Achieve More In 2017 By Boosting Your Productivity
What would it be like to have more hours in the day? Think of what you could achieve. In an increasingly busy world where we’re encouraged to work longer and skip lunch breaks, it’s important to find ways to increase output and reduce the time spent on achieving it. If your productivity could do with a boost, try these simple strategies.
- Take More Breaks
It’s a scientific fact that working longer with fewer breaks is counterproductive. After a while, our brains become less effective, and the quality of work is reduced. The advice is to take a short break at least once an hour. During this time focus on something else completely to give your brain a break and allow it to replenish.
When taking that break, get up from your desk and move around for a minute or so. This also helps to get the blood pumping and more oxygen to the brain.
- The Pomodoro Technique
Following on from taking more breaks, a more extreme version of this is the Pomodoro Technique, created by Francesco Cirillo. It’s a simple technique to master. The idea is that you split your projects up into 25-minute increments and set a timer. You work for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break. In addition to helping your brain replenish, watching the timer count down spurs us into action and helps us complete work in a timely manner. Further, timing tasks makes us more accountable for how we allocate time.
‘Pomodoro’ means tomato in Italian and this technique is so-called after the tomato-shaped timer Cirillo used to time his tasks.
- Eat Well
Eating well and ensuring we receive a balance of vitamins and minerals, impacts on all areas of our life, including our productivity. If you have ever felt sluggish after lunch, this is probably down to your food choices. Processed food and simple carbohydrates cause spikes in our blood sugar which causes us to crash. This creates that sluggish feeling that makes it harder to get through our work.
Water is another important element. Keeping the body hydrated allows our organs, including our brains, to work efficiently. Therefore, drinking water throughout the day is important. Rather than opting for expensive bottled water, water filter jugs are more economical and remove unwanted chemicals.
- Eliminate Distractions
Distractions come in different guises. It may be a chatty colleague at work. Or it could be your Facebook and Instagram feeds when you’re at home. When concentrating on a task, remove all distractions. Tell your colleague kindly but firmly that you have to concentrate for a while and will come back to her later. Switch off your phone or set it to silent. Close your emails. It won’t do any harm to ignore them for an hour or so.
- Keep A Pen And Notebook To Hand
How many times have you had an idea in the middle of the night, only to forget it in the morning? Or, just when you’re in the middle of an important project, you remember you need to make an appointment for your son or doctor. Keeping a pen and notebook with you allows you to jot down these thoughts and get them out of your head. So you’re free to continue with the task at hand whether it’s sleeping or working.
We can’t add hours to the day. However, we can take control of our productivity and make the most of the time we have available. It is possible to get more done in a shorter period. And the time remaining can be spent on more enjoyable endeavours.