are rarely assigned a set time limit. Time is often no factor when we set ourselves on a task, yet every extra minute spent doing “ABC” is a minute that could be spent doing “XYZ.”
There are tons of free apps like Due that work really well in tracking our time for most purposes. If you need something a little more specialised or streamed down, go for it. Just make a concerted effort to know where you’re bleeding time, then to force yourself to stay on schedule within the deadlines you set.
4. Declutter it.
Clutter is in fact distracting, believe it or not! When we’re surrounded by clutter, we focus on everything around us instead of the task at hand.
This is likely to go against what many of you believe, but even having pictures of your family scattered about or your beloved collection of (fill in the blank) on your desk to make it feel more like home can qualify as clutter if you find yourself looking at them rather than getting actual work done.
If you currently reside in a cluttered office, or have the messiest desk on your floor, it’s time to revamp and reap the productivity benefits an organised work environment offers.
5. Unplug it.
Unplug from your digital crutches as often as you can. Even if you have to work on your computer all day, you can still unplug by avoiding news, checking endless texts and emails, or clicking on all those juicy listicles and slideshow rabbit holes offered up on the on every corner of every website you read or watch videos on for work-related information.
Actually unplugging for real and going off the grid is best when you can, but for most of us, this just isn’t a reality if making money is a necessary part of your life. Resolve to do all your personal browsing and checking emails and texts at pre-determined intervals that allow you to get more of what you need to get done, done!
There are tons of Internet blocking apps available, and while they’re not foolproof, you will indeed have to look at yourself in reflection of your monitor or device’s screen to disable them before you can proceed to do whatever you know you shouldn’t be in that moment!
Five easy to moderately difficult ways to add more productivity to your day. Being more productive at work generally means you’ll have more time outside of the office to enjoy yourself, which lends itself to helping achieve the very first (and most important) goal mentioned at the top of the page.
Main Image Credit: ollierb/Flickr