Ever come out of a 12-hour workday feeling exhausted, yet still feels like you're not productive enough? Well, you’re not alone. There are times when we spend our days trying to tick things off our to-do list, and still, it feels like we haven’t done enough, or worse, haven’t been efficient. So, how can we be more productive in ways that feel manageable and good?
First of all, you need to define what being productive is all about. In a world full of competition and mounting expectations, one can quickly lose in determining their productivity. If you're thinking that being productive is about doing more, you probably need to read this post until the end. So that you know, being productive is not about doing more, but it's about efficiently doing things.
Productivity is the ability to accomplish several work or activities in a particular environment over a particular period. To measure whether your productivity is true, you’ll feel that you’re resulting in these high impacts on your work in a short amount of time. For example, in just 25 minutes, you're able to organize and finish a task on time or even before it's due, so you'll have spare time for other things. Being productive can also occur when you aren’t distracted and can focus on a specific task or work. But some days were rougher days to conquer, and things like procrastination can interfere with your productivity. For this reason, we’ve gathered and collected these five tips that you may find useful to stay productive.
1. Plan your Day the Night Before
It is essential to know that a productive day must always require planning. Writing down your plans can free your mind from that energy and the attention-sucking job of trying to remember everything in your head. An article from Harvard Business Review said that we are far more likely to achieve our goals when writing down what we intend to do for the day. Try to plan and set your goals for one week and an ideal time to fill them in at the beginning of the week. You can use online planners or practical apps, but a simple pen and paper would do just fine.
2. Align your Work with your Chronotype
Maybe you’ve heard people saying, “Wow, you’re an early bird,” or, “I think you’re a night owl.” Yup, that’s what they refer to as a chronotype. Chronotype refers to the natural 24-hour sleep-wake cycle you experience — when your body gets sleepy and when you feel most awake. Everyone has their unique chronotypes, and it influences how we’re able to manage our productivity. So, pay attention to your chronotype, stick to it and start working on your tasks when you feel the energy peaks as it’ll get your more work done in less time.
3. Develop your Rituals
Start creating rituals that involve your physical location or the time of day you want to complete a particular task. A Georgetown University Professor, Cal Newport, explained that linking a different set of locations with varying types of tasks may add structure to your day. Perhaps you prefer doing your Zoom meetings in a quieter place or needing a certain ambiance like in a coffee shop. There are strategies like applying the Pomodoro technique and the 80-20 rule in the context of time management. A well-balanced diet and exercise could also be a part of your daily rituals because you need a healthy, energetic body to support you, right? Practice these rituals for at least a couple of weeks while getting into the flow. It’ll become more manageable, and your brain will begin to associate the cues!
4. Try Leaving your Important Tasks Incomplete
According to a Wharton professor and psychologist, Adam Grant believes that resisting the urge to finish your assignments quickly, like sprinting, can make you more productive. There’s a human tendency to ruminate over unfinished tasks. It is known as the Zeigarnick Effect. The effect happens when you start a project and leave your work unfinished. Because when you leave your work for a moment, you're bound to think about it more frequently and it’ll encourage you to continue thinking about your work in different settings. Also, it might help you uncover other solutions creatively. So, instead of rushing to complete tasks at the same time, try to leave them incomplete and get back to them after the pause (Don't leave them undone, too).
5. Do a Mental Health Checkpoint
One of the signs of someone having good mental health is by being productive. Because when you're productive, you're able to feel good about yourself and set goals for the day. Do regular mental health checkups like write your words of affirmations of the day, relax your shoulders, remember to breathe, and be mindful. Take a break if you need it. You deserve a good day!
Other than that, some apps can help you organize and manage your time better so your productivity would stay on track. Some of these online planners are Todoist, Evernote, Forest, Google Calendar, and many more. Besides helping you organize better management, you may find these apps and tips to improve your focus and mindfulness, fix your bad habits, and eventually prevent you from getting a lack of productivity, wishing you improved productivity! Make sure to stay tuned and subscribe to our website for more helpful posts and follow us on Instagram @baikgp @ayureadypodcast