How to Be More Productive - 10 Tips That Will Change Your Life
Updated · Jul 22, 2022
Let's face it - we've all struggled with work-related output and time management. And we've all looked for ways of being more productive.
But this can be challenging nowadays with many distractions like social media and smartphones. It's no surprise that we can't stay focused.
So if you've ever wondered how to be more productive, this article is just for you.
How to Be More Productive
Everyone is looking for ways to increase their capacity these days.
And here’s why - the internet is a giant distraction while also an inseparable part of our lives. As such, it’s easy to see why many people don’t feel sufficiently productive.
Let's put things in perspective by checking these stats:
- Employees spend 44 minutes on social media every day,
- 87% of students could achieve better grades if they possessed better organization and time management skills,
- In 2020, an average user spent 2 hours and 24 minutes per day on social media,
- Users spent about 50% of their mobile time on social media apps in 2020,
- Smartphone users check their phones up to 63 times a day,
- 13% of millennials spend over 12 hours on their phones daily.
No wonder time management problems are so common these days.
Fortunately, we’ve compiled the top 10 habits of productive people to help set you forward.
Create a To-Do List
Yes, to-do lists work but only if you make them reasonable. Try not to overwhelm yourself with too many tasks.
You should take a less-is-more approach and focus only on the most critical assignments.
Apply the 80/20 Rule
So, what’s this rule, and how does it help you to be more efficient?
In short, it states that only 20% of your actions produce 80% of your results.
The idea is to prioritize your tasks and eliminate those with little impact.
Whether making to-do lists or organizing a project, consider what 20% of your tasks will achieve the most? Likewise, consider which activities waste time and which ones need priority.
You can expect an increase in your productivity by applying this rule.
Use Time Management Apps
Still wondering how to have a productive day?
Fortunately, there are numerous time management apps to assist in your efforts.
Take a look at the following top-rated apps that can help raise your efficiency.
Alternatively, you can try effective management software to get more productive. Consider applying one or more of the following:
- Microsoft 365
- Be Focused
As you can see, there are many options available.
But which one is right for you?
To improve your attention, you can wipe out distractions with Focus@Will, Forest, or Be Focused.
And if you’re looking to enhance your performance at work and be more efficient, you could try project management software like Trello and Toggl. Additionally, try Grammarly if looking for an edge to your work performance. It’s a master of detecting spelling and grammatical errors.
In the end, you know your work habits best and need the apps that most suitably support them.
Yes, taking breaks will make you more productive.
No matter what you've heard, nobody can stay focused for hours on end. That’s why having short breaks is one of the best ways to be productive.
Even taking a rest for a couple of minutes can help recharge your batteries and boost your efficiency. Regular breaks will also help you process and retain information. Additionally, work pauses can prevent headaches and eye strain.
On a similar note, don’t sacrifice your lunch breaks for work. A proper meal helps replenish lost energy.
Believe it or not, multitasking is inefficient.
Working on several things at once dilutes your focus and attention. It hinders your performance, and even the easiest tasks take much longer to complete.
Multitasking can also lead to exhaustion, even if your work involves little to no physical activity.
Here’s what you need to do.
To ensure you have a good productive day, it's critical to focus only on one task at a time. Not only will you achieve more, but you'll make fewer mistakes and feel less tired.
Manage Your Distractions
We know it's easy to become distracted at work. You most probably deal with too many devices and emails.
And yes, productivity experts rank email as one of the top productivity killers in the workplace. Texting, surfing the internet and checking social media also reduce your capacity to complete tasks.
But how to be productive with so many distractions?
You can start by creating a system.
Let's say you want to stop wasting time on email.
Then, you can specify a time slot to manage your inbox. The same goes for your phone use and social media browsing. Plan your digital interactions for set and limited times in the day. You can also switch your phone off whenever you need to focus on a task.
Read on for more tips about being productive when working from home or at the office.
Focus on the Most Important Assignment First
Tackling the most critical tasks first will help boost your efficiency.
