Do you ever feel like you’re struggling with getting things done?
Perhaps, you’ve been dreaming about having an online job, but it turned out to be the time thief.
You are not productive at all and work fills up all your days.
If you’re willing to give up procrastinating behavior and become more productive to have more time for things that you want to do in your life, this is the post for you.
Follow the suggested steps and you’ll see results within a few days.
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Table of Contents
1. Use the 80/20 Rule.
Nowadays people are so immersed in their work, keeping themselves busy and constantly taking up on a new project that they often forget about prioritizing their tasks and look at their business/ work with a wider perspective.
Many of us don’t really see the difference between being productive and being busy, which is a very costly mistake.
To be productive, you need to understand what actions give you the most results and prioritize them over anything else.
The 80/20 rule also known as the Pareto principle, says that eighty percent of outcomes come from twenty percent of your efforts for any given event.
Knowing that you can spend more time focusing on tasks that move you forward, and less on those that don’t.
If you want to apply this method, here’s what you need to do:
- Identify all your tasks that need to be done.
- Set priorities for all the assignments.
- Figure out what tasks give you more return.
- Think of the ways how you can reduce or transfer the tasks that give you less profit.
- Make a plan on how you’ll be working on the tasks that produce the most results.
2. The Pomodoro Method.
Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that helps people work with the time they have, breaking it into 25-minute parts with 5-minute breaks in between.
This method helps you to stay maximum productive and resist all self-interruptions and re-train your brain to focus on a given task. Each session (25-minute work time and 5-minute break) is referred as a Pomodoro.
The key to success with this method is to perform one task at a time. You should remove all the distractions that can disturb you from working.
Find a no-distraction zone, clean out your workspace, turn off notifications in your phone, and put it out of your sight.
Here’s how you can apply this technique yourself:
- Pick a task that you’ll be working on.
- Set a timer for 25 minutes and focus on that one single task.
- When a distraction pops into your head, write it down and get back to the task at hand.
- When your session ends, take a five-minute break. This is one Pomodoro session.
- After four Pomodoros, take a longer break of 20-30 minutes, then repeat the process.
3. The „Two Minute Rule”.
The „Two Minute Rule” is an incredibly effective, yet super simple technique for those who struggle with procrastination.
The rule states that starting a new habit should never take more than two minutes. While the actions that come with creating a new habit can be challenging, the first two minutes of doing that thing should be relatively easy.
It’s actually surprising how many things we postpone that could be done in a few minutes.
Remember that if it takes less than two minutes, do it now!
So, if you want to start reading more books, start with reading the first page of it.
If you want to get in shape and start running, let’s say every other day you’ll put on running shoes, go outside, and run for two minutes.
Obviously, not all of your goals will be achieved in these two minutes, but it’s all about taking the first step.
The rest will follow.
4. Get the most important things done first.
Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do in the morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the rest of your day with the comfort that the worst thing for that day is behind you.
In this case, the frog is your worst task that you should get done first thing in the morning as it will help you avoid procrastination and putting it off for later.
Also, studies suggest that the most productive time is within the first two hours after waking up.
Doing your biggest project early in the morning will also take the burden off your shoulders, which will fill you with motivation to do more enjoyable and easier tasks for you.
5. Stop multitasking.
If you try to do more than one thing at once, you won’t do either of them well.
And if you’re thinking that multitasking is an effective way to get more done, you’re barking up the wrong tree.
Multitasking is neither efficient nor effective.
When you switch from one task to another, it always takes some time to start a new task, and restart the one you left, your attention doesn’t immediately follow, remaining divided for a while.
Many people actually still believe that multitasking is something that they should do as often as possible.
But if you really want to be more productive in life, you need to put an end to multitasking, once and for all.
Multitasking causes a loss of speed and accuracy as your brain is actively switching attention between each item.
By working on a single task for a longer period of time without switching, you can minimize the negative impact of attention dispersion, maximizing performance on this one task.
To improve your concentration and boost your productivity, implement the following strategy:
- Choose a task that you’ll be working on.
- Clean out your workspace and block out all distractions for a task time.
- Put all the focus and attention towards that one task.
6. Prioritize your to-do list.
Creating a to-do list is a must when it comes to staying productive.
But it shouldn’t be just any list with some random tasks on it.
You need to create a list, considering what is the most important, and then prioritize it by focusing on achieving the results you want.
Write down exactly what you need to do, what steps you’re gonna take to meet this goal, and what results you want to see by the time you’ll finish the project.
Also, to get the best out of your to-do list, you need to learn when your high-energy time and schedule your priority work for when you have the most energy, which will save you time through effective work.
7. Avoid social media and turn off notifications.
I don’t know about you, but social media is the biggest distraction for me, which is why limiting my daily social media exposure has been the most effective way that helped me boost my productivity so far.
