Prone to procrastinating at your desk? Struggling to fit your workouts into an already packed weekly schedule? There are lots of reasons why you might want to boost your productivity, but regardless of your motivation, achieving this goal can be a challenge.
The good news is, whether it’s getting more done at work or making improvements to your health or personal life, there are some relatively easy steps you can take that should make a big difference. The key is not to look for a quick fix to solve all of your productivity problems, but instead to find ways to adapt your mindset and daily practices to make lasting changes. In the same way that crash diets don’t work in the long run, neither will an ‘overnight’ change to the way you approach tasks.
Below, we offer five simple but effective hacks that should help you to increase productivity and make you better equipped to achieve your goals. These habits shouldn’t simply be something you do, but rather a new lifestyle that you embody.
- Stop snoozing
Even on the coldest, darkest mornings of the year, make sure you start your days the right way by getting out of bed on time. A quick post-alarm snooze might seem almost irresistibly appealing, but five minutes can quickly turn into 20, and before you know it, you’re already behind schedule.
- Make a to-do list
Particularly if you’re busy, it’s easy to forget tasks. By making a note of the things you need to do, and checking this throughout the day, you can ensure you don’t skip anything important. As well as helping you to stay organised and focused, a to-do list can make your tasks seem more manageable. Visually seeing your priorities written out can give you a greater sense of control, and it’s satisfying to be able to tick them off as you go.
- Eat the frog
As Mark Twain once said: “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning.” In other words, if there’s something you need to do that you’re really not looking forward to, get it over with sooner rather than later. Ticking it off your list early will mean you don’t waste time and energy dreading it, and you’ll be free to focus more clearly on other things.
- Switch between projects
Rotate your tasks to keep your days interesting. You should feel more energised and motivated if you switch between activities rather than allowing yourself to get bored. Ultimately, this will help you to work more efficiently.
- Fuel your brain and body
From grabbing a healthy mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack to help keep your energy and concentration levels up to making sure you take regular breaks away from your desk to rest and recharge your mind, it’s essential that you fuel your brain and body properly.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t stick to these suggestions 100 per cent of the time. Not following your new habits for a day won’t completely ruin your progress as long as you make an effort to get back on track in the days that follow. Even if some of these tips take a little getting used to, over time you should find them easier – and you might see impressive results in terms of the impact they have on your productivity.