Any to-do list has priorities, and if you spend the whole day checking off the less important things, you risk procrastination.
The key to being productive is concentrating on priorities and finishing them timely. Once habitual, completing more complicated tasks will be easier, and better time management achieved.
What if the task seems too daunting, and you don't even know where to begin?
Don’t worry - we’ve got you covered.
Break Projects into Smaller Pieces
It’s best to break down large and complicated projects. Start by setting small goals for each task.
Also, think about the logical order of completing each. For example, identify the task you need to finish first to initiate the next one, and so on. Then, all you need to do is to tackle them in order.
That’s it! This is one of the best habits a productive person can have.
Manage Your Energy
Though often overlooked, being sufficiently rested is as important as time management.
You won’t be productive if you’re exhausted.
So, what’s energy management?
It's when you use all of your physical resources for maximum productivity, followed by an intensive recovery to allow you to tackle your next assignments. There is little doubt that recharging from work is one of the best productive habits.
Unfortunately, this is not what most people do, and as such, many often succumb to burnout. Techniques to increase productivity won't help if you aren’t taking care of yourself.
So, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and eat well. Don’t forget to relax on the weekends. And spend time on your hobbies.
Lastly, knowing how to get productive includes tackling the most demanding tasks at peak energy levels.
Improve Your Posture
You read that right. Now sit up!
Believe it or not, posture affects productivity and mental health. Poor posture is prevalent and, unfortunately, a side effect of having sedentary jobs. You've probably felt stiff after sitting at your desk after a long day. This happens because we're so focused that we ignore how we use our bodies.
But how does it affect productivity?
Simply put, it affects your body’s efficiency. Bad posture also leads to headaches and fatigue and can diminish your mental sharpness. No wonder you don’t feel productive.
Let’s consider a few tips that will help prevent such things from happening:
- Be aware of how you sit and stand - correct your posture when necessary,
- Avoid slouching,
- Make sure that your shoulders are relaxed, your back supported, and your feet flat on the floor,
- Pull your shoulders back and keep your back flat against the chair,
- Don’t cross your legs,
- Place your screen at eye level,
- Adjust your chair to the correct height,
- Invest in a work chair that has many adjustment features - lumbar support, elevating seat, adjustable armrests, etc.,
- Purchase a desk that has elevation control and allows for both sitting and standing,
- Buy a laptop stand,
- Stretch your legs every hour.
As one of the most productive work habits, always take care of how you sit.
While wanting to be productive is one thing, actually being productive comes down to the following good habits:
- Manage your time well,
- Make reasonable to-do lists,
- Use productivity apps,
- Avoiding distractions,
- Take care of yourself,
- Recharge your batteries.
Once applying the techniques above, you’ll master the art of how to become more productive.
Why can't I be productive?
Understanding why you struggle with productivity will help you solve the problem.
Here are the most common reasons:
- Distractions such as social media, smartphones, and email,
- Overwhelming tasks where you don’t know where to start,
- Lack of energy,
- Insufficient rest and breaks,
- Poor posture.
How can I be more productive every day?
You can try many strategies, like creating a reasonable to-do list. Or you can start using time management apps.
And if an assignment is too challenging, you can always break it down and ask for help. Multitasking won’t work.
Also, start with the most important things. A productive person knows how to prioritize.
Most importantly, take breaks. Recharging is vital for sustained productivity.
What is the 80/20 rule for productivity?
The 80/20 rule is one of the best how to be more productive strategies in use. It states that only 20% of your work produces 80% of your results each day. Prioritize your tasks and push aside the ones that can wait.
Deyan has been fascinated by technology his whole life. From the first Tetris game all the way to Falcon Heavy. Working for TechJury is like a dream come true, combining both his passions – writing and technology. In his free time (which is pretty scarce, thanks to his three kids), Deyan enjoys traveling and exploring new places. Always with a few chargers and a couple of gadgets in the backpack. He makes mean dizzying Island Paradise cocktails too.
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