Tools, tips, tricks to productivity, everyone is always looking for an edge to get more done. A quick internet search will yield a range of results. You can try a unconventional sleep schedule in hopes of gaining an extra 8 hours in your week or even the greatest new app to help you accomplish more in your day.
While the desire to be productive can drive some to do seemingly crazy things, I have found that bringing it back to basics is sometimes what really boosts your productivity. It sounds simple, and good habits seem easy enough to keep, but some of the most basic things that most of us already know we should be doing we just don’t do.
Here are 5 easy ways to improve your productivity
Put good things into your body
Healthy food is such an important factor in improving or maintaining a productive life. Your body is a well-oiled machine that needs good fuel to function. When you eat poor quality food, and drink sodas or even worse energy drinks (my favorite vice), you deprive your body of the precious nutrients it needs to function properly. This in turns disrupts the way your brain processes information, and causes you to be less productive. So the next time you are struggling to focus on that important proposal, or can’t seem to get a handle on any task during the day, take a look at what you have put into your body.
Get up and move
Several studies have proven that regular exercise or physical activity helps increase the rate at which your brain processes information. Since your brain is processing information more quickly, you naturally become more productive. There is a reason that super productive and successful people are typically in great health and work out all the time.
Regularly schedule “me” time
Taking care of your emotional and mental health is just as important, if not more important, than eating right and working out. It’s easy to jump to the conclusion that you don’t have the time to take a break, but if you don’t take the time you will just end up hurting yourself in the long run. Try to schedule in at least an hour a day just for you and no one else.
Surf the web
Procrastination can actually be helpful; browsing Facebook or even plain-old web surfing while at work does indeed increase productivity. You have to be careful, of course, not to get sucked into a vortex of cute cats and panda videos—hours later you will suddenly realize you have lost your whole day. The key is to make sure you set rules and boundaries for yourself and, most importantly, stick to them. Sometimes a simple 10 mins of browsing for every hour of work can reap rewards in terms of productivity. You get your fix so you stop thinking about that funny cat video, which allows you can focus better on your work.
Plan your activities in blocks of time rather than as a to-do list.
I don’t know about you but I have often written out a to-do list in hopes of getting it all done. I have this fantasy in my head where like a productive machine I go through my day with my handy dandy to-do list, crossing each item off, accomplishing every last thing. All because I had a to-do list. But, fantasies aside, when I have barely finished half of my list at the end of a day, the harsh reality hits me: it just doesn’t work that way. The alternative I have found is to set blocks of time in my schedule, not for individual tasks, but for particular activities. 2 hours a day for working out, 2 hours a day for marketing my business, 3 hours a day for client work, and so on. Dividing my day into blocks allows me to focus on whole concepts or projects at a time. At the end of the day, I feel a sense of accomplishment I never used to experience when working off to-do lists. This sense of accomplishment keep me energized.
What small changes to your day have allowed you to get more done? How have you tweaked the way you work or live to increase your productivity?