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7 Strange BUT Super Easy Ways to Boost Productivity

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7 Strange BUT Super Easy Ways to Boost Productivity

It seems kind of obvious that to increase productivity, you want to get more done in less time so you search for the most logical and easy to adopt solutions, the reality is that these don’t always bring about the results you desire. And let’s be honest, some of the advice is just damn boring and completely unmotivating. Understandable why there are thousands of people stuck between ‘wanting to be productive’ and actually ‘being productive’, they just haven’t found something that resonates with them.

You can be more productive in growing your career prospects, starting a business or creating a new routine, in anything you want, but the underlying principles remain the same – achieving more in months than you would normally in years. If you haven’t found any tips and techniques that resonate with you, don’t give up on being more productive just yet. Here are 7 strange but proven and powerful ways to boost your productivity and get more done now.

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Give up motivation

Zen Buddhism influenced Shoma Morita; a famous Japanese psychiatrist suggests you give up on the idea of feeling productive or getting motivated before doing great work. He charges you to do what needs to be done and stop looking for some external forces to accomplish your task. Forget the idea of motivation, the right time and so on and just start doing what you have to do. If you can challenge yourself to get things done, regardless of your motivation, you will double your output.

Find the right music

One thing that’s always worked well, is listening to music, and this is backed by a study from Dr. Teresa Lesiuk. It found that when professionals listen to music, they can increase productivity. Do you know why that is? Playing your favorite music increases your vibration and creates the energy to do more. There’s also my favorite website – focus@will which puts you into the right frequency to stay focused. Music doesn’t need to be distracting, if you find the right type.

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Turn up the heat

Research says a drop in body temperature creates a drop in productivity? Yes, that is it! Studies confirmed that when body temperature drops, the body directs more energy to keep itself warm. With more energy expended in keeping warm, there is less for work. If your office is too cold, it’s time to turn on the heater and increase office temperature to get more work done. However, when you wake up in the morning, have a colder shower, if the shower is too warm, it makes you feel lazy and want to climb straight back into bed – be careful!

Schedule according to energy – not importance

This is not to say that you mustn’t prioritize what is important, but when you are scheduling your agenda, don’t schedule based purely on importance, also factor in your energy levels. How energetic are you in the morning? At mid-day and in the afternoon? Look at the task at hand and ask yourself what energy do you need to have to perform this task as productively as possible and then schedule according to that. What you don’t want to do is set all your hard tasks for the morning if you know you don’t have the energy you need to tackle them first then, because you will most likely end up procrastinating or taking too long.

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Don’t be too serious!

Nobody feels like being productive if they are in a bad mood! In an atmosphere of laughter, humor and playfulness, your energy increases and you get more accomplished! What is your environment like? Even though work is professional, it doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! In fact, it should be. If you have fun and enjoy what you are doing, you will be far more productive. Look at ways to make your job more fun, what can you change about your environment or yourself?

Fire your memory

Trusting your memory may affect your productivity. It affects your ability to manage your time because your memory does fail to remember everything. That is the idea here. Get your phone; let it do the remembering for you, it won’t forget! The less ‘things’ you have going on in your mind, the more energy and space you free up to focus on more important things. Get a system of tools which allow you to easily set and be reminded too effortlessly.

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Work where you want

Productivity starts with you being in the driver’s seat of your life – at every moment. This means that you open up so many more choices of what is possible, and the first one is: work where you want to. When you are at gym – you could listen to a podcast that helps you grow in your business for example or while commuting.

Use your smartphone for what it is for; make sure you have all the apps you need; get a program that allows you to access your files on your computer from anywhere. If you look at any free time as an opportunity to get more done and set up systems so it’s easy – you move away from the black and white thinking of Monday to Friday working hours and you will quickly experience the benefits.

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You don’t need to wake up super early, be glued to your desk for hours and kiss your social life goodbye to achieve more. The secret to being more productive is all about doing things smarter, not harder. How you manage your time determines what you will and will not achieve in a day.  Life is meant to be fun, in every area – so have fun increasing your productivity too – it’s not a one-size fits all approach!

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Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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