Five ways to improve your productivity

Five ways to improve your productivity

If your to-do list is stressing you out now that the holidays are over, worry no more.

Sometimes productivity is not about trying to squeeze even more things into each day, which is still stubbornly refusing to be any longer than 24 hours, but rather about working smarter. Not harder - especially so soon after you’ve left your sun lounger.

We all want to be more productive when January rolls around, but can we be? Here are five tips… just in time for the new work year.

Print out your big picture goals and hang them
… and then keep moving them around. It’s so easy to miss the forest for the trees when the minutiae of each work week becomes your main focus. Prominently display your larger goals in an attractive way that gets you fired up. Then, because we’re masters at getting used to our environments, move it somewhere different each month.

Use a productivity app
Using a great productivity app is like outsourcing, but less stressful. Check out the suggestions for the best ones in last week’s post!

Monitor meetings
Everyone’s pet hate is work meetings. We can each count on one hand the number that have yielded real progress and decisions, yet have countless ones each month. Entering any meeting, clearly state the objectives of that meeting and it’s end time. Even better – try to have as many meetings on Skype, Zoom or telephonically, as possible.

Try the ‘pomodoro’ technique
So named because of the inventor’s egg timer being in the shape of a tomato (‘pomodoro’ in Italian), this technique means switching of all devices and alerts for a 45 to 50-minute period and working as hard as you can in that finite time on one task only Then, for 10 minutes, you take a mandatory break. This technique harnesses focus and it’s truly amazing the difference it makes.

Drink more
… water, that is. Research has proven that dehydration - which most of us have, let’s be real - can impair cognitive functioning by as much as 30 percent! Purchase yourself a glass bottle that is 500-750ml, and keep it on your desk at all times - filled with water.

Productivity is not an easy skill to master, which is why brand new books on this subject line the shelves of every book store throughout the year. Take each day at a time and be kind to yourself.

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