Understand what is important. The first thing you must do in order to improve your productivity is to simplify your methodology. The first step in simplifying your methodology is understanding what is important. Take the time to identify the top four of five things that are most important.
This is how you begin to build your priority list by which your work-flow will be established. When you establish your priorities, it will help you order your tasks, activities and projects each day. This way the things that are most vital get taken care of first.
Next, you will need to visualize your perfect day. This is not because simply visualizing it will make it come to past, but visualizing it will give you a clear vision of what you are attempting to accomplish. Different people have different perceptions of the perfect day.
The problem is that most people don’t take the time to visualize their day long enough to gain a lucid understanding of what they are trying to accomplish when they set their day of. To some, the perfect day begins with meditation and organization, and with other it begins with brainstorming. You must gain a clear vision of what your perfect day looks like.
Learn to say no to extra commitments. One of the most common mistakes that stifle productivity is taking on more that you can handle. Once you have identified what is important, don’t allow things outside of that spectrum to creep in and commandeer your time. You must learn to start saying no to those that did not make your list of vital or important tasks.
One of the most significant things that you can say no to are commitments such as taking on an additional project or sitting on a committee. These type of commitments are ongoing time-consuming endeavors that will wreck your productivity and frustrate your efforts. If it did not make your list, say no.
Limit your tasks to a certain amount each day. If you have five to six things that make your list, you will have to say no to several of them. Try to keep your initial lists down to 3 items at the most. You can make a secondary list of items you want to get to if you have time, but don’t overwhelm yourself by putting too many items on your primary list.
Block out your time based on your to-do list. Assign each item on your to-do list a certain amount of time. Blocking out time will help you remain accountable to the tasks at hand. It will keep you from falling victim to distractions.
Take Your Time. Often rushing can be extremely counterproductive. Rushing is a precursor to anxiety and anxiety impacts your thought process, leading to mistakes. Rushing is also a result of improper planning and time management.
Stop multitasking and take on a mindset of single-tasking. Many people are under the erroneous perception that multitasking is highly productive. One task at a time allows you to practice and develop mindfulness. Mindfulness is actually a form of meditation. When you focus on one task at a time it creates a simpler more manageable and enjoyable day.
Batch your smaller tasks. What this means it to set all of those small things that don’t take much time to do and place them at the end of your tasks list. Things such as checking and sending emails, minor phone calls, etc. can become a part of a batched task
Allow for space in between tasks. We develop habits of cramming all of our activity together, leaving no time in between to regroup and refocus. Allow for a certain amount of time between tasks to stretch, refocus, grab a drink of water or take a bathroom break. You will find that following these steps will significantly increase your productivity.