Do you want to increase your productivity at school, work, or home?
Are you interested in getting more things done in less time, without spending a whole lot of energy or effort?
When it comes to increasing your productivity levels, you can’t go wrong focusing on the present moment.
Taking the time to evaluate your current work habits provides you with a lot of valuable information.
Once you understand what’s holding you back, you can make thoughtful changes and modifications to help you get things done quickly and easily.
In this post, I offer three things you can do today to increase your productivity.
The next time you need a boost when it comes to getting things done, apply one or more of these productivity tips and see what you can accomplish.
Create a template.
Templates are a great way to get more done in less time. They save you precious time and energy when it comes to locating or recalling regularly used information or procedures.
If you’ve never considered creating a template, you really should! You can use templates for almost anything, be it emails, intake forms, letters, phone calls, agendas, and so on.
To create a template, start by thinking about a specific task you perform on a regular basis. This could be an hourly, daily, weekly, or even a monthly or yearly event.
Next, consider what type of information you need to collect, distribute, or process as part of your task. This could be anything from names, numbers, and addresses, to a welcome note, phone message, or out of the office email.
The next step is to compile the information into a template document that you’ll be able to use again and again.
Put your work first.
Quick question: do you start your day reacting to things? That is, do you check and respond to emails, answer phone calls and texts, open postal mail, or address non-urgent queries? While it’s important to tend to these items, you don’t have to have to do so first thing in the morning.
Try starting your day by tackling important professional or personal items first. Not only will you feel a sense of accomplishment when you cross these items from your list, you’ll be able to free up your mind and energy levels for other tasks later in the day. No more wondering if or when you’ll be able to get to your work: it will already be finished!
That being said, what are the most important and urgent items you need to attend to or take care of today? What absolutely must get done when it comes to your professional or personal world? Do you need to finalize that proposal, practice playing the piano, workout time at the gym, or craft your weekly study schedule?
Trim your to-do list.
Do you have a to-do list that’s as long as your arm? Maybe your to-do list is as lengthy as a mile…or more! If so, it’s time to do a little bit of weeding and trim your list to a more manageable length. Don’t be afraid to limit the amount of tasks you’ll perform at any given point in time. Remember, we’re talking about your to-do list, not your to-do someday list.
Instead tackling fifteen items on your to-do list in one day, try selecting just 3-5 items. If you need to, try scheduling these to-dos into your schedule for added encouragement and accountability. Then, put all of your energy and focus into completing those tasks, one after another.
Yes, you’ll only complete a handful of items, but the tradeoff is truly great. That’s right, no more incomplete or half-finished to-dos. You will finally be able to cross 3-5 items off of your list!
How about you? Which of these productivity boosters are you going to try out? Do you have any of your own productivity boosts that you’d like to share? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!
A version of this post appeared on the blog in 2015.