All of us try to squeeze in as much as possible in a given day, month, year and even life. When we reach our goals as per the timelines we set, then everything is ok. But when we don’t reach our goals that’s when we start to analyze where we are wasting our time and how we can save our time.
Because productivity, which is a positive output of the work we do and there are a lot of factors that come into play such as motivation, talent, work environment, boss, training, managing time.
Paul Meyer said “Productivity is never an accident; it’s the result of the commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort’.
It is true, you can boost up your productivity by intelligent planning. Here are 6 things you must include into your planning -
Good night’s rest
This is simple and clear. When your body is well-rested, it will be in a position to rock and roll the next day. Which means getting those important 6-7-8 hours of sleep every single day. There are several benefits - both physical and physiological ones. Just note that whenever you want to be at your best, ensure you get a good nights sleep so please include this in your plan.
Check your moods
Did you know our moods affect our performance? IF you’re feeling low or sad, expect that day would not be a productive one. And this is unfortunate. We cannot separate our emotions from our physical action obviously because we are not machines.
A great way to control your mood swings is to do a deep breathing exercise. You can also combine it with meditation. Here's a dope on how to deep breathe.
One of the better ways to save time and get more done, is by batching your activities into your calendar and block chunks of time for that activity
For example, typically I batch my meetings in the morning and if no meeting then I schedule in my calls, or even video shoots, I always shoot in the morning so I'm fresh in front of the camera. I use the afternoons, post-lunch for my admin activities. Post 4 pm, I start to peak my productive time again so I usually I batch my creative work then - writing a blog or script for the video, creating content for my social media and even meetings.
Once the calendar is set, then I use tech to monitor it so I don’t slip in between the cracks as much as possible. Which brings me to the next point -
Use technology smartly
An increase in technology does not necessarily mean an increase in productivity. It’s quite the opposite. However smart people are those who use tech to maximise their productivity instead of becoming a slave to it.
There are many apps in the market today that can help you with this. Some of the apps I use are as follows -
I first block my calendar in Google calendar which syncs with ical (used on my phone) and with Calendly (used on my website to book my time)
Focus Keeper is an app with a timer that gives me short intervals to focus on my work. (Pomodoro Technique is a time management method)
Calm - a meditation app that I use for my daily guided sessions
Evernote - a note-taking app helps me capture and prioritise ideas, projects and to-do lists
Later /Postcron are two social media scheduling apps that I use intermittently
Flipboard - news consolidation app which gives me the news that is relevant to me
Although I use lot of apps I ensure they are something I'm not obsessing about. And so the next point becomes very important.
Switch off notifications
Or at least use it with prudence. As much as possible, disable notifications from all your apps and not just social media. Notifications contribute as the 4th biggest workplace distractions, after food, loo breaks and chit-chatting with colleagues. So put your phone on silent, exit the chatting app and close your inbox before starting any important task. Believe me this works wonderfully.
Play your music
Listening to music while at work, can alter your mind. And I swear by it. It is proven that music can help you stay focused, improves your mood and makes repetitive tasks easier. It can also boost your creativity. So put on your fav music in the background and let your creative juices flow.
I'd like to conclude with this quote
“There’s a tendency to mistake preparation for productivity. You can prepare all you want, but if you never roll the dice you’ll never be successful.” ~ Shia LaBeouf
No matter how much you plan, if you don't put it to action, then there is no use of that plan. So I'm hoping you'll note the above points into your action plan and accelerate your productivity quotient. Good luck :)