Increase Your Efficiency, Change Your Definition of Productivity

Yesterday's blog (http://www.youngfreemaine.com/blog/monday-motivation-are-you-productive) was about daily distractions that prevent us from being productive. In today's blog, you can find information about GOOD habits, that lead to increased productivity. 

An article from Forbes.com, 9 Habits of Productive People, the author describes the 9 habits of truly productive people. At first, I was skeptical about whether these tips would actually benefit my productivity. However, after putting them to the test, I realized that my days became a bit more proactive. 

First, change the definition of "productivity." Productivity is not "checking tasks off of your task list," conversely, productive people focus their attention on fewer things. Productivity is therefore actively making a point to do less, not more.

I removed half of the tasks on my to -do list. 

AHHH! I felt like EVERYTHING on my to-do list was important! But, after crossing out minor tasks that could wait, I felt somewhat relieved. I could then focus more attention on the more important projects at hand. This doesn't mean procrastinating, it means filtering out things that take away from the more significant projects.

I gave my brain a break!

Yay! This is great because not only do you have a break to look forward to during your day, but it helps in your overall productivity. Your brain's energy source is glucose, and once you have been working for so long, your brain has used up it's supply. The headache that follows is a signal to recharge! Add a 20 minute walk, a short gym session, lunch or a snack break into your routine. 

The 80/20 Rule. Eliminate minor tasks that don't matter, and break down big projects into small, systematic steps. 

I changed my routine, and focused on myself in the morning. 

Fit in a workout, read the news, cook a nutritious breakfast, or meditate! After adding in a morning workout, I felt charged and ready for the day! Instead of jumping right into the email inbox, or listing the days' tasks, make your morning about YOU. For me, the workout routine helped combat feelings of drudgery. I felt like I had already made a big accomplishment, and I felt energized and ready to tackle my projects.

I did the more difficult tasks before lunch.

Have you ever felt more tired after eating lunch? Digestion can sometimes have this effect, especially after a heavy meal. In the morning, your brain is fresh. Try to plan and manage your schedule to complete those more difficult tasks when your brain is at its optimum! 

SO MANY EMAILS!

Don't let emails take away from the productivity of your day. They can be distracting, and it is tempting to want to check emails, frequently. From the Productivityist Workbook, Mike Vardy says, "Think about this: do you wait for the postal worker for all hours, opening and closing the door to check the mail nonstop every day? Of course you don’t. That would be a waste of time and energy." So we shouldn't treat our emails that way. Prioritize your crucial tasks, and figure out better ways to communicate appropriately. For example:  immediate responses call for phone calls or instant messaging, not emails.

Do things that actually matter and stop multi-tasking! 

Did you know that changing your task more than 10 times a day drops your IQ an average of ten points? Don't let that happen! Stay focused on the task at hand. It may take more effort to filter out the distractions and the minor tasks, but doing so will help you to become more efficient! 

Hope these tips are helpful to your productivity today! 

Mallory

Sources: 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ilyapozin/2013/08/14/9-habits-of-productive-people/

Mike Vardy (0101-01-01T00:00:00+00:00). The Productivityist Workbook (Kindle Locations 177-178). Kindle Edition.