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Want to increase your productivity? Here are 50 ways to do so

Sharika S Nair
19th Jan 2017
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Being productive can be a dicey task. When you look back at the end of the day, to feel a sense of accomplishment you need to find out how productive you have been. Staying productive at work and at home isn’t easy. But there are numerous ways in which this can be achieved with a little focus and planning. In fact, it can even be fun!

Here are 50 ways to increase your productivity:

Pat your back for every little success

If you achieve something big, then celebrate it by treating yourself to something, and if you have had small triumphs, then still spare two minutes at the end of it to appreciate and celebrate what you have accomplished. This will motivate you to get going the next time. It will also make you feel good about yourself.

Learn to be grateful

Focusing on your reasons for gratitude means focusing on the things that make you happy. A happy person is a healthy person, and the happiness will spread to the people around you.

Image credits: Shutterstock

Stop looking out for validation

Remember Bon Jovi’s song ‘It’s My Life’?

If you want to do something different and keep worrying what other people might think, then you are just restricting yourself. No one can make everyone happy, and seeking validation from multiple people is simply not worth it.

Call your parents

Your parents are the people in the world whom you know you can bank on at any time, wherever in the world you are. Just pick up the phone and call them. They will love it and you will feel good as well.

Image credits: Shutterstock

Smile at a stranger

The next time you go outside, smile at a stranger. It doesn’t matter if they smile back or not. They will feel connected and most importantly, they will feel better.

Image credits: Shutterstock

Don’t do things to satisfy your ego

Sometimes, we get caught up with things that we do not really serve a purpose but simply to satisfy our ego. You might think it feels good or cool to be called a stand-up comedian or a journalist. However, if it doesn’t help you professionally or make you happy in reality, it’s time to self-reflect and reconsider doing it.

Find out when you are more productive

You might be a morning lark or a night owl. Depending on when you’re most active, optimise these hours effectively.

Get ample sleep

Getting ample sleep improves concentration and can maximise your athletic performance. It also decreases the risk of acquiring diseases. Moreover, less sleep increases chances of depression.

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Exercise regularly

Regardless of age, gender or physical ability, everyone benefits from exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, triggering feelings of happiness and euphoria.

Image credits: Pixabay

Stop Googling everything

It’s a common tendency to Google everything for answers. But instead, try talking to people and get their perspective on various topics. Also try reading more to get that extra piece of information.

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Speed read

Learning how to speed read will help you at work. It also improves efficiency.

Just start

Often, the first step is the hardest step. Once you begin, you will quickly get into a rhythm that could last for hours.

Neglect time wasters

This includes checking your notifications every ten minutes, playing video games, and having multiple tabs open on your browser.

Keep a minimalistic workplace

When your workspace is simple and uncluttered, your thoughts tend to be clear and stress free. Try keeping your area with minimum number of things.

Slow down

Slow down how you do whatever you are doing right now. Eat slower, talk slower, or ride your bicycle slower, for example. By doing so, you become more aware of how you use your body and what is happening around you.

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List your top three priorities in life

Your focus should always be on what matters most to you. To keep track of this, ensure that you make a note of it on your laptop, at your work station, or at your home. The point is to remind yourself constantly about what should keep you going and not about what others want from you.

Encourage others

Everyone is trying to do their best in the world and encouraging them will assure them that they aren’t alone. Moreover, acknowledging someone’s hard work motivates them and can make them happy.

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Do not busy yourself with unnecessary meetings

Meetings are conducted to brainstorm, discuss, and share ideas. However, often time is spent in unnecessary discussion and gossip before coming to the main point. Rather than whiling away precious time, it’s better to set up another strategy to discuss points. Emails stating the topics to be discussed could be shared.

Allow yourself free time

One can’t always be working with the same energy. Allowing yourself the luxury of taking breaks will renew your focus.

Follow the two minute rule

When a task takes less than two minutes, do it now. Do not schedule it for later and add to the pile of an already existing to-do list. After all, you might already have enough on your hands right now.

Surround yourself with positive people

Your social environment plays a big part in your life. The people and groups you spend time influence your thinking. When you spend time with positive people, you will get positive vibes and spread positivity yourself.

Stop trying to remember everything and start thinking

Trying to remember everything will make you tired. Using your mental ability to keep track of facts and tasks will drain you out. Use a notebook for such tasks. Instead, use your mental energy to think about ideas, people, and the like.

Stay away from the computer

Although you may have to use the computer for the major art of the day, make it a norm to stay away from it as well. The time used should be to reflect on other things, enjoy nature, or meditate. This will also be a break for your eye muscles.

Image credits: Pixabay

Learn to say a no

Saying a yes to everything may seem like a nice thing to do, but in the long run you will become a pushover. Learning to say a no is as important as saying a yes. Prioritise what to accept and what not to. It will save you a lot of time.

Use a pen and a notebook

Keeping a notepad and pen helps you to jot down any thoughts that come to your mind. That way, your mind won’t be flooded with too many things and you can always look at what you have noted down.

