When you wake up each day, do you ever ask yourself how productive you will be for the rest of the day? Do you ever question yourself if your efforts are good enough to be considered ‘productive’?
The struggle is real. No matter the hard work, sometimes we still can’t fully accomplish our tasks; this burns us out, leaving us wondering what went wrong. We then question our abilities and capabilities: are we really cut for the job we have? Why can’t our efforts be enough?
The world we l has become busier and more competitive than ever before, that survival requires more than just hard work. There are many well-documented self-help solutions found in books and on the internet about how to increase one’s productivity, and some of us may have already tried them. The secret is to work smarter, not harder. If you are looking for more tips on how to improve your productivity, this article can help you with that. We have here seven little-known ways to boost productivity.
1. MAKE YOUR BED
It is standard advice to wake up early in the morning to be more effective throughout the day, but did you know that simply making your bed right after you wake up also increases your productivity? Oddly enough, some clinical psychologists claim that when you develop a habit of making your bed each morning, you unconsciously prepped your mind for a productive day ahead. According to them, establishing a routine such as this helps you organize your thoughts and gives you a sense of achievement. When you do achieve something, it revs you up to do more.
2. TAKE OUT THE BOSS FIRST
Sometimes we can be stressed out just by looking at the task piling up our desks. Worst-case scenario, we might end up not doing anything at all. The best way to tackle this struggle is to take out the boss first, and by the word ‘boss,’ we don’t mean your boss; instead, the boss here refers to the most significant task you have – that which gives you the most chills and the best reasons to procrastinate.
Completing the heaviest task takes away a good amount of work from your load. It also fuels your enthusiasm to work on other remaining tasks, thinking that you have already surpassed the toughest hurdle — dealing with the smaller ones can be just a piece of cake.
3. ONE STEP AT A TIME
Deal with your tasks one step at a time. There is no point in getting more works done only to find out that you did them the wrong way. Try taking out one task, then another, all the while checking whether the details are correct. Doing your job slowly but surely is one way of increasing your productivity as it leaves you with less room for mistakes and less time spent when rechecking (redoing) everything later. Taking this step also organizes your work and lets you mentally prepare for the next task.
4. “DON’T THINK, JUST JUMP.”
We usually hear this line from the movies when the characters jump off a high place to get rid of hesitation and fear. This line is also true in working with our tasks. To be extra productive, avoid overthinking about what could happen as you progress in your work; instead, jump directly to the task at hand and, as the famous Shia LaBeouf meme says, “Just do it!” Overthinking about the job does not help at all – it can actually create problems that were not there in the first place, resulting in hesitation and procrastination.
5. REWARD YOURSELF WITH REGULAR BREAKS
You may think that having regular breaks would cost you precious time, thus becoming relatively unproductive; however, rewarding yourself with breaks after finishing a good amount of tasks can increase your productivity. For instance, if you are working with a computer, having regular screen breaks can be beneficial since it rests your eyes and brain. When you give your body proper relaxation, you also boost your concentration, creativity, and memory, ready for the next task. Working on long periods without allowing yourself to pause and stretch those muscles can eventually lead to exhaustion, brain drain, and fatigue, negatively impacting the quality of work we do. Not at all productive.
6. DEAL WITH THE ENVIRONMENT
Whether you are working from the comforts of your home or in an office, distractions can come out of thin air. For example, when working from home with kids, we can’t just do away with them or reject their presence. We can’t just scold them when they just wanted our attention. So what do we do to still be productive in the face of distractions? Well, we can plan out when and how to do our tasks with the environment in mind. For example, when we are with our kids, we can work on more manageable tasks that do not require our full attention. These may include checking our emails, reviewing our blogposts, checking our social media accounts, those kinds of stuff. When we work on more complicated tasks, we can use the time when the kids are asleep so that we can give our undivided attention to the job.
7. TAKING A NAP? DRINK YOUR COFFEE FIRST.
Psychology professor Jim Maas, Ph.D. of Cornell University, concluded in his study that there is a direct link between caffeine naps and productivity. According to his findings, caffeine enters the bloodstream roughly 20 minutes after consumption. That is about the length of the time you spend napping, so when you wake up, you are already pumped up to continue working on your task, thanks to that extra caffeine. Just a reminder, though, too much coffee has health risks, so be sure to regulate your caffeine intake.