What is Productivity?
Put simply I believe productivity means getting the right things done in an efficient manner, a lot of people I know seem to believe that being busy means that they are being productive, when in actual fact they just do a whole lot of nothing and are merely looking busy -they are the people who never really perform or achieve anything of great value. I am guilty of being one of these people, the eventual realisation that you haven't accomplished much with your time evokes many feelings and emotions - so what are the feelings or emotions you experience when you are not being productive?
Overwhelmed - Life is hard and it is easy to feel overwhelmed. As soon as you feel that you are just starting to make some progress life always throws you a curve ball to keep you on your toes. With an ever growing list of things to do it is no wonder we feel constantly overwhelmed.
Anxiety - Did you know anxiety and stress are in fact counterproductive (read our blog on 3 ways to improve your mental health) and cause feelings of negativity and frustration.
Unfulfillment - This is what happens when you realise that you have not used your time in the best possible way or if you have completely wasted your time. We often experience this after the fact in in hindsight when it is too late to actually do anything.
5 tips for increasing productivity
1. Create to-do lists
The best way to do this is by writing down what you need to do and then numbering them in order of importance. Why is this important? You will find that when you write everything down you free your brain up of much needed thinking space and by tackling your bigger priorities first you feel better and more positive helping you tackle your remaining tasks efficiently.
2. Stop the distractions
If you find that you are really falling behind on your work, then you should consider uninstalling apps such as Facebook, Instagram and snapchat from your smartphone. These apps are major time drains, especially if you haven't turned off notifications for them.
3. Designate time to respond to emails/texts/calls
Instead of stopping what you are doing to respond to a new e-mail or text you should consider setting aside a time for responding to them in batches. Turn do-not-disturb mode on so that your focus is not broken each time a text or email is sent to your phone. Calls from important people can still be received in this mode by having them in your favourites - other calls are simply silenced which you can tend to later when you decide.
4. Sleep early and get up early
Sleeping late and waking up early can be detrimental to your productivity the next day. If you are half-awake at work, then the odds are that your quality of work will suffer. I’m usually at my A-game if I get 8 hours of sleep and start working at 7AM. As Benjamin Franklin once said ”Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
5. Fuel your body, fuel your mind
When deadlines need to be met it is so easy to forget about preparing food for the week, as tempting as they may be sugary foods and energy drinks will keep you going only for a short time, and the inevitable "crash" may turn you into a zombie and ruin your ability to work for the rest of the day. Instead, consume foods high in protein, fiber and antioxidants, these foods provide sustained energy and help your body and mind perform at optimal levels.
How many hours a week do you lose grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning when you could be tackling more important activities? If only there was a company that could help you with that...
I challenge you over the next 7 days to try these 5 things and watch how productive you can be.