Whether you’re working in an office, from a coffee shop, or from your home, distractions abound. There are only so many hours in a day, so it’s important to make the most of the hours that you have.
You’ve likely heard the old adage “work smarter, not harder,” and implementing a few tricks to increase productivity can help you do just that. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite tips to increase your daily productivity and set yourself up for success.
It may go against your instinct, but taking regular breaks can actually improve concentration. Taking short breaks throughout long tasks helps maintain a constant level of performance by boosting concentration, creativity, and memory. Working for long periods of time can lead to fatigue and stress, so make it a priority to take breaks throughout the day. Better yet, schedule them.
The most productive workers take frequent breaks, but it isn’t just the breaks that set them apart. It’s the type of work that happens in between those breaks. Set aside intervals in the timing that works for you- 30, 60, or 90 minutes, and work with purpose. You may be surprised how much you can get done during a short period of time when that time is uninterrupted and focused.
It’s easy to put off a task when there’s no impending deadline, so for tasks that don’t have a due date, set deadlines for yourself. A sense of urgency can actually be good for increasing productivity. Not only can it help you narrow in on the task at hand, but you’re also likely to get it done sooner.
The “Two-Minute Rule” comes from David Allen’s book Getting Things Done. The idea behind the two-minute rule is that you don’t put off tasks that can be done in two minutes or less. Completing a small task as it arises usually takes less time than having to come back to complete it later, freeing you up to get more tasks done throughout the day.
Having your phone on you is likely a necessity throughout your workday, but there are ways to limit the distractions you’ll face because of it. Moving your social media apps off of your home screen is a great place to start. When you first open up your phone, you shouldn’t be tempted to start scrolling!
]Another great way to set your devices up for success is to turn off notifications. Not just from your social apps, but from your email as well.
This is the one trick that has helped my productivity skyrocket! Aside from turning off email notifications so they don’t show up in the middle of taks, I’m also sure to have my email tab closed unless the task that I’m working on is my email.
Instead of stopping what you’re doing to respond to an email, set aside a few minutes at different points throughout the day to read and respond to emails.