These days with modern technology, an abundance of knowledge, and a greater understanding of how the body works; we should all be functioning at the highest of our capabilities. And yet employees are working longer hours, athletes are training harder than ever, and people are generally finding it really hard to fit everything into their busy lives.
The reason for this is that in the race to win at life, people are actually being let down by productivity. Busy doesn’t equal productive. The trick is to work, train and live smarter – not harder; and so whether you’re an individual or employer, the key to smashing goals is to become more efficient.
Here are five easy ways to instantly increase your productivity and subsequently gain more time, be happier and achieve the most you possibly can:
- Look after yourself
It’s proven that healthy people are three times more productive than unhealthy ones, so your personal wellbeing is a good place to start. Take care of yourself by making sure you:
- Eat nutritious foods
- Drink lots of water; dehydration lowers energy levels
- Exercise regularly, even if it’s only 10 minutes a day
- Stop smoking
- Get plenty of sleep, at least 7-8 hours a night
- Don’t ignore aches and pains; and frequently indulge in enjoyable, restorative and rejuvenating activities such as meditation and massage. Amongst many other benefits, massage increases blood circulation which provides more oxygen to the brain making you feel more alert and focused
- Be an early riser
A common trait of successful people is that they are habitual early risers. Whether you’re a morning person or not, it’s undeniable that people who start the day early really do achieve more. There are fewer distractions in the morning allowing you to be more focused and efficient and you’ll find you have time for personal activities such as exercise and a good breakfast. This will in turn help you kick-start the day feeling happier and more energetic. If you get up early though, it also means lights out early to make sure you get the full amount of sleep your body needs to ensure you’re refreshed and in top form the next day.
- Get organised
You’ll find it very hard to be productive in an environment that’s messy and cluttered. Clear the decks and you’ll clear your mind. Organisation also saves time and reduces stress; whether it’s creating a system for household chores, writing a ‘to do’ list for the next day every night, having a tidy workspace, or even reorganising your sports bag. So to maximise your efforts be sure to plan ahead, make goals, prioritise, be prepared, be organised and be in control.
- Stop wasting time
When people say they don’t have enough time in the day, in most cases they actually do but just haven’t worked out how to manage it properly. Figure out how you’re wasting time and then fix it. For example, if you’re spending 10 minutes on Facebook and a bunch of other social sites at four different times a day – that’s over 4.5 hours a week! Cut back and only log on once a day (or less if you can). Some other major time wasting culprits are:
- Emails: it’s best to read and respond to emails in a single block of time once a day
- TV: do you really have to watch all of those reality shows?
- Unnecessary travel: plan meetings and appointments around others in your schedule
- Unwanted distractions
- People who are negative or monopolise your time, cut them loose!
- Multi-tasking: higher efficiency is actually achieved when people are focused solely on one task at a time
- Don’t stop learning
Continuing to learn is a great way to gain confidence, feel good and be more productive; because knowledge is power. Perhaps you could undertake some training to become more knowledgeable or skilled in your field. Maybe it’s understanding more about the science of a sport you participate in, learning a faster method to doing something, or simply listening to your body and determining what exercise and diet works best for you. There is always something new to learn, and you will gain many benefits as a result.
So as you can see, being super productive is not reserved for the super successful. It’s never too late to change your bad habits and live smarter. Anyone is capable of performing at their best, increasing their productivity and achieving more in life than they ever would have dreamed – starting by following these five easy steps.
What are your top tips for increasing productivity?