Making the most of my time is something that has been on my mind more lately. It seems like I have a lot on my plate, some of which is required and a regular part of daily life, and some that is aspirational and a matter of me pushing myself. I’m sure you might be able to relate to the idea of getting more out of your day.
To that end, I’ve got a few thoughts on how to become more productive:
- Focus on the 80/20 rule. This is an area of focus for me. Recall how I just mentioned that I have a lot on my plate? Well, I’d like to be able to pare down what I have to do to a more manageable list of the most important things. Really, some things do have more importance than others. Why not pay the most attention to those with disproportionate impact?
- Concentrate on the most important thing first. This might also be practiced by doing the most difficult thing first. The idea is to focus on the key task early on, so you’re prioritizing what’s most important. The rest of the day might feel less burdened. Again, this is something I’m working on, but days when I actually do this are great!
- Say “No” when you need to. There can often be so many demands for out time, that it can get overwhelming if we try to do everything. Shying away from conflict or trying to please people can lead to saying “Yes” to too many things. Instead, we should be strong enough to turn down things that make our own lives more difficult. This might also mean saying no to ourselves, and controlling our desire to do more.
- Avoid excessive multitasking. This is one where I think a lot of people might disagree, but I think it’s better to concentrate at one thing at a time. At least, it works better for me. There’s something to the ability to concentrate one’s focus that can allow something to get done quicker and better.
- Stay organized. This one works for me. Keeping a clear set of goals, along with a list of tasks that can help accomplish those goals, can go a long way to improving productivity. This includes a prioritized to-do list, though as I mentioned above, having too many items can be counterproductive.
- Get enough sleep. Speaking from personal experience, I’m MUCH more productive when I get a full night of sleep versus when I get far less. It’s another area where I’m inconsistent, but I’m working on it. Working late into the night is like going into debt – you’re getting a lot done in one day, but robbing the next day’s productivity and paying interest too!
Readers, do you practice any of these tips to increase productivity? What other tips do you have for increasing your productivity?