Wondering How To Increase Productivity?
We are all given the same 24 hours each day – yet some people manage to create, build and in general get a lot more shit done than others, how is that possible?
How are some people winners?
It all comes down to productivity.
I’ve read a lot of books, articles and tried many different methods to increase my productivity – certain things work for some people, while they don’t work for others.
I believe we all go through periods of immense productivity followed by brief periods of time when we need to ‘recharge’ or ‘defrag’ so to speak. When you’re productive it’s paramount that you continue the momentum and stay on track.
My 4 Quick Tips To increase Productivity
Implement these 4 tips and watch your productivity sky rocket.
Clear Your Desk
Remove All Paperwork From Your Desk Except Those Relating To Your Current Work
“Order is heavens first law”
A desk covered in paperwork and just general junk on unrelated matters to your current task is enough to breed worry, uncertainty and confusion in our mind.
Multitasking is inefficient and you should therefore only have in sight the tools and work you are currently performing, hone in with laser focus and get it done before moving onto the following task.
This is one of the habits Dale Carnegie stresses in his classic best-seller 'How To Stop Worrying & Start Living'.
Follow The Pomodoro Principle
Created in the 1980’s by Franceso Cirillo, the Pomodoro technique is am easy to follow time management protocol that doesn’t require any fancy Apps or tools.
Here's how to implement the Pomodoro principle to increase your productivity:
- Create a list of tasks that must be accomplished for the day
- Set your timer for 25 minutes
- Mark an ‘X’ on your piece of paper after the first 25 minutes
- Take a 3 – 5 minute break between your first 3 Pomadoro sequences
- After you’ve marked down your fourth ‘X’ on your piece of paper take an extended break for 15 – 30 minutes
- If any distractions or thoughts arise during your Pomodoro don’t stop! Instead just write them down on your paper and deal or schedule them during your break intervals.
Once you’ve marked your four X’s on your paper and had your extended break (at which point you will have done 100 minutes of productive work) it’s time to ‘reset’ so to speak and erase your X’s and proceed back to the start.
Once a Pomdoro (25 minute interval) has been started distractions should fall to the wayside.
When interrupted during a pomodoro, either the other activity must be recorded and postponed
(inform – negotiate – schedule – call back) or the pomodoro must be abandoned.
As an Entrepreneur working on a solo project this isn’t particularly relevant for me, however in a corporate or office job with other employees, phones ringing etc. the above 4 step procedure is a must as jumping from one task to the next inside one interval defeats the purpose of the Pomodoro technique and time management in general.
Understand Parkinson's Law
Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”.
According to Parkinson’s Law if you’ve got a month to write a paper it’ll take you that entire month to do so.
If on the other hand you’ve only got 24 hours to write the same paper you’ll find a way to get it sealed, signed and deliver within that 24 hour period.
“If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute to do”
When we’ve got excessive amounts of time to perform a task we’ll always find a way to spend that time doing the task.
This is known as ‘fake work’.
We’re doing things, but they’re petty, minuscule tasks that don’t really have much impact on the actual task at hand if at all.
When available time increases our productivity and quality of work given the amount of time we have decreases.
When time is of the essence and we’ve got a day, an hour or a minute to perform a task we always manage to get it done.
10 minutes of real work trumps an hour of fake work every day of the week.
Parkinson’s Law can either work for you or against you, if you understand and use Parkinson’s Law in your favor you’ll become an ultraproducer. If you choose the opposite and forget about Parkinson’s Law you’ll find yourself spending what feels like an eternity ‘working’ on basic tasks.
Experiment With Using A Standing Desk
Over the last few years there’s been a large amount of hype over standing and stand-up desks, when looking at one of these they look exactly the same as a regular desk, only higher. Dismissed by many yet preached by those that’ve used them…
My productivity (while standing) has increased
It’s easy to get unproductive and off track when you’re slouching in your chair, the worse my posture becomes the worse the quality or volume of work I’m doing also becomes…
When I’m working from my stand-up desk I don’t get distracted or allow myself to venture away from the tasks on my to-do list.
I feel like I have more energy
This ties in with the above benefit I’ve noticed with productivity, when working from a standing desk I don’t feel as fatigued come the mid afternoon, I attribute this to the increased blood flow circulating around the body when standing vs. sitting.
If you’ve got back or posture issues I highly recommend giving a standing desk a try, converter can be made or bought to turn your regular desk into a stand-up desk, meanwhile the amount of money you can spend on a stand-up desk is nearly endless… with many manufacturers now offering automatic height adjustable stand-up desks with dimensions tailored to your needs.