Instead of self-loathing and desperately trying to reinvent yourself this year, let’s discuss easy and realistic ways to be more productive and how to achieve those goals you’re already working towards.
1. Avoid multitasking
Speaking on the phone while signing for a package, typing an important email while having a conversation with a colleague, watching a YouTube video about puppies while at the gym… we’ve all done it!
Most of the time, multitasking is a way to hit two birds with one stone, and sometimes it feels great to be able to juggle multiple tasks without dropping the ball… until you do.
We have been hard-wired to master the art of multitasking and even though
sometimes it’s a necessary skill, we are spreading ourselves thin when we should be paying full attention to a single task.
When you switch between tasks you inevitably take longer to complete them and this is particularly harmful when you notice how long it takes for your attention to shift from one thing to the next and then back again.
This rule doesn’t have to be applied to everything. With low level tasks that do not require much brain power, it’s not a problem to manage multiple tasks but, with important jobs or projects that require substantial concentration, wasting time on menial tasks will only result in substandard work.
2. Keep a Bullet Journal
We have become so accustomed to having access to productivity apps and all the answers at the click of a button that we no longer feel the need to go the archaic route of putting pen to paper. What works for someone else might not work for you, so ask yourself, how effective are these note taking apps? How well do they really work and how much attention do you pay to the tasks you list on them?
A note taking system developed by Ryder Carroll to assist with his ADD, the Bullet Journal Method challenges us to “Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future”.
A fully customisable and reliable method of note taking, the Bullet Journal method enables us to have a birds eye view of our upcoming day, week, month and year. It allows us to track events, tasks and reminders but also allows us to tailor the journal to whatever we want to keep track of. Your workouts for the week or quotes from books you have read, the options are endless.
3. Squeeze in a morning workout
Doing physical exercise daily and more importantly, in the morning, has proven to be positively impactful on the rest of our day. Working out in the morning, when the rest of the world is asleep, when no one is emailing or trying to contact you, is an opportunity to really focus on yourself.
A major reason why we struggle to workout during our week is from all the resistance we are faced with. For instance, getting home late because you had to work overtime, family commitments and last-minute social gatherings, Netflix not giving you enough time to reach the remote before jumping to the next episode. You know, serious stuff.
There is a lot less keeping us from going to the gym or being active early in the morning, the only thing is our own excuses.
4. When you are at work, focus on the work
Distractions and personal commitments in our personal lives are inevitable. We all have something that we are dealing with at home and sometimes it is difficult to keep your personal and work life separate. When we are distracted and not fully present in what we are doing it becomes easy for the space in our minds to be taken up by what we are struggling with at home. This doesn’t leave much space to focus on the work we need to do.
Separating these two worlds doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. There is something quite freeing about choosing to focus on only your work during the hours you are meant to and, setting these boundaries during the day can help you handle and manage your personal life more effectively.
5. Find 5 minutes of quiet
Tony Robbins said ‘If you don’t have 10 minutes, you don’t have a life”.
All you need is a 5 minute gap somewhere in your day to slow down and hit the reset button.
Pick somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed.
Set a timer for 5 minutes and spend a couple seconds focusing on your breath.
Just the simple action of noting the breath on the inhale and the exhale takes our minds off our busy day and can leave us feeling refreshed.
How do you ensure your productivity?