Looking for some quick fixes to be more productive? Look no further - here are 10 simple ways you can be as productive as the most productive people you know!
Meditating a few minutes each day can help clear your head, reduce stress, and keep you grounded. No training is required - just sit in a quiet place and focus on your breathing for 2, 5 or 10 minutes to get started. I started with 2 minutes in 2013 and now I'm up to 5 minutes a day! When extraneous thoughts enter your mind, simply let them drift away without judgement and come back to focusing on your breath.
2. REGULAR EXERCISE
It can be very hard to set aside the time, but exercise is a great way to stay healthy and provides a nice endorphin release. Try scheduling it into your day a few days a week on a recurring basis. Even if you have to sometimes cancel your workout for something more important, having it in your calendar means you are more likely to do it!
3. EMAIL MANAGEMENT
Resist the urge to check your email constantly; set aside a few times each day to process your email to maximize productivity. A study at the University of British Columbia showed that checking email less frequently reduces stress and you save as much as 20% of the time it takes to process your inbox.
4. POSITIVE OUTLOOK
Maintaining a positive attitude has more to do with success than your IQ. According to Shawn Achor, if you operate with a 'positive' brain, you will be 30% more productive than if you work on brain neutral or negative.
5. FEWER MEETINGS
To save time, keep meetings short and avoid unnecessary meetings. Keep in mind that sit-dowm meetings take 33% longer, on average, than stand-up meetings. You might also want to consider a walking meeting (said to be preferred by Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson.)
6. TIME BLOCKING
Setting aside blocks of time in your calendar makes it easier to concentrate on difficult tasks.
7. BATCHING TASKS
Batching similar activities (emails, phone calls, etc.) makes it easier on your brain by reducing the switching between different types of tasks.
8. TURNING OFF NOTIFICATIONS
Email notifications (the little box that floats in and out or the ding when you receive a new email) has the effect on your brain as if you've been up for 36 hours straight or as if your IQ dropped by 10 points. This is true, even if you do not click on it to look at the email. Your brain has been distracted from its focus.
9. AVOID MULTITASKING
Focusing on one (and only one) task at a time will result in better work in less time with fewer errors and less stress.
At the end of each day, spend 10 minutes reviewing your to-do list and prioritizing what is most important. Then, use your calendar to schedule times at which you can work on your most important tasks. This will help you re-focus on what is critical and enable you to sleep better at night. If you show up at the office the next morning, and priorities have changed, you will be in a better position to be flexible and adjust your schedule.
For more productivity tips, check out these recent blog posts: