How to Be More Productive: 5 Practical Tips

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Whether you already have an efficient routine or you are yet to find one, many of us could do with mastering the art of productivity. A question that commonly pops up at work or with goals is how to be more productive. Productivity enables us to reap the benefits of hard work, whilst also enjoying some free time too. This guide offers tips on how to foster productivity, minimise distractions, and the art of prioritisation.

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5 Tips on How to Be More Productive

Sleep

Sleep sets you up for the day. Avoid waking up on the wrong side of the bed by getting the recommended 7-8 hours. Create a warm, cosy bedroom environment to make getting enough sleep as achievable as possible. Calm a busy mind before drifting off by utilising the 4-4-4 breathing technique. Breath in for four seconds, hold it for four seconds, then exhale to the count of four. According to scientific research, slowing your breath triggers a relaxation response in the brain and body, setting you up for the perfect night’s sleep.

Efficient Planning Tool

Have you ever come across Eisenhower’s urgent/important matrix tool? If you have, I’m positive that you can testify its effectiveness. If you haven’t, you can check out a visual here. This time management tool is a powerful way to prioritise time, tasks and goals. The planner displays four quadrants which enable you to divide tasks by their level of urgency and importance. This matrix allows you to visualise and determine what tasks you need to do and which tasks should be prioritised. Often we are productive, but none of it has real value in the long run. This method will empower you to plan and prioritise long-term goals each week.

Start with the Most Important Tasks

According to Laborit’s law, we should start with the most mentally draining task at the beginning of the day. The following scenario may sound familiar to you. You have a dreaded task to do, instead of doing it right away you procrastinate, carrying out simpler tasks that bring immediate satisfaction. Also known as “The Law of the Least Effort”, we’re essentially perpetuating the sensation of that unpleasant task hovering over us. To master productivity, start the day with the most difficult or dreaded task and reward yourself as soon as it’s finished.

Adios Distractions

Are you susceptible to distractions like Whatsapp messages, aimlessly scrolling on social media or googling random thought processes? Guilty as charged! If, like many, you tend to get distracted by your phone, leave it in another room. Keep it on silent and out of reach in order to let your focus flow. Also, try not to constantly check emails and carry out several tasks at once. Focus on the task at hand; monotasking, not multitasking, is the secret to getting things done efficiently.

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Get Inspired

The subconscious mind is one of the most powerful tools and, in turn, ultimately the key to our success. Every day our mind is shaped by the environment in which we live. Our memories, beliefs, fears, subjective maps of reality are all examples of our subconscious mind that govern the course of our life. This is perhaps the most underrated of the how to be more productive tips. Yet, it’s essential to override subconscious negativity like self-doubt or laziness with inspiration. Listen to podcasts, read books, and spend time with people that inspire you. Fill your environment with inspirational quotes, vision boards, or get out in nature.

In a Nutshell…

So, let’s go over how to be more productive. Productivity is the result of commitment, efficient planning, and effort. First, make sure you get a good night’s sleep. Second, efficiently plan your day by prioritising the most important tasks in terms of your long-term goals and dreams. Get the most dreaded or difficult task out of the way first. Set yourself up for success by minimising potential distractions AKA your phone, messages, etc, and get inspired daily. After all, success is born from inspiration. I highly recommend Stephen R. Covey’s best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to learn more on efficiency and expertise in purposeful productivity.

“The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen R. Covey

6 Comments

  1. The perfect timing to read this post: just before bedtime so that I can start my day tomorrow with the proper intentions! I especially loved the piece about how to start your morning. Up until now, I was always contemplating whether the easiest or most complex tasks should come first. Your reasoning makes so much sense. Already looking forward to starting my day off on the right foot tomorrow! Love, Susanne

    1. Hi Susanna, thank you for your kind words. Yes, I always feel a little unsettled knowing that something needs to be done but I haven’t done it yet, so doing it first thing can be a great way to relieve that stress. Have a great day! 🙂

  2. Great tips! I love that you highlighted “monotasking” because getting distracted with too many activities at once is a definite problem. Thank you for posting.

    1. Thank you, Amanda! You’re right, we are all guilty of multi-tasking at times and our brain has to work way more. Monotasking is definitely the way forward 🙂

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