You probably spend hours in front of your computer, and you are not getting things done? Your colleagues and friends always finish their work earlier with maximum efficiency. What are you doing not right, and how can you improve your strategy? There are some tactics that you can use to help you improve your productivity because being productive doesn’t always mean working hard and having strong discipline.
Productivity is very important because you can do more for less time and have more free time to spend with your friends or practice your hobbies. It also gives you a sense of feeling accomplished and releases dopamine in your system to enhance your mood.
Why Do We Struggle With Our Productivity?
There are some reasons why some people struggle with their productivity:
1 . You do not know your end-goal
You do not know your right direction because you are overwhelmed with activities, your brain is full of many thoughts, and you cannot focus on the task and accomplish what you need to.
2. You start working late
Sometimes you do not have enough time in the day because you start working late when the day is almost over. The do list for the day can be big, so if you have a lot of activities for the day, it is better to wake up early and get the things done.
3. You are distracted by social media
In modern technological societies, we are often distracted by constant message alerts, notifications, replying messages, and social media, and you may pass your time scrolling messages all day long. According to one report in 2018, most Americans spent around 11 hours per day on their computers and tablets or on other media. (1)
4. You are bored with work
There are times when you feel bored with work, and you work too much, so you find your work tedious and you do not have the motivation to finish it.
In addition, the task you are working on it may be very difficult and complicated and hard to finish, so you will try to find a way to focus on easier tasks, which leads to lower productivity.
How Can You Increase Your Productivity And Focus?
If you have problems with your productivity, these tactics may be helpful:
1. Focus on harder tasks first
When you start working, first focus on harder and most important tasks and not the easiest as most people would do. If you have many tasks to do, try finishing the difficult and most important ones first because in some cases, you will not have enough time to finish all the tasks for the day.
2. Be an early riser
Many important CEOs showed to be successful early risers, proving their success. (2)
This is also associated with better health and better grades at school for students, which leads to better job opportunities. One study from Harvard Business Review showed that early risers are more successful than night owls. (3)
3. Set limits
Set a work schedule for a week or a month and also on how long you are going to work on a task. It will also shrink your work and make you more productive. Also, it will push you to work harder and do your best to finish the task on time.
4. Change the scenery
If you work for long hours in the office, you can change the scenery and start working at home, or in a coffee shop if you have flexible time and you can do it.
The focus sometimes depends on the environment you work in and the people you are surrounded by.
5. Have a positive self-talk
When you are overwhelmed with work, try using some positive self-talk like “I can do it” or “I am good at this”, because the negative one will make things even worse.
Several studies have shown that around 80% of self-talk is negative and critical, and we all need inner strength to make new changes and get new healthy habits. (4)
How Can You Concentrate Better?
In the digital world, we are distracted and need to focus on our tasks because it takes our time and attention better.
Concentration is our ability to direct and control our attention according to our will. Many factors can decrease it, like lack of sleep, environment, eating habits, or distraction.
But, we have a few tips to help you improve it:
- Close all media applications and silence notifications, as many researchers have already found that our cognitive capabilities improve when our phone is out of our sight. (5)
- Practice meditation to calm your brain and relaxation of the whole body and use your breath to distract your mind.
- Improve your sleep habits and try not to read from electronic devices before going to bed because they can emit light to the blue end of the spectrum and block the secretion of melatonin that promote sleep in the brain.
- Focus on the details that are important for the moment and let go of the past moments, and do not think about the future.
- Try some stimulating games like chess, jigsaw puzzles, sudoku, and some video games that can stimulate your brain and improve your short-term memory.
- Listen to music, exercise, and eat well to increase your serotonin and dopamine levels, which affect your focus and attention. Food like blueberries can stimulate your brain because they have an enzyme that improves the flow of oxygen to the blood and brain.
How Can You Reset Your Brain To Focus In 15 Minutes?
If you wonder how to reset your mind in a few minutes’ time, here is how:
1. Take a break for a glass of water
Most Americans feel dehydrated and this slows the function of the brain. So, whenever you feel you need more focus, drink a glass of water and improve your brain capabilities.
2. Have a healthy snack
Have a healthy snack like grain toast with avocado, nuts, healthy seeds, and dried fruit. These are very helpful to have on your work desk as they contain protein and carbs to balance your blood sugar.
3. Have a walk
Walking generates energy, and even a brisk walk can help your body produce even more energy. It is a good combination of fresh air and exercise that promotes better concentration and focus. Sometimes a simple stretch can help your body stimulate the blood flow and give you a different perspective.
4. Inhale lemon essential oil
Citrus, rosemary, or eucalyptus oils can help you stimulate your nervous system and get you to feel energized.
What Is The 80/20 Rule For Productivity?
80/20 rule is a common rule that every entrepreneur can benefit from and was created and developed by Italian economist and sociologist Vilfredo Pareto who stated that 80% of your productivity comes from your 20% effort and spending your energy on the right work. (6)
This rule doesn’t apply to time, and it doesn’t mean that you should work just 1.5 hours out of eight per day, but it means that you should focus on the things that matter the most and should pinpoint the efforts that drive the most of the results in your business and your life.
For example, after research, you can see that most of the company’s revenue comes just from 5 clients and you should focus your energy on them instead of managing 25 clients and getting overwhelmed in the process.
This way, you will maximize your process and get the best results.
Another example of this Pareto principle can be as follows:
- 20% of your sales team may create 80% of your sales
- 20% of your lead generation sources may create 80% of your leads
To find your critical 20%, you should start collecting data such as spending time on specific tasks, the activities that dominate in your company, which tasks give you the best return, what are the main tasks, etc…
Then prioritize and improve the critical 20% and do not waste too much time on the other 80%, and distribute the time of the day carefully.
This rule is an example of how to work smarter than harder.
How Do You Keep Productivity High When Motivation Is Low?
One of the biggest obstacles to overcome is self–motivation, which is probably very low when we are fed up with something.
We all need some booster from time to time, although we work and live in an encouraging environment and love our work.
Here are some tips on how to improve your motivation when it is low:
Find what keeps you from moving on
Find the very issue that prevents you from moving on in the right direction, although sometimes they can be presented in a hidden format and it may be the one you least expect, probably the least difficult one, and then it is easier to move on.
Find an encouraging coach
When you feel that your emotional drive sets you back, maybe the best solution is to find someone that will help you to boost your motivation. Maybe a friend or a colleague who can be an example of a highly motivated person and can help you to move on if you are planning to quit.
Books are motivational boosters
Books are great for learning about other people’s experiences and some of them may be written on the theme of motivation, and you will be surprised how they can be focused on the weaknesses and compare your story with other stories and you will find the one that is right for you and it will surely boost your motivation and help you move on!
Find your hidden fears
In many cases, your hidden fears and anxiety can prevent you from reaching the peak of their best, identify them and continue on the programmed track. It is always normal to have some hidden fears, and that is why you need some external booster to keep on moving.
Mary Wright is a professional writer with more than 10 years of incessant practice. Her topics of interest gravitate around the fields of the human mind and the interpersonal relationships of people.If you have a general question or comment please fill out the form and we will get back to you as soon as possible https://curiousmindmagazine.com/contact-us/ .