This article provides tips on how to increase productivity. If you are already working with a time management method, these tips might give you new insights to further boost your personal productivity.
First things first, in order to increase productivity you will need to gather all loose ends. Meaning all unfinished tasks, assignments and ideas you might have. You can either write them down in a paper based organizer, or you can put them in a to-do list app on you pc. Be sure to include to-do’s as well as ideas. Pick an hour and completely clear your head, write down anything that has your attention or comes to mind. Once you have externalised all reminders from your head onto paper or pc, you will have so much more mental energy for creative thinking.
How to increase productivity by getting organized? Well, this is just the first step in order to boost your productivity.
Once you have captured all your to-do’s and ideas it is time to prioritize them. Good time management is about prioritization. There will always be more stuff to do, and not enough time. Unless you prioritize well and experience the impact you can make by focussing on the important things.
You can easily prioritize by using the ABC-method. All high priority items are tagged with an “A”. All medium priority items are tagged with a “B” and all low priority items are tagged with a “C”. Each morning you start working on completing everything that you have marked with an “A”. Don’t work on anything from the B- or C-items before you have completed all A’s.
Most of the time it is best to start your day with your A items. If you plan to work on the A items later in the day your energy and willpower have been partially depleted, making it harder for you to do creative thinking and good decision making. Therefore start your day with the highest priority items and don’t do any other tasks until the important ones are complete.
Last but not least, it’s time to do. You have a clear head and a prioritized to-do list. As mentioned before try completing your highest priority items first, before moving on to the medium and low priority items. Work undistracted and stop multi-tasking. Multi-tasking only scrambles your focus and takes up huge amounts of your energy each time you rapidly switch from task to task.
Also, let your colleagues know that you would rather have meetings in the afternoon. Be clear that you would like to focus on some large projects (e.g. your important to-do’s) in the morning. Bring headphones if needed and use them to show your colleagues that you want to work uninterrupted. If you do find yourself interrupted by a colleague who asks you something face to face, hear them out, tell them you have to finish what you are doing first, but will help them out once this task is done (unless you need to do another) second high priority item). And ask them to e-mail a reminder or short recap of their request to you.
It will take some getting used to, both for you and your colleagues. But with good communication, clear rules and boundaries you can get a lot done without being distracted or interrupted.
Want to learn more about time management and boosting your productivity? Download the free eBook: “How to Become More Productive In Less Than 10 Minutes?”