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Do something you’ve been afraid of

There is no ‘right’ time to do something you have always wanted to do but feared it might not work out too well. The time is now. Waiting for days, weeks, or months will not improve anything. The sooner you try it out, the better.

Switch off the TV

Excessive TV watching will make you a couch potato. Start off by cutting down on 30 minutes of television time daily. Slowly, you won’t be as addicted to the shows you regularly watch. You will be surprised by how much more time you have for other useful activities in the course of time.

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Wake up next to sunlight

Waking up next to natural light is a good way to start the day. Sunlight ensures that you wake up early and is also much better than artificial light.

Finish off your most dreaded task first thing in the morning

The task you dread the most might be the one that you have to finish first right in the morning. Once you are done with it your mind will be free from all the chaos.

Stop complaining

Stop talking about what's wrong. Talk about how you'll make things better, even if that conversation is only with yourself. And do the same with your friends or colleagues. The minute you start complaining, you breed a sense of negativity.

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Cut short one expense

These days invention has become the mother of necessity. We buy things just because they have been advertised in the market. Later on we realise it is of no use But our guilty conscience makes us spend time using and maintaining it which later decreases our productivity.

Why go through this whole cycle when the most intelligent thing to do is to just cut it short by not at all investing in such a thing? It saves us time and money.

Autopay your bills

This will save your time and remove chances of late fees and increased interest rates.

Learn to cook a simple meal

Because in case your maid doesn’t turn up or the delivery boy’s bike just breaks down, you shouldn’t be left starving.

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Have a disconnected weekend

Switch off your phone and do not check your emails. Instead, indulge in some fun activity and spend time with your friends or family. This will help you to make boundary between your work and rest. You won’t think about work while doing something you enjoy. Also it will be a break from the usual work days.

Do not procrastinate asking for feedback

Asking for feedback may seem to be a frightening procedure. It may mean getting evaluated and even getting negative feedback. However it is required for career development. There is always scope for improvement, and asking for feedback helps you with it.

Prepare the night before

Making a list and planning for the next day just takes about ten minutes the night before and can save up to two to three hours of your time the next day.

Ensure family time

Every family has some time daily where they interact and share moments with each other. Make sure that you do not to anything else during this time. This means no texting and no phones. Do not let yourself to get distracted and be there.

Image credits: Creative Commons

Do not blame others

Others aren’t the reason for your miseries. If something goes wrong at your end learn to take ownership of it and handle it first-hand. It will not only make you more empowered but also will teach you to handle similar situations in future.

Work in silence

Learn to work in silence and enjoy the peace and quiet. This will keep you away from distractions. Also keep your phone on silent and remove it from your vicinity.

Take a power nap

Taking a short power nap can improve your memory and creativity. It helps you to keep your focus and do the remaining tasks more actively.

Image credits: Shutterstock

Don’t beat yourself up

To err is human, to forgive is divine. This holds true to oneself as well. If you have done something wrong, do not bash yourself up and regret it. You cannot go back in time and correct it anyway. So just tell yourself that it’s okay to make a mistake once in a while and that you are only human.

Refuel your enthusiasm

Sometimes you may feel on top of the world and other times you may feel a little low. To keep your enthusiasm high, go talk to an enthusiastic or energetic person whom you know. You could even read an inspiring blog or watch an inspiring ten-minute video to boost your spirits up.

Image credits: Pixabay

Take a deep breath and live in the moment

Forget about what is going to happen tomorrow and live in the present. Enjoy every moment as you can’t get it back. Moreover, what is the point in fretting over yesterday or tomorrow?

Limit your to-do list

Getting one most important task done can be more important than getting ten different things done. When you aim to get multiple things done all at once, you may work on the less important tasks first. Limiting your to-do list helps you maintain focus.

Stop wasting time on unnecessary websites

If you have to be online while working, try using an extension for your browser like StayFoucsd or a similar program to block your access to the websites where you know you are likely to procrastinate.

Do what your heart really desires

When you do things that your heart really desires, you will do your best and also enjoy it. As your enthusiasm increases, you will also feel content.

Keep emails for later

Do not get into the habit of checking mails first thing in the morning and constantly checking them throughout the day. It drains your time and keeps you frustrated. Instead, schedule a time to check them and remember to reply to any mails at a particular time.

Stop overthinking

Overthinkers tend to overthink every problem until it becomes bigger and scarier than it actually is. This is just a recipe for disaster. When you catch yourself overthinking, tell yourself to stop. Try this a number of times and finally the habit will pass away.

Hydrate regularly

Keep drinking water at regular intervals of time. It will keep you energised the whole day. You will feel less fatigue and your physique and skin will also improve.

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Aim to read at least 50 pages everyday

Reading has a number of benefits. Just like any other part of the body, the brain requires exercise as well and reading helps to improve mental stimulation. An engaging book can distract you and keep you in the moment. Also, reading gives you the one thing that can be an asset for life – knowledge.

Image credits: Shutterstock


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