Below are eight easy tips you can start straight away to boost your productivity in your everyday life.
1. When cleaning, clean the most visible areas first e.g. kitchen. Seeing how nice they look will inspire you to work on the hidden areas e.g. closet.
2. Make sure everything in the house has a place. Otherwise, random items will be left out and about, immediately cluttering up your living area.
3. Remember the importance of a clean environment – it helps you stay organised and frees your mind up to think about important things and remember details like meetings and appointments.
4. Be strict about avoiding interruptions. Schedule times to work on projects and leave your phone off and out of sight. It’s incredible how distracting just the sight of your phone can be. Keep the door closed and, if you’re having trouble reducing distractions, leave a sign on the door telling people when you’re busy and when you’ll be ready to talk to them.
5. Schedule a time for phone calls and emails. There are few time-sinks bigger than refreshing your email twelve times a day and responding immediately to every email you receive. Unless there’s a truly urgent call or email, it’s better to wait until the scheduled time and do everything in one batch. Do whatever you can to avoid checking for calls, texts and emails constantly.
6. It may sound counterintuitive, but productivity in the long-run does require downtime and rest. Plan breaks during the day to stretch, rehydrate, eat, play and socialise. It’s often helpful to schedule breaks in right after you’ve finished a particular difficult piece of work, to create positive associations in your brain.
7. Note your own system and way of dealing with things naturally, and measure whatever advice you receive against that. If it’s been working for you so far, there’s no real reason to completely change yourself based off what you hear from someone else. Allow advice to tweak and enhance your methods, not necessarily to completely destroy and rebuild them.
8. Know when you should stick to your to-do list or plan – and when you shouldn’t. If you’re tempted not to complete your work due to laziness, distraction or procrastination, persevere; but pay attention to the signals your body and mind are sending you to make sure you’re not tiring yourself out. Recognise when willpower is all you need, and when you need to look after your own needs before those of your work.