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10 Effective Ways To Super Boost Your Productivity

10 Effective Ways To Super Boost Your Productivity

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.

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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.

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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?

For example,

• 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?

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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.

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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?

More by this author

Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

How to Be More Productive: 4 Tiny Tweaks to Make 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated) How To Break the Procrastination Cycle Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That) How To Control Your Emotions Effectively

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Last Updated on July 13, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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    It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

    When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

    More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

    Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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