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7 Strange BUT Super Easy Ways to Boost Productivity

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 July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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