Being on socials and constant scrolling feed in looking for “something” not only wastes lots of time but also leads to a vicious circle of comparing yourself to other people.
What has also helped me not to check my phone was turning off every single notification on my phone, which means that unless I physically opened the texting app, I didn’t know if anyone had tried to reach me.
Thanks to the steps that I’ve taken I am no longer distracted by random notifications and irrelevant content.
I can transfer all my focus and attention to something really important and more meaningful.
8. Learn how to say “no”.
Although you may want to take as many opportunities as possible, remember that your time is limited, and you need to keep in mind what your most desired goals are.
And to achieve them you have to be deliberate about your time.
Here are some tips that can help you:
- Ask yourself: “Is saying yes really worth it?” Think of the outcomes that it would bring to you, and if you’ll be happy with them. For example, is doing overtime at work more important than spending this time with my family?
- Be assertive and direct. Say something like “I’m sorry I can’t help you this evening.” Be strong with your body language and don’t over-apologize.
- Be true to yourself. Be honest about what you really want and do not feel guilty when it doesn’t meet others’ expectations toward you.
It’s very important to learn how to say no as it helps you establish healthy boundaries and it allows other people to see what they can expect from you.
Always remember that saying no doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person and that your self-worth does not depend on how much you do for other people.
9. Set goals.
Setting goals gives you a long-term vision of your dreams and desires, directing you where to go.
Knowing where you’re heading gives you sense of purpose that helps you organize your time and resources so that you can make the most out of it.
Here’s how you can set goals and make them happen in just 5 steps:
- Decide on a goal. Think of something that you want to achieve and are willing to work towards.
- Write your goal down. It increases your chances of sticking with them for a longer period of time.
- Break your goal down into a few smaller steps with a time frame. It will help you be more specific about what action you need to take in order to achieve your main goal.
- Prioritize your tasks and plan your first step. Even if you’re not sure how to get started, you need to start somewhere. Identify what is the most important and do that thing first.
- Keep going. Working towards your goals can be difficult and frustrating, but success is all about not giving up and staying persistent. If you find yourself struggling, ask people for their ideas on what to do.
Setting goals creates clarity in decision making, and a better focus on what is important as well as gives you a sense of personal satisfaction once you achieve them.
10. Plan your day ahead.
If you want to be really productive, which clearly you do if you’re reading this, you do need to plan what your days are going to look like.
Giving yourself a basic framework of your days, not only you will you get more done in less time but also experience more flow during your day.
You’ll be much more likely to get your work done and fill your days with useful activities that add value to your life.
Here’s how to do it:
- Set a reminder to plan your day at a certain time in the evening the day before.
- Identify the worst and the hardest task for the next day and put it at the beginning of your list.
- Write the rest of your tasks on the list (It’s better to put fewer tasks and finish them all than committing to too many things and get too overwhelmed with the work that comes along with doing them).
- Plan your day using the Pomodoro Technique and use the time blocking method.
- Remember about scheduling some time for the rest and entertainment.
Being super organized and productive is hard when you’re unprepared, which is why planning your day ahead will be the key to effective time management. Having a clear plan will help you make the most out of your time and accomplish things that are on the top of your priority list.
11. Find your peak hours.
To achieve more productivity level, you need to determine when throughout a day is your peak energy.
Some people are early birds and get the most of their work done long before anyone else wakes up. If you’re like them, schedule most of your tasks at this particular time.
However, if you prefer to sleep longer and find yourself brain-dead in the mornings, don’t force yourself to be productive then. Take this time to relax and do other activities that are your routine and let your creativity burst at later hours.
If you’re not sure when is a good time for you to work, you need to try different hours and see what works for you best!
12. Create a morning routine.
Creating and sticking to your morning routine will help you start your than your day productively and allow you to have more control over your daily schedule.
When you start your day knowing exactly what you need to do and you’ve taken certain steps that helped you to be prepared ahead of time, you’ll have a sense of purpose and feel more empowered.
By setting morning habits, you know what tasks you need to focus on first and where to prioritize your time, which will greatly increase your productivity.
You’ll experience less stress and have more time to relax, which will boost your physical well-being.
Here’s how you can create your own morning routine:
- Have enough sleep.
- Wake up earlier. Start with 5 minutes at a time.
- Keep your phone outside your bedroom at night. It will force you to get up to turn off the alarm.
- Avoid using your phone in the first hours after waking up.
- Take a shower/ morning toilet.
- Exercise/stretch before you eat breakfast.
- Journal. Write at least 5 things that you’re grateful for this day. You can also rewrite the goals that you’re currently working on.
- Start working. Remember about using the time blocking method and prioritize your tasks by using the 80/20 rule.