Did you know a 2009 study at Stanford about multitasking said that doing more than one thing simultaneously is a myth? Eyal Ophir, the primary researcher, said people can become good at bouncing between tasks, but they are usually working on a goal to focus so they don’t miss anything.
Productivity is the key to being successful in school, work, and any goal you are working toward. Keep reading and we will guide you through five productivity tips that will transform your life.
The Key to Success
We are going to help you with the many ways on how you can be more productive. We will walk you through the top tips that will help you stay on track, whether you’re working on a paper for school or a work project.
With everyone working from home, it can be harder to focus with so many distractions around you. It makes it difficult to not want to multitask.
1. Realistic To-Do List
Long, static to-do lists make everything seem like it’s high priority. Take the less-is-more approach and cut your to do list in half.
When you cut it in half, you’ll be able to see what is really a high priority and needs to get done during your 8-hour work or school day. You can ask yourself these questions to help decide what to cut:
- What tasks are important, even if they are overwhelming or scary?
- Is this a “nice to have”? Is there a reason or value to doing this task?
- You need to decide is this a task I will do as part of my routine?
- Is this a task that I need to do or that someone else wants me to do?
Once you categorize the tasks on your to-do list, you can delete any that fall under #2, 3, or 4. Then you can look at how long the list is that falls under “1” and work accordingly. This is one of the greatest Productivity tips.
2. Set Aside Break Time
After you’re focused for multiple hours on a project or even after sitting through several hours of meeting, your brain glucose levels have decreased and you need a break. You can go for a walk, have a snack, workout, or anything that helps you unwind.
Once you are able to relax for 30 minutes, you will come back to work focused and ready to work efficiently. You need to give your brain that downtime and then you will be ready to go with a fresh set of eyes.
A study showed that taking a lunch break can help increase or improve the following:
- Increase productivity: Lunch breaks help employees regain focus and prevent an afternoon slump
- Improve mental health: Stress can be a driving force in the workplace and taking a break, going for a walk, just stepping away from your desk can help relieve some stress
- Increase creativity: It’s hard to come up with new solutions or ideas when you’re staring at the same screen for hours, stepping away can help get your creativity back up and running
- Establish healthy habits: Taking a break can help instill healthy habits, such as taking a walk, working out, making a healthy snack or meal, and more
Start your morning off right with your first break of the day, have some coffee and read the news or meditate. Then take a 30-minute to an hour lunch break and your brain will be recharged and ready to be productive.
3. Get Challenging Work Done Early
Take on your hardest projects before lunch. Then you can schedule any meetings or mindless busywork in the afternoon.
This sets you up for a really productive, well-thought-out, and scheduled day. If you get your hardest tasks done early on, you’re using your brain when it’s completely refreshed after a good night’s sleep.
As the day goes on, it’s hard not to get tired or eager to be done later in the afternoon. You don’t want to be working on your most important work when you’re mind is elsewhere.
You can block off this time on your calendar so no one schedules meetings with you at certain hours of the morning. It’s helpful to already have that time blocked off so people aren’t always scheduling time with you during your most productive hours of the morning.
4. Break It Down
On your to-do list, the most important, and scariest tasks may feel impossible to start. A great way to make them less scary is to break everything down into sub-tasks, which will make it all feel more manageable.
Space everything out so that you’re taking breaks between groups of sub-tasks. You can set time on your phone or clock and then give yourself some time to go back look over the work you completed or take a break.
A helpful tool is using a projection alarm clock. You can set a certain amount of time aside to get as much done as you can and then when it goes off you know it’s time to take a break.
There are many alarm clock options. Check out the best projection alarm clock.
5. Don’t Be Hard On Yourself
Cut yourself a break. Everyone procrastinates and is trying to find the best way to manage their time while being at home instead of in the office.
Don’t let yourself multitask, changing tasks multiple times a day can drop your IQ by many points.
Let yourself have days where you aren’t as productive and learn from them. You can use what you learned to improve the next day.
Find a routine that best fits your work or school lifestyle. Once you find a routine that works, it will stick.
Put Your Productivity Tips into Practice
Now that you know the top productivity tips, you can start structuring your day in a way where you are getting your most challenging work done efficiently and early in the day.
Try out different methods for increasing productivity, you may find that one works better.
Start scheduling out your workweek or read more about the latest in tech, business, and social media.