6 Daily Habits that can turbo-charge your productivity
“How can I get more hours in a day?” – Do you ever find yourself asking this? Do you just feel like you can’t get enough done? Something is always getting in the way? Can’t figure out what to focus on? Work keeps getting bigger and bigger. Well the problem may not be simple but the solution is – TIME MANAGEMENT. While there are millions of different tips for productivity out there, you can increase your productivity levels right away by changing a few daily habits.
Habit 1 – Always Keep Your Goals in Sight
Stay focused on your immediate goals and priorities. Nicely articulated them and break them down into actionable short term milestones. Now keep these milestones in sight. You can print them, use post-its, save as your laptop background image, or use mobile apps. This will help you reduce brain clutter, stay focused on the activities that matter and take you closer to accomplishing them.
Habit 2 – Plan the Night Before
You may have great long term and short term plans, but the work gets done “ONE DAY AT A TIME”. If you have a lot of evenings where you feel that you didn’t do much that day, then you have a problem. Fortunately the fix is simple, take out 15 – 20 minutes every night to create your task list based, on your priorities, for the following day. Don’t forget to plan your mornings like the clothes you would wear, breakfast and lunch you need to pack. This will not only give you a head start in the day but will also help reduce morning stress.
Habit 3 – Minimize Distractions
You reached office with a clear plan, and by lunch you are confused where did your time go. Well remember you updated your Facebook status, then you called your friend who needed some advice. The stock markets were down and you wanted to keep an eye on the news, and then Bob from accounting stopped by talk about his new car.
Distractions can and will come from all directions. Try to minimize them. If you are working on an important task, don’t hesitate to put a Do Not Disturb sign so your coworkers know not to bother you. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode for some time so you stop receiving social media notifications, email alerts and those pesky sales calls.
Habit 5 – Take short walks
While small, this habit can have a huge catalytic effect on your work day. Stop watching the same news capsule over and over again instead consider taking short walks. Getting out of your work environment can refresh your brain and help you focus better. You can use this time not only to clear your head but to brainstorm ideas and solve problems. This “me” time can help reduce stress and make you more creative and productive for rest of the day.
Habit 4 – Work in small bursts – Pomodoro Technique
This is a very powerful time management technique that is build on the premise that humans cannot focus for long duration. It promotes work in smaller bursts of 25-30 minutes each separated by 5 minute breaks called Pomodoros. After three to four Pomodoros you take a longer 15 minute break. This requires a Pomodoro timer, there are multiple apps available on all platforms.
Initially, it may seem unusual. I mean, how can you be more productive if you are taking breaks every 25 minutes, right?? Well, the technique actually works, and here is why:
Once you identify the task and start the timer you get zoned in one that single task. You would soon realize that you are not multi tasking anymore, not clicking Facebook updates, not checking phone for text updates. This drives higher productivity and better quality work product.
The technique may not apply well to group work and meetings.
Habit 6 – Avoid Traffic and Save Time
If you live in a busy city like me then traffic could be wasting a lot of your time and it’s not only affects the office commute, but also other things like buying groceries to getting haircuts.. We sometimes don’t even realize the catastrophic effect it has on our goals. Try to understand the traffic pattern in your city and work around it. Why can’t you buy groceries at 9 PM when the traffic is less or leave from office late to avoid congestion. Stop losing your time to traffic and you will see a noticeable change in your productivity.
“Journey to a thousand miles starts with a single step”
Small changes every day can change your life. These six habits will move you toward being a more creative and a productive person. Track your daily achievements and see your life being transformed.
Hi, my name is Sachin Aggarwal. I love to read and discuss "Management", "Leadership", "Behavioral", and "Technical" topics. I have a background in Software Development and an MBA degree in Information Management, I have been designing and conducting technical courses for over ten years.