Some people are naturally more productive than others. They seem to have a natural approach that helps them get things done in record time. Sometimes, it takes a little more work and planning to stay on top of our tasks for the rest of us. Work-life balance is one of the most critical aspects of achieving a harmonious life. Without that balance, it’s hard to be productive and thrive in the projects you want to build. This blog post will show you practical, actionable tips that will help you improve productivity to achieve a better work-life balance. Some of them are simple changes, while others require a bit more work. However, they all have the potential to change your life.
How to Measure Productivity
The world of work can be complicated to navigate. Being aware of how much time is spent on projects and tasks for an employer or client means that the employer or client is getting their money’s worth from the worker and not just wasting hours doing things that don’t contribute to achieving objectives in any meaningful way.
Productivity at work could be measured in one of two ways: by the amount of work done or by the amount of value created by the items produced.
It will make sense for those who choose to work in a more relaxed way to relate the results obtained with time model.
You may have heard the phrase “the difference one person makes can be more than their words,” and in this case, it’s true. Professionalism goes beyond what you do and how well you work: it also means the attitude you have when doing that work.
The work environment, peer relations, or customer satisfaction are factors that influence the overall productivity of an employee on a given project and, in turn, affect both quantitative results and indirect influences, such as those mentioned above (work environment), which have a direct impact on improving performance and, indirectly, for enhancing the quality of products and services offered to customers.
1. Make a list of your tasks and prioritise them according to importance.
Start with the most important or least time-consuming tasks first. This will give you the momentum you need to keep going. Get up from your desk regularly and stretch your legs, go for a walk or get some light exercise.
It’s easy to get lost in hours of uninterrupted work without even realising you’ve been hunched over in the same spot for long hours.
Also, remember to stay hydrated with plenty of water. Be realistic about what you can accomplish in a day. There are days when the workload is heavier than usual, so it’s best not to try to cram everything into one day.
2. Apply productivity techniques
Productivity techniques are used for a variety of reasons. Some people use them to increase their productivity at work, others use them to reduce stress, and some use them because they want to be more focused.
Here are a couple of techniques to enhance productivity.
A. Establish goals for yourself
Setting goals is an excellent way to make sure you have something to work towards. It helps you measure your progress and is good motivation because it keeps you on track with direction.
B. Plan your day
We all have a lot to do in a day, so it’s essential to plan your time wisely. Take some time and figure out what needs to be done and in what order. That way, when something comes up during work hours, you can have a better chance of maneuvering the situation appropriately and of avoiding wasting time on confusion.
C. Keep up with your tasks
Whether you have important tasks or many small ones, the best way to keep on top of them is to write them down. It’s been found that if you write down what you have to do each day, your subconscious takes over and naturally helps you remember things.
D. Split large tasks into smaller activities
One of the best ways to accomplish almost anything is to break it down into smaller tasks and tackle them one at a time. For example, if you are working on a project that includes 10 distinct steps, focus only on the first step until it is completed. Once you’ve finished the first one, you move on to the remaining steps in order.
E. Start with the most straightforward tasks and then move on to the more difficult ones.
When working on a project, it is also vital to prioritise the most critical tasks. That way, if something goes wrong, you’ll know which task will have implications if it’s not completed on time. Get a jump-start, whenever you can, with the most manageable tasks first. Then move on to the more difficult ones.
F. Take breaks of about 10/15 minutes every hour or two
Taking breaks is just as important as sitting down and working. Taking a few minutes to stretch, take a walk or even pause for coffee or snacks can make your productivity more efficient and help you be happier throughout the day. Studies have shown that people who take frequent breaks are more productive than those who do not.
G. Avoid distracting elements while working
When trying to concentrate on a given project or task, it is essential to avoid any distractions. Consider limiting distractions with social media or pausing notifications for a short period of time. One of the most important aspects of being productive is having a clean and distraction-free work environment.
3. Use time management tools
There are many different time management tools available. You can buy a planner or make one yourself. You can create your time management system by setting personal or professional goals and scheduling tasks to help you get things done and move forward. You can also purchase some of the available apps on the market today that will create a virtual organiser for your life.
These are some of the most popular time management apps:
- Harvest: If you are a busy professional who needs to keep track of the time you spend on each client’s project(s), this is the app for you. Keep track of how long each task takes you.
- Toggl: At the beginning, when you start your time tracking device, the way you use this tool must allow you to get an accurate and complete report. However, the best thing about Toggl is its features, which make report generation quick and easy: stop or finish a job to generate a report of all the hours spent on that project (or task).
- Tick: This tool helps you keep track of the time it will take you to complete your tasks and projects. You can set deadlines for each task and define budgets so that you don’t exceed them and nothing is left unfinished.
- Todoist: This project management software is perfect for anyone who needs to organise their tasks and prioritise them. You can set a time limit for each task or track when it was started with the date/time stamp functionality, so you know what has been completed and when and where they are in the workflow relative to others. They are available in the App Store and Play Store.
4. Set clear, reasonable, and measurable objectives.
Setting objectives is not challenging; what is challenging is setting the right purpose. If your objective is not clear, reasonable, and measurable, the chances of achieving that goal are much lower.
That brings us to the following questions:
- What is your ultimate goal?
- What do you want to achieve?
- How will you know when you have achieved it?
A. Identify what you want to achieve
Before you start the task, identify what you want to achieve. Are there any special requirements? What are the needs of the project or activity you have to carry out? Be sure to capture all of this in a document on your computer or paper and pencil for reference during the process.
B. Write down the following steps to achieve the objective.
To achieve your goal, you must take action. The first thing you need to do is plan what you are going to do each day. Determine the goal you want to achieve, and then list all the steps that must be taken to achieve it.
C. Create a calendar to complete the steps
An excellent way to get organised is to use a calendar or planner. It is crucial to set deadlines for each task and cross them off as you complete them.
D. Evaluate your progress at regular intervals and make any necessary adjustments or changes.
Working on a project for a long time with no end in sight can be discouraging. Be sure to evaluate your progress at regular intervals and make any necessary adjustments.
5. Invest in quality education and improve your skills
Being a professional is no easy task, and it takes more than intelligence and hard work to get far. Investing in education is a great way to improve your talents and skills and become a more productive professional.
There are many careers and specialised courses on online learning platforms that can lead someone on the path to becoming a professional expert in their field.
Investing in training is a sure bet to improve your competitiveness and productivity. Continuous professional development keeps you on top of trends, motivating productivity and leading to new growth opportunities.
6. Rent a different kind of coworking space
If you are self-employed, you should consider trying coworking. It will allow you to work in an office environment without paying for your own office space. Renting a coworking space is likely to offer you other benefits as well, such as increased productivity and improved networking opportunities.
All offices have a view. If you are lucky enough to have an office with a window, make sure you choose one that overlooks something beautiful, such as a park or a lake. Views of nature can give you positive feelings and increase your well-being, thus contributing to improved productivity levels.
The list of tips for improving productivity can be endless, but one thing that can make or break your efficiency at work is your workspace. If you don’t have a home office, are a digital nomad or telecommuter, and are looking to rent a workspace that suits your needs, sign up for La Colmena Cowork here.
There are many ways to increase productivity, but the most effective is prioritising tasks according to their importance and urgency. It would help if you also used time management tools, such as calendars or planners, to help you keep on top of deadlines.
Setting clear goals will allow you to evaluate how productive you have been when it comes time for self-evaluation at the end of each day. And finally, invest in yourself through education and skill development so that your skill set can grow exponentially over time. What idea do you plan to improve your productivity with?