The quest for productivity, that allows you to be efficient with your time, excel at your job and start a side hustle, all while maintaining a healthy work-life balance, can feel like a daunting one. Yet with so much advice out there and so many apps and new technologies helping to make our productivity drive more achievable, there are tips and tricks you can employ that can help. Here are just three.
1. NAIL YOUR MORNING ROUTINE
There are always stories about CEOs of wildly successful companies waking up at 4am in a bid to make the most of the small hours when most people are asleep. If this doesn’t sound appealing, simply finding a morning routine that works for you and leaves you feeling positive, calm and ready for the day can make a big difference to your productivity.
For Entrepeneur.com contributor Ebraheem Al Samadi, ‘how you begin the day can either make or break your productivity.’ Al Samadi suggests good hydration, eating a wholesome breakfast and doing some light exercise like yoga to start your day positively, calmly and ensure you have everything you need to perform at your best.
2. PICK A POSITIVE TASK FOR THE MORNING
Opinions differ on the type of task you should choose as the first on your to-do list each day. Often people make the mistake of answering emails first thing in the morning, as logic says getting this often frustrating and dull task out of the way creates space for you to work on bigger tasks. Yet answering emails often creates as many tasks as it completes, as more and more messages flood your inbox with demands on your time and energy.
If doing menial tasks first isn’t the way forward, others attempt the most difficult or biggest task on their to do list, presuming their morning energy will enable them to complete the task. Yet according to Fast Company, this approach rarely leads to strong productivity, as the likelihood of actually completing the difficult task quickly ‘is pretty slim if it’s a hard, unpleasant task or problem.’
It seems, then, that neither approach is optimal. Fast Company therefore suggests that, since productivity is closely related to a positive mood, choosing your morning task based on what you enjoy is the best approach. It suggests ‘paying attention to the things you do that you enjoy at work, and anything that can fit nicely into a 30–45-minute time slot is a great contender to push to the top of your to-do list each morning.’
3. LET TECHNOLOGY DO THE WORK
Although we often presume technology is little more than a distraction and a drain on productivity, this is not universally true. Much of the problem with our attitude towards technology, particularly smart phones and social media, is that it we see it as an alternative to the task we should be completing, rather than a tool that could help us stay on task.
This is where productivity apps come in. Entrepreneur.com contributor, Hayden Field, argues that to-do list apps can in fact be helpful for managing a busy lifestyle and maintaining productivity. Surveying some of the best apps available, Field points to the likes of Any.do which has a clean and simple interface. This ‘allows for the easy input of tasks, lists and reminders, and you can also set it to ping you based on time or location.’ The app also has list-sharing or assigning tasks features that mean you can use it for collaborative tasks and dividing your team’s time efficiently.
By changing your approach to productivity and making simple changes to your daily routine, it is possible to adopt a positive approach to being busy and ensure you make the most out of your day.
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