Is it one of your goals to be more productive this year? In today’s busy, distracted lifestyles, getting to the bottom of your to-do list seems more challenging than ever. Even the meaning of “productivity” is elusive. Does it mean finishing everything on time, even if not everything on the list matters? Luckily, the team at *Freedom knows a thing or two about what it means to be productive. The key is to increase your productivity mindfully and sustainably this year by building several techniques into a daily routine.
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In industrial terms, productivity is a measure of production. For example, your company’s productivity would increase if your company manufactured four more cars this week compared to last week.
But we know that a quantity-over-quality mindset is only sometimes the best for the work we do. As a knowledge worker, what matters is the depth and value of your work, not the number of tasks you complete. You’re not an automaton, so don’t think or act like you are.
Asking and answering the right questions will help you define your productivity concept.
Everyone operates differently. Think of the following productivity tips as ideas to experiment with, and see what works for you. Please don’t treat them as a to-do list; use them more like a menu. Pick the techniques that appeal to you, try them out, and see which ones work to increase your productivity.
Your brain cannot do two things at once: instead, it constantly shifts between activities, reducing the quality of work, increasing stress levels, and wasting precious energy and time. However, research demonstrates that monotasking (doing one thing at a time) helps you get more done.
Go after the biggest, scariest task when you’re most alert. Once tackled, you will finish other assignments more quickly than if the big scary task is still looming over you. And don’t forget to reward yourself with a coffee break when you’ve conquered that big project!
Entrepreneur Steve Olenski claims that completing quick tasks right away saves time. That’s because you won’t have to keep reminding yourself to deal with it later, and you won’t have to go back and finish that task.
An orderly, distraction-free workspace with everything you need for the project and nothing else is crucial for productive work. Working from home doesn’t always mean a quiet office, however.
Once it becomes a habit, this rule will simplify and streamline your work and life. The idea is to touch each thing that comes across your path only once. Then, whether it’s an email, an invoice, or an article draft, deal with it when you can give it your full attention—not before, not after. Doing this will drastically reduce the pile of half-finished tasks on your list.
A car can’t run on an empty gas tank—and neither can you. If there are not 7-9 hours of rest per 24-hour period in your daily routine, you’re probably not getting enough sleep. Sleep affects your productivity, memory, and psychological health. Lack of sleep triggers your body’s “fight or flight” response, evoking high-stress levels and reducing your ability for optimal performance. If you struggle with this, maybe it’s time to add “getting more sleep” as another goal.
Apps and technology create many distractions, but they can also be tools to remove those distractions and improve time management. For example, relaxed yet upbeat music can gear up your mind and keep you in a focused, productive mindset. Likewise, blocking distracting websites increases your productivity when working online. Automation, organization, and calendar apps are all helpful in boosting productivity. But given how our brain responds to exciting changes in our environment or new information (also known as distractions), it’s important to block digital distractions with apps like Freedom and use Freedom Focus Sounds to tune out distracting background noises and calm your mind.
While the personal aspect is important, there are several “tried and true” techniques to increase productivity that generally work well for most people. Through trial and error, you can find the best approach for you. The fundamentals of productivity—mindful time management, good sleeping habits, a bullet-proof morning routine, a distraction-free workspace, and distraction blocking with apps like Freedom—may seem simple, but they’re powerful and life-changing.
Start small, pick one or two habits to change, and watch your productivity levels soar this 2023!
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