A new working day began. It’s 11:30; you’ve arrived at the office at nine but barely managed to do anything. Sounds familiar, right? Honestly, it happens to all of us, and that’s OK. I’m not an exception either.
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Sometimes it stems from external factors like our relationships and health. Problems and worries spoil our concentration. But if we speak about a permanent inability to gather wits and work properly, I know how to overcome it.
Some of us really find it hard to focus on the tasks due to social media, interesting sites, and various apps. But there are five easy rules to follow that will help you find this secret 25th hour in a day. Following them, not only procrastinators but also well-organized people will manage to take on a new lease of life.
5 Major Hacks for Better Productivity
1. Automate Repetitive Tasks
Let’s start with how modern technology and the Internet of Things can help you stay productive. The Internet of Things refers to any device connected to the Internet and which can communicate with each other and the local network without human intervention.
Today, billions of devices from mobile phones to vacuum cleaners form a system that collects and exchanges data. Voice assistants and other touchpoints change our daily lives and even how we shop. Household items act as platforms of headless eCommerce, cutting down on shopping time and providing all the needed information within easy reach.
IoT adoption is gaining momentum both for home use and for streamlining office routines. It allows for automating repetitive tasks and focusing on more analytical duties.
Connected devices like Alexa and Siri help employees manage their schedules. Voice-enabled AI apps let them interact with virtual assistants to get work done without ever touching the keyboard. They track, control, and manage various operations. Employees, in turn, free up time for more complex work.
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2. Plan Your Day
I advise you to plan your day for the previous evening. Falling asleep and knowing that you have everything under control is much more pleasant. The list should only contain specific tasks that you can complete during the day.
Put the tasks in a list by priority and begin with what needs to be done first. An effective trick is to highlight the five most important and challenging tasks you have to do during the day. Raise them to the top of the list and deal with them as fast as possible. If you put them off until the end of the day, you will think about them all the time and do nothing at all.
Keep this list nearby at all times. You can write assignments down in a notebook with a pen or in an app on your smartphone. The primary condition is the ability to consult it whenever you need to.
After completing each task on your list, cross them out. If you cross out all the items on the list at the end of the day, you have spent the most productive day.
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3. Avoid Multitasking
Try to focus on one thing. Multitasking gives a false impression that you can get a lot done. In fact, it negatively affects the quality of the performed work and kills productivity.
The brain concentrates on just one thing at a time. Therefore, when you are performing other duties simultaneously, the brain just instantly switches from one focus to another, which exhausts you faster. Mental blocks that people experience when switching tasks can diminish productivity by as much as 40%.
It leads to frustration and even physical harm to your brain. There’s numerous proof that people who do several tasks simultaneously have a lower gray-matter density in the brain area. It is responsible for decision-making, empathy, and emotional control.
4. Take Breaks, but Don’t Get Distracted While Working
The more distractions you encounter, the more you tear your day apart. It would be best to create a work environment with free time to relax and stay 100% focused.
It’s even better if you eliminate interruption, such as private messages that take up the lion’s share of time of other employees who have nothing to do. Focus on the task at hand and turn off your phone to avoid disturbances. The same goes for messages in the mailbox.
There are various techniques to immerse yourself in the task entirely. For example, The Pomodoro Technique, which is one of the most famous ones. Set aside 25 minutes for yourself when you’re not distracted by anything. Set a timer, and after 25 minutes, rest for five minutes. After four such cycles, that is, after two hours, take a break for 25 minutes.
5. Learn to Say ‘No’
Saying ‘No’ doesn’t mean that we disrespect the person. On the contrary, we are actually doing a good deed to them. If we agree to whatever our colleagues ask, we work at the expense of quality. Agree only when you can help the person do the job quickly and efficiently.
Refuse politely but clearly, ranking your tasks and health first. Prioritizing your needs will boost productivity because you won’t work at the cost of your responsibilities or scatter energy in different directions.
If coworkers or friends want to ask you for some extracurricular work, just tell them, ‘I’m honored, but I can’t; I will let you know when I’m free’. I understand that refusing to help might seem impolite. However, praise people for their job and explain that it’s not them but the workload that makes you say ‘No’.
Taking the Realities of the 2020s into Account
Given the significant shift towards working from home, you need to keep in mind the new rules for increasing your productivity. Many employees with no remote work experience make various mistakes.
The freed-up time from commuting can give the false impression that these hours can go to good use. As a result, the boundaries of the working day and personal time are often erased, and you can end up working from morning to night.
Eliminate additional distractions by keeping the TV off and asking your family members not to disturb you during work hours. It would be best if you gave your work all your concentration, but only in due time. Otherwise, you won’t be able to do anything and will be in a state of chronic fatigue.
Set up a comfortable workspace with adequate lighting and quietness. Don’t forget to let some air into the room from time to time to avoid sleepiness.
Another tip to get yourself into a working mood while staying at home is the dress code. Don’t work in a house dress or your pajamas. Instead, let these clothes create comfort for you in your moments of relaxation. And for working hours, outfits that are more suitable for the office can mobilize your attention.
There’s a scope of methods and approaches to productivity. It all revolves around caring about yourself. If you sleep well, eat healthily, and prioritize your mental well-being, then you will perform your duties best. In this article, I’ve collected just five ways to boost your productivity that you can implement right now.
Begin your day by planning it in advance, automate mundane tasks, and invest all the energy without being distracted by social media and messengers. And, I assure you, you will see how your productivity improves.
About the Author
Kate Parish, chief marketing officer at Onilab, with 8+ years in Digital Marketing and eCommerce web development promotion. Kate constantly upgrades her knowledge and skillset to stay fit in the progressing online world. She always does exhaustive research in such spheres as SEO, Magento PWA development, and SMM, before sharing her expertise with a wide audience.