One of the best feelings certainly comes from accomplishing what you set out to do. Doesn’t it just feel so darn good to get things done and achieve more? Of course it does — it is inherent in us. The problem, however, is that we really aren’t as productive as we actually could be; most of us are way off, in fact.
The world is changing each day. Being more productive is not an option anymore, but a prerequisite to getting ahead in this competitive world, and even being happy. Here are 10 effective ways that you can super boost your productivity now.
1. Challenge your own excuses.
Did you know that around 40% of your daily actions are on automatic? You do not make a conscious decision with everything you do, because most of your actions are habit.
This definitely serves you in many ways; imagine if you had to learn how to brush your teeth again every day! Other times it doesn’t serve you, though, especially when if you come up with unwarranted excuses and hold onto limiting beliefs that stop you from being as productive as you could be.
Typical phrases that you might find yourself saying without much thought are…
• I am just too busy to…
• I have never been organized or productive, I never will be…
• He/she is the reason why I can’t…
• I want to do so much, I just can’t…
It is only when you start to challenge your own excuses and limiting beliefs that you will find out how much truth or fact there really is to it. Start questioning your excuses and limiting beliefs and get more done now.
2. Use apps and technology.
You have never had so many different tools and apps available to help you leverage your time. Are you taking advantage of this? If you want to be more productive, there has never been an easier time to tap into the free resources out there.
There are apps that will help to organize and synchronize your information, prioritize your to do’s and give you targeted focus. There are also music apps to help you concentrate more easily and those that automate your do-lists into a planned schedule.
Whatever your needs, there is sure to be an app for you. You will be amazed by how much technology, considering it is used correctly, can boost your productivity and support you in getting more done. Read more on the top apps here.
3. Change your limiting habits.
Everyone has a few bad habits when it comes to being as productive as they could be. What are your limiting habits? Do you have a habit of jumping from one task to the next? Do you fail to plan and prioritize your daily work?
If you can identify just one habit that, if you changed, would have the biggest positive effect, what would it be?
Work on this first. Start by improving just one limiting habit at a time. You don’t need to try to change everything at once, but at least start somewhere. It doesn’t make sense to only focus on developing skills and ignore the limiting habits which will undoubtedly continue to undermine your results.
4. Communicate more effectively.
Surveys certainly reveal some shocking statistics from time to time. Hundreds and thousands of money is wasted on poor communication and unproductive staff each year. Instructions not carried out properly and time wasted due to miscommunication all add up and undermine productivity.
Communication is key to being productive. Read more about how you can enhance your productivity by communicating effectively.
Perhaps you are a great communicator, but I guarantee you there are a few tips and techniques you could learn to get more done by communicating more effectively.
5. Set weekly or daily objectives.
The easiest and most effective way to get more done is to set weekly goals or daily objectives. This targeted direction boosts your productivity because your actions are more closely aligned with what you want to achieve and you immediately become more productive.
Start with the end in mind. What do you want to have achieved by the end of the month or week? Set yourself a target.
Break the target down into action steps that you need to take to achieve this. For example, let’s say your goal is to get 5 new clients by the end of the month. What action do you need to take?
• Gather information on the potential customer
• Make X number of phone calls (depending on your conversion rate)
• Follow up on potential leads
• Close the deal
Each of these steps need to be included in your schedule and planned for.
Be crystal clear on where you are going and what you need to do to get there.
6. Let go of ‘the right time’.
Have you ever waited for the right time to take action on something? How did that work out for you? Often the right time never comes. Don’t wait for the right moment; bring the right moment to you. There is usually some action you can take now or something you can do instead of waiting around for something that might never come.
If this sounds like you, dig a little deeper. Are you really waiting for the right time or is it just an excuse to hide your procrastination?
If you are waiting for the right opportunity to come your way before you do anything, you might be waiting for the rest of your life.
7. Make use of every opportunity you can.
Do you travel to work by car or by public transport? Add up how much time you spending traveling every week and ask yourself if it possible to make this time more productive.
Let’s say for example, that you need to read some paperwork, taking advantage to do this while traveling by tube is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Alternatively, if you are driving and you enjoy audio, you can listen to an audio book or an audio of something personally or work related.
Opportunities to leverage your time aren’t always plainly obvious, you need to make an effort to identify them. Get creative and ask yourself how you can best use this time. Brainstorm a few ideas and choose the best one.
8. Use your energy levels accordingly.
Your energy levels rise and drop throughout the day and everyone’s is different. You might find that you have a lot of energy in the morning and towards the afternoon you lose a lot of energy, or vice versa.
Plan to do tasks when you have the most energy. So for example, let’s say you have the most energy in the morning. Use this time then do the tasks that require the most concentration from you.
Later, when you know that you start to lose energy, use this time to reply to emails or make phone calls, etc.
You will be more productive because your energy will be aligned with the effort you need to make, so naturally you do more.
9. Always batch when you can.
Batching is all about doing similar tasks together as opposed to doing them separately. Plan to do all your “out of the office” errands on the same day. Group your meetings and plan time to reply to emails or make your phone calls throughout the day.
Batching saves you from wasting time jumping from one task to the other, losing focus and concentration. It also minimizes the amount of distractions you have as an added bonus.
Take a moment to think about all the tasks and activities that you can group together to be more productive and take action now.
10. Mind Map your way to clarity.
Last, but definitely not least, is to use mind-mapping to support you. One of the biggest productivity hindrances is often just taking the first step, or taking the wrong first step and having to start over.
Using a mind map when you feel blocked can definitely boost your productivity and give you targeted direction moving forward.
Always start with the end in mind — take the final outcome or result you are looking for and work backwards. As you use categories and subcategories when you mind map, you can organize and therefore manage your ideas much better. Having everything laid out visually in front of you helps to keep you focused and it streamlines your thought processes.
If you have ever felt hesitant to start something because you simply lacked the clarity you needed or you felt that your thoughts are all over the place – this is the best thing you can do to move forward productively.
At the end of the day, being more productive is about choice. What do you choose? More, or less?
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