When work gets intense, the feeling of difficulty and being overwhelmed usually doesn’t go away when you get home. But, with constant demands on your time and critical work projects that need to be completed before their deadlines, it can all quickly become a burden on your shoulders.
Fortunately, by increasing your productivity and performance at work, you can begin to feel the positive effects of your success in other areas of your life.
When your home life is organized and running smoothly, you’ll often see your workdays improve as well.
The reality is that every aspect of our lives is interconnected and influenced by each other. Our work and our relationships can be seen as intertwined, where success or failure in either can impact multiple areas simultaneously.
Fortunately, there are several ways to be more productive at home and at work, and to ensure that your success in one area spills over into other areas of your life.
This guide will explore a few productivity strategies, including using an online calendar, taking regular breaks, working on your most important tasks first, and multitasking to achieve optimal focus.
How to increase your productivity at home and at work
Without the right tools, strategies, and resources, increasing your productivity at home and at work can be a difficult process. We face so many distractions on a daily basis that sometimes it feels like it’s not possible to concentrate for a long time.
The good news is that deep focus is still achievable and possible, as long as you set up your environment correctly and use the full set of resources at your disposal to increase productivity.
Here are some ways to increase your productivity and start seeing results at home and at work.
1. Use an online calendar
Using an online calendar such as Calendar, Microsoft Calendar, Google Calendar or Office 365 is absolutely essential for concentration and productivity.
When you set aside time specifically for your most important tasks, you tell yourself that you can only work on this single task during this period. It’s powerful because it lets you focus on one task at a time, avoiding the trap of multitasking.
When people say they’re “good at multitasking,” what exactly do they mean? Does it really imply that they can multi-task and achieve optimal efficiency and results in both?
The answer is quite different from what many expect. When we multitask, we never perform two tasks simultaneously, but rather we quickly switch between tasks. This rapid “shift in focus” strains our mental energy and forces us to perform both tasks suboptimally.
By blocking out time on your online calendar for your most important tasks and activities, you ensure that your unique focus produces great results. If you’re not already using your online calendar, today is a great day to start “blocking time” and planning your days, weeks, and months.
2. Take regular breaks
Taking regular breaks between focus sessions and long shifts is essential for longevity and preventing burnout.
The point is, not taking a break is unsustainable, and you will end up exhausting yourself from constant work. It’s the last thing you want when you’re trying to have a productive, focused year.
When planning your day, take the time to plan a few short breaks where you will do absolutely nothing but rest, clear your mind, and think of nothing work-related. Give your mind time to decompress and allow yourself to really Rest.
Some people prefer to walk outside during their breaks. Or, they would just get up to walk around for a few minutes. However, if your job involves sitting for long periods of time, you should take the time to more deliberately plan breaks where you get up and walk around. It’s good for your long-term health and for preventing burnout.
3. Work on your most important tasks when you’re most alert
Each of us has a specific time of day when we are most productive. For some, it’s very early in the morning. For others, it’s in the afternoon or late at night.
What time of day to do you do you feel most awake, alert, and ready to tackle any task on your plate? This may be your most productive time – and you should use it!
Schedule all your most important tasks to perform when you are most alert. It can be the time of day when you feel you are at your best. By working a schedule that naturally matches your level of alertness, you’ll be able to think more deeply and solve problems more effectively.
4. Use the “2 minute rule” to your advantage
Sometimes the smallest tasks can distract us from some of our biggest and most meaningful goals. Unfortunately, these bog us down in the details and prevent us from doing our most critical work.
This can be overcome by using the “2 minute rule”. This rule simply states, “If a task takes less than two minutes to complete, do it now!”
It’s a simple idea basically. But, this rule allows you to proactively do all the tiny tasks that might bog you down later. Doing these small 2-minute tasks right away will free up focus time for your bigger goals.
Try it for yourself – ask yourself how long a small task will take. If it takes less than two minutes, do it right away. You might be surprised at the results!
5. Don’t multitask
Multitasking is never an effective way to spend your timeeven though it may seem so at the time.
When we multitask, we move quickly from one task to another, which consumes intelligence, consumes energy and reduces our productivity. Unfortunately, anyone who boasts of being able to “multi-task” effectively often fails to understand that instead of working hyper-efficiently on a task, they are actually working less efficiently on several tasks at once.
Whenever you feel like multitasking, ask yourself how efficient you want to be. Some goals require a significant amount of effort or attention to detail. These tasks can be the blocking of separate focus time so that you can give it undivided attention.
When you stop multitasking and start focusing entirely on one task at a time, you’ll see your productivity increase.
6. Eliminate all distractions in your work environment
Arrange your work environment to be free from distractions is one of the best and easiest ways to make sure you’re productive.
We lose that focus when we allow people or notifications to disturb us during focus time on a task at hand.
It takes a lot of energy and intelligence to enter a “state of concentration”. Unfortunately, if this state of focus is broken (often instantly after a distraction), it will take energy again to rebuild this focused momentum.
Think about where you currently work and how your work environment is set up. Is there a possibility of easy distraction? Are you distracted and “going down rabbit holes” while working?
If so, you need to change your environment to deletion these distractions proactively. If you do this and stay accountable, you will immediately become more productive.
Image Credit: Rahul Pandit; pexels; Thank you!