Stories of superhuman achievers accomplishing impossible tasks often leave us wondering: “How much more productive can I be?”
More productivity means more time for leisure. It means increased satisfaction. It makes for happier bosses, families, and employees. Here are five ways to boost your own productivity.
The best way to do more is to do absolutely nothing for at least seven hours. There is a toxic yet pervasive myth that winners sacrifice sleep to succeed. However, studies by the thousands have proven that too little sleep causes impaired cognition, a plethora of diseases, accidents, depression, and early death.
Worst of all is the fact that sleep deprivation makes you unaware of your own decrease in productivity. Think of it this way: for every hour of sleep you sacrifice, you’re likely to lose that hour in inefficiency.
Give in. Sleep well.
2. Take Meaningful Breaks
It’s of no use to you if your productivity fades over the course of your workday. Maintaining productivity requires breaks. Breaks help your brain remain focused, connect dots, and refocus on goals.
Just as important as taking breaks is knowing what types of breaks to take. Most importantly, do not take a break by scrolling social media or watching videos. This is not a time to occupy your mind — it’s a time to let your mind relax. Try taking a walk, having a snack, talking with colleagues, or stretching.
A great way to schedule your breaks is with the Pomodoro method, in which you work for 25 minutes with a five-minute break. Do this cycle four times, then take a 30-minute break.
3. Set Email Limits
Emails can eat up an unhealthy amount of your day. Try the following methods to take some of this time back:
- Set a hard limit on how many times you check your email per day
- Set up an auto-response
- Keep your emails as short as possible
- Don’t open emails without taking care of them — delete, respond to, or archive each one
4. No. More. Multitasking.
The overwhelming consensus among researchers is that multitasking does not work. Multitasking makes you more vulnerable to irrelevant distractions. It impairs your valuable ability to maintain a working list in your head. It also harms your ability to focus on one thing at a time, and has been linked with an increased tendency to fret over another activity you’re not doing.
Give yourself entirely to one task at a time. Cross it off your list and move to the next one.
5. Use Your Commute
If public transportation is available, use your morning commute to set the tone for your day. Create a to-do list and take care of smaller, more meddlesome tasks like responding to emails. Make it a goal to have removed some weight from your shoulders when you finally walk into your office.
Gillis, Austin. “5 Research Backed Tips to Improve Your Productivity By 176% (Or More).” Early To Rise, Early to Rise, 9 Jan. 2019, www.earlytorise.com/5-tips-to-increase-your-productivity/.