If there’s something I’ve been wanting to write about for a long time, is on how to be more productive. Let’s face it; we all deal with productivity issues in our lives. Especially nowadays, when you have so many means of procrastination like your smartphone, social media, or my favorite ones, running and coffee.
There is however, some things I’ve worked with throughout the years that have made me become a more productive person. And still get enough time to train for a half-marathon race, use social media, write a blog, or just simply fool around with my friends.
1. Do the prior homework.
Concentrating myself is hard when there is something bothering me. And if I can’t concentrate, I can’t be productive. Of course that I can’t control everything around me, but being hungry or sleepy are things I surely can. So I make sure I do the prior homework of eating and sleeping, to at least remove those two distractions out of they way.
If you know there are some things you can control within your environment to make you more productive, do the prior homework of managing them before. Prepare your music playlist if you can’t work in silence. Clean up your desk if the mess won’t let you concentrate. Do anything you have to do in order to ensure you’ll be effective the next day.
2. Make lists.
I used to be obsessed with making lists to the point that my friends would read them out loud while making fun of me. But at the end of the day, I always received compliments on how I was able to get so many things done. Well, I have to give full credit to my OCD lists.
This year I’ve been adopting these new rules of putting priorities on each one of the tasks, and also assigning a period of time to finish each one. I know it might sound nuts, but my productivity basically goes to the sky when I do it. Especially if I know I have a few hours to do a number of things.
3. Follow up with the list.
Of course that doing amazingly structured lists won’t drive you anywhere if you can’t follow up with it. It’s like a diet: you won’t see results if you’re not constant. The same principle applies to a to-do list. Every time you finish a task, go back to it and see where you are. Check the one you just did and move forward.
4. Pay attention.
If you’re engaged in a particular task, concentrate yourself on what you’re doing. Don’t pay attention to anything else. Don’t multitask. Put your cellphone or any distractions away. Most likely, you’ll finish your task in less time than normal, and with lower chances of errors.
This really takes me back to my last year of college, which was the busiest and craziest time of my life so far. Taking 6 to 7 classes, writing a thesis, having a part time job, and being part of the MUN team, didn’t leave me much time for slacking and then catch up. The only way I managed to get things done was by paying attention, and keeping myself concentrated on whatever task I was doing at that particular moment.
5. Don’t underestimate time.
the normal humans have a tendency to underestimate time. We think we could get things done in an unrealistic period of time, leading to a bunch of procrastination and ending up in bad results. We start studying two days before of the final test. We are convinced we can wake up and get ready for work in 10 minutes. And we swear on Tuesday that we would have that report ready by Friday.
We don’t get surprised, however, when we realize we failed the test, or got late to work, or extended the deadline for delivering the report. If we get more conscious about time, we’ll manage our tasks in a more realistic time frame. Consequently, getting the expected results.
Hope these tips are useful 🙂
What are your tips to be more productive?