If you find yourself procrastinating because of the slightest distraction or don’t have an organized system to manage your productivity, this article might be for you. We live in a digital world where distractions are aplenty—being productive and efficient with your time at work can thus become quite difficult.
This is further compounded by alternative work models that are becoming more popular due to COVID. The lines between your work and home life have become all the more murky thanks to remote work. Given that this will be the way that work is structured in the future—it’s become imperative to take charge of your time and manage your work-related productivity.
We live in a digital, tech-oriented world: leverage it for your productivity
We’re living in the golden age of technology today. Just like there are numerous sources of digital distractions out there, an equal number of tools and applications exist that enable you to take control of your productivity. Say, for instance, sleep monitoring applications that allow you to get better rest, web browser extensions that prevent you from spending too much time on social media, tools that easily automate mundane and repetitive tasks, and more.
Apart from the general productivity tools mentioned above, there are various profession-specific tools that allow you to enhance your productivity for commonly used workflows in that field.
For example, if you’re a photographer who deals with thousands of photographs on a daily basis, you need applications for backing up your photos automatically and file managers that allow you to declutter your photograph folders. You also need to be aware of practical tricks that can elevate your productivity as a photographer.
Say that you accidentally deleted your photographs from your iPhone.
Do you know how to restore permanently deleted photos in such a situation? Practical digital tricks like this can increase your productivity steeply.
Focus on a single task at a time
While it’s okay to have your work plate full at certain times, if you find yourself constantly switching from one task to another, it’s likely that your productivity is taking a toll. This is based on the premise that important work that actually matters requires sustained focus.
As you multitask through your workday, there are going to be attention remnants from the previous activity that will carry over to the next one. This not only affects your productivity on the work assignment that you were previously working on but the one you’re now switching to as well. It’s therefore ideal for sticking to getting fewer things done every day and doing them one task at a time.
To-do lists are unlikely to cut it—practice time blocking
To say that to-do lists are not that effective at improving your productivity might be going against the grain. Does it not make sense to organize and have all your tasks for the day consolidated in one place?
Well, it’s not that simple. With to-do lists, working professionals tend to overstuff and include as many tasks as they can cram into the eight-hour work window. As a result, work becomes overwhelming, and your motivation to maximize productivity begins to lose steam.
It’s better to time-block your working hours. By doing this, you have an intentional sense of how your time is going to be spent. As opposed to a to-do list that does not tell you anything about how to divide your time between tasks on the list—time blocking ensures you know exactly what you will be doing. This also eliminates distractions, improves focus and efficiency, in addition to removing any decision fatigue.
Utilize different productivity-enhancing techniques
There are various productivity techniques and frameworks that you can effectively use to manage your time more efficiently, and in turn, improve your productivity levels at work.
Take, for instance, the SMART method for setting work-related goals. The framework tells professionals to set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based goals. This is likely going to weed out any goal that you’re working towards that is probably eating up your natural productivity potential and bringing your motivation levels down as well.
Another technique for work-related productivity enhancement is the Pomodoro method. According to this technique—first outlined by university student Francisco Cirillo—you need to break your work tasks into 25-minute chunks followed by 5-minute breaks. A Pomodoro session refers to working on a task in an active and focused manner for 25 minutes, after which you allow yourself a 5-minute break. You’re also allowed to take more extended breaks after 3-4 Pomodoro sessions.
So these are the 4 simple productivity tips that you can follow to get the most out of your working hours as a professional. We hope this post was able to point you in the right direction for elevating your productivity levels to where you’d like them to be.