Productivity can be a tricky thing since it is connected with many other factors - from excellent organizational skills, being in the right mood to creating a working space that feels as motivating as possible.And the factors that you can control, you can also change or improve.
If day after day, you feel like you don’t have enough time to do everything you planned to do, you probably have to improve your time management skills. If you have your tasks written everywhere - on the sticky notes, on a laptop, in some project management tool, and some even just stored in your head - maybe you should think about improving your organizational skills.
You probably heard about the efficiency of having a to-do list. The most important thing about it is that it helps you maintain your focus and helps you remember what else you have planned for that day.
The best way to use a to-do list is to create it first thing in the morning or the evening for the next day and then write the following tasks down as they come during the day.
However, sometimes a to-do list gets longer and longer even though you tick off some of the tasks. In most cases, you can notice that those tasks that usually stay on the list are not totally in your control.
This means that you may wait for your boss’s approval or for a coworker to send you some files you need to complete the task, etc. With tasks like this on your to-do list, well, it can all become a little less motivating.
That is why we recommend that you split your list into two columns - one for tasks you have to do and are in your control and the other for the tasks that cannot be yet finished because you’re waiting for something. Next to the tasks in your WAITING column, write down what you’re waiting for and from whom you’ll get the necessary information or tools to complete the task.
This way, you’ll be even more in control of your work.
So, a 5-minute rule is a somewhat golden rule for dealing with new tasks coming in throughout the day.
New tasks can be quite irritating or make you really stressed out since they usually pop up unexpectedly.
To minimize the stress and to manage the time as best as possible, we advise you to follow a 5-minute rule.
This means that if a new task takes no more than 5 minutes of your time, go ahead and do it immediately. However, if it takes more than this, write it down on your to-do list and schedule it for when you’ll complete all other tasks you have planned.
While working, music in the background can be quite a distraction to some people. And yes, distractions should be well avoided.
However, if you choose the RIGHT music, you can do the opposite - you can boost your productivity.
Go for more instrumental music, because sung music can certainly be a distraction. Also, keep the volume down; let it be just an accompaniment.
The right music for focus would most certainly be some natural sounds accompanied by some piano or guitar. If you need to boost your energy, choose music with some bass.
You’ll probably soon discover that there are tasks that need to be accompanied by some music, while there are some tasks that you’re better off. Do as you feel is best for your productivity.
To be the most productive, you have to work on your organizational skills.
This doesn’t just mean you have to organize your workplace and prepare your setup, but it also means that you have to organize your working hours.
One of the most efficient strategies to get the most out of the time you work is to organize it in 90-minute sequences where you focus only on the important tasks.
After 90 minutes, take a 20-minute break to do a short stretch of your body or go for a short walk, then repeat the cycle.
This way, you’ll complete more tasks and sharpen your focus.
“It’s a digital age, what do you mean by pen and paper?”
Well, sometimes laptops, phones, tablets, and all other devices cannot compare to the power of pen and paper. We even recommend writing a to-do list on a piece of paper, not on the computer.
If you keep your pen and paper at hand wherever you go, you can quickly write down your thoughts or ideas that pop up in your head and quickly forget if you don’t get it down.
Moreover, it’s better to have one small notebook at hand at all times, then to have something written down in the notes on your phone, something on your computer and something somewhere on your tablet since you don’t always have the same device at hand.
Buy a small notebook and let it be a sketchbook that you use for whatever comes to mind. As time goes by, the content of it will become priceless.
Head Of Nutrition At STAQ Performance
Maja Andoljsek, BSc in Sports Science and Nutrition, has been researching nutrition, supplements, and coaching people for years. As a certified coach and nutritionist, she has helped hundreds of people improve their cognitive performance, physical performance, and overall health.