Productivity Part II: 4 Ways to Be More Productive
As mentioned in our first part of this series, if you’ve been having a difficult time staying focused and completing your tasks, here are four ways to maintain your productivity at a high level.
Distractions are everywhere. Your distractions may come from your social life or from your favorite game or app on your phone.
It’s important to cultivate a healthy social life, and it’s okay to have down time to relax. But when it’s time to work, do your best to set those distractions aside.
If your cell phone or social media keep you from focusing on your work, distance yourself from it. Put your cell phone in another room. Keep social media tabs off your computer.
To give you a little extra help, try using an app on your phone that sets a limit on your screen time or social media usage for a period of time. Apps like Offtime and Moment track how you’re spending your time on your phone and help you to set limits on the areas you need to.
Whatever your distraction is, give yourself some distance. Find a quiet place where you can focus on your work and not feel the need to check thirty-five messages on your phone.
Tackle Harder or More Important Tasks First
Many people pick their order of tasks at random or try to do the things that are easiest first. This is not the most productive way to perform duties. If you’re struggling to stay productive because you can’t pick a direction, try focusing on the harder or more important tasks first.
It’s easy to feel directionless when you have an overwhelming amount of responsibilities. You can’t do them all in one day, so do the ones that are most important.
Become an Early Riser
Most people would rather sleep in, but many of the most successful people in the world rise early. Some examples include GE CEO Jeff Immlet, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
Being an early riser is associated with important health benefits and improved performance in work and school.
Harvard Business Review released a study in 2010 that showed that early risers tend to get better grades and be more successful than night owls. Biologist Christoph Randler explained:
“Early risers tend to get better grades in school, which get them into better colleges, which then lead to better job opportunities. Morning people also anticipate problems and try to minimize them … A number of studies have linked this trait, proactivity, with better job performance, greater career success, and higher wages.”
In regards to mental health, according to a study conducted by the Journal of Psychiatric Research, even when accounting for other risk factors, “early risers still had a 12-27 percent lower risk of being depressed than intermediate types.”
Don’t waste your most productive time laying in bed. Early to bed and early to rise and you’ll be able to start the day fresh and ready for your tasks.
Take a Break and Relax
Many people try to push through work, eat lunch at their desks and powerhouse through the week. As it turns out, all work and no play is actually bearing us less productivity.
In 2013, The New York Times published an article called, “Relax! You’ll be More Productive!” In it, author Tony Schwartz explains that people who take more vacations and get more sleep at night are more productive than people who don’t.
Schwartz writes that “human beings aren’t designed to expend energy continuously.” Rather, we’re meant to pulse between spending and recovering energy.
Research suggests that people only have the capacity to focus for 90 to 120 minutes before needing a break. Those who do take a break are usually able to return to their work refreshed for another 90 to 120 minutes.
Taking breaks can also help break up the monotony and keep people from becoming bored with a project. If what they’re working on is overly complicated or dense, they may want to take breaks sooner.
Grow in Productivity
With degree programs that are catered to meet the needs of busy working adults, you can improve your productivity as you work and return to the classroom to achieve your personal and professional goals. Connect with an enrollment specialist today to discover how our convenient programs allow you to learn on your own time.