Spain is, for several reasons we won’t discuss here, one of the countries with worse labour productivity index. Meaning we work too many hours and make little progress in these. This affects also the rest of our time, it is stressing. The least it takes us to work through the pile of daily work, the better we will be able to sleep at night, and we will also enjoy our leisure time better. The question is, how is this related to this blog? Seems not much but not everything can be vacations, we have to learn to enjoy every one of our days.
So, as said, here are some advices to apply in our job and, sure, to other areas of our lives.
1. Get rid of the unnecessary:
Many times we simply we have tasks and activities that are unnecessary. It is good to figure these out to avoid wasting our time doing them.
2. Set daily goals
Sometimes it is easy to dive in on our everyday tasks and lose focus and concentration within time. When a larger aim is in mind, it is easy to lose path. If you set daily goals, it will be easier to keep focus. This will need some will power to set these daily goals.
3. Do the worse… first
To avoid drifting away, learn to face the least liked tasks of your day early in the morning, instead of leaving these for the end of your day. This simple approach will allow you to have a great productive day and you won’t feel bad at night for leaving something undone.
4. Identify your peak hours
What time of day are you most motivated? Identify these moments and asign the most important tasks for these hours. These hours can vary anytime for a number of reasons (waking up earlier, having a diet change, making sports later or before work…), but identifying them at first will increase your productivity.
5. Part Your Time
Give yourself strict and concrete time lapses for every task you are making, no matter how much. The important thing is not to waste more than scheduled, neither less.
6. Define Minitasks
If you are using the time packing, a good idea is to define minitasks for each pack as well.
If you are working a couple hours, specify the amount of work you will do before raising from your chair and, of course, let that work be equal or least to the time package established. For example, if you are writing a book, let your minitask be to write up to 1000 words.
7. Use activity blocks
It is useful to divide your day in activity blocks. For example, you can make all your phone calls from 9 to 10 a.m. With this you are making sure of having no distractions and, as you are focused on a specific kind of tasks, it will be easier to perform these.
8. Wake up earlier
Waking up early is full of advantages. You have all morning to work, and when everybody else is starting to sit in their chair you will have had a head start of a couple hours.
9. Erase distractions
If you are sitting in front of a computer, disconnect your chats, social networks and even the internet. Get somewhere calm and silent, like a café, a library or a park, and focus on finishing whatever is pending. If music suits you, you can use a headset, but make sure that the sort of music you listen to helps you concentrate.
10. Increase your frequency
During your time packs, write faster, read faster and even speak faster. Try thinking faster and increasing efficiency.
11. Adjust your environment
The main idea is to work in a tidy minimalistic environment, so that you are at peace and calm at your workplace. This will help you relax and motivate for your work.
12. Keep a schedule or calendar
Maybe it is obvious, but having a schedule can maximize your productivity. I do not trust my memory, so I use my smartphone to remind me of the important stuff. Even specific alarms set a different hours can be of help.
13. Mind the Pareto Principle
The Pareto Principle establishes a 80-20 rate. It states that 80% of the value of a task comes of 20% of the effort. Focus on that 20% and don’t get obsessed with the remaining 80%. Perfectionism does have a good result, but usually it doesn’t get done on time.
14. Get on your position, shoot… aim!
Avoid drifting taking action immediately after setting a task, then start making adjustments. Get ready, shoot and then aim and keep shooting. Doesn’t matter that the action is not really well planned, you will see the productivity that you can reach when using this approximation. Anyways, you can always rearrange while on the way.
15. Use the 60 seconds rule
The 60 seconds rule says that when you have gathered enough info to make a decision, set a counter and decide in less than 60 seconds.
16. Define Deadlines
Set specific deadlines for your tasks and stick to them. Use them as focal points to stay on track and get on time to your destinations.
17. Tell someone you trust
When you speak to someone about your pending tasks and activities, actually you are acquiring an unconscious moral commitment. You will have to respond according to such commitment and it will make you comply doing whatever necessary.
18. Be on time
No matter the situation, always, ALWAYS be on time. Get on time to meetings, even family ones.
19. Fill in time lapses with reads
Carry on a book, a cellphone, a computer where you can read while waiting. The important thing is to read something you like and that is useful.
20. Apply Resonance
Visualize that you have managed to complete your goals, think how that feels. Make it real in your mind, then it will be so in your real life.
21. Reward yourself
No matter what with (no need to over react), it is good to give yourself a reward for finishing a stage in your activities or for having finished your daily tasks.
22. Separate Urgent from Important
Sometimes we spend all our time in the urgent things, and the important things are left unattended. Analyze what is really important for your life, and what actually only need to be taken care right now but that won’t matter on the long run.
23. Get ready
Establish and continuous productivity cycle, getting ready at night for the next day. Get your materials ready so that you can start in the morning asap.
24. Divide and Conquer
Split your big projects in small parts and work on every one of the parts separately. You will take out the pressure of dealing with a large project, and you will have doable tasks.
25. One task at a time
Once your on it, try your best to get through with it… do not stop until the end, and do not mix with other things. Focus.
26. Create new habits
The human being is defined by usual behaviors. If so, what best than to create new ones? Obviously, try taking up good ones.
As much as you can, convince someone else to do it for you. Remember, the responsibility is still yours.
28. Use your intuition
Your intuition, common sense and hunches are very powerful.
Identify what processes are better for you, which have a better result and note them down. Also identify what does not work for you and avoid it. Focus on what has worked so far and check how you can improve it. Sometimes breaking up things like this allow us to see the obvious.
30. Keep researching
Not everything is written in productivity. Keep learning.