Actionable tips you can follow to become more productive

Like any other skill, you can master productivity but it takes a lot of effort and time. But by following these simple tips you can become more productive and get more work done. 

Productivity comes from Will Power and self-discipline. Nobody can concentrate on a task for long hours because concentration depends on willpower and some chemical reactions in your brain. We can’t change the second one(consciously at least) but changing the first one is possible(But not simple).

Will is the ability to make conscious decisions and Willpower is the motivation to exercise your will.
You can illustrate Willpower as a fuel reserve for your brain to concentrate.

As you do the work, so-called willpower exhaustion starts(doesn’t sound familiar?) this is when you start of thinking to give up a certain task.

So here are some Actionable tips for increasing your productivity and get more work done.

Appearance and Hygiene

Research shows that Willpower is mainly influenced by
Your appearance and How organized your Working Space is.
Remember how you feel when you have a bad hair day or feeling that you are not looking your best. Yes, when you don’t look your best you can’t concentrate on a task.

If you are someone like me who is always concerned by how others feel about us then this will be a great problem for you. So always try your best to look good and take a concern about your hygiene.
Most successful people point out Showering and Personal Grooming to be their best refreshment.

Keep Working Space clutterless

Benjamin Franklin

In my opinion, your working space signifies how organized you are. So try making your space look the best and make sure it contains all the tools you need and try to keep the distractions (ie Games, Consoles, Facebook) away from your desk.
Always Organize your desk after a work session because if you are to clean your desk before the next work session there’s a huge chance that you will get lazy and procrastinate.

Stop Multi-tasking

We aren’t robots and we can’t do and accomplish numerous tasks at once. It’s really easy to think that Multi-tasking can get more work done but in the end, you will waste your time on mindless tasks and get nothing productive done. This is because of something called Attention Residue.

Attention Residue is which happens when you try to switch back and forth between tasks. When people experience this, a part of their brains’ attention is still focused on their prior task and the ability to make choices goes down.

Learn to Work Alone

Pablo Picasso

Working alone is the best practice you should cultivate today to get more done. I stole this advice from Thomas Franks’ How to Study with INTENSE Focus: 6 Essential Tips.

We all believe that group works get more done. But it’s not half true. True collaborations are only done through everyone in the group working alone with their assigned task and collaborating to make decisions.

We should remember the fact that collaborative works are like the double-edged swords which may work very well or ruin everything.

Be faithful to Work and Rest Rule

Always remember being hard on yourself will get you nothing and you end up stressing yourself which again needs time to recover from. Resting after a Focus demanding task will help you recover from the stress.

When you get back you can work with double the focus and ultimately get Productive work done.

Use Something like Pomodoro Technique which simply has a 30min work session and a 5min break. If you keep doing this and believe that you can work for a longer time then personalize it to your ability.

Remember that the 30min figure is not specific for everyone.

Deliberate Practise and Self-discipline

In AsapSCIENCEs’ The Science of Productivity, They clearly illustrate that Doing work deliberately increases your productivity levels.

This Idea clearly follows The Work-Rest rule. Here’s how this works

You will divide your time into two Sessions those are a 30-90 min work followed by a 5-15min rest.

This will help you concentrate intensely on one task and gives yourself some time to recover from the previous task.

Dedicate Work Session to one Task

Always pre-plan what to do before even doing it. Because, If you don’t have a plan then you just start to imagine the hardest task in the work and then just procrastinate for rest.

So, It is always a good thing to know what to do at a particular moment. When you dedicate your work session to one single task just do that and nothing else.

Don’t do anything before the Work Session

This really disturbs the workflow and deviates you into other mindless tasks. When you switch back to doing actual work you will not have the full presence of your mind which costs you more time to complete it.

Have Dead Lines for your Tasks

Having a deadline isn’t going to make any good so, every time you complete a task have a breather between next task. So, when you have to complete it anyway then complete it faster. This helps you to work under a time pressure which increases your productivity.

“If I don’t have to do it, I won’t. If I have to do it, I’ll make it quick.”

— Houtarou Oreki (折木 奉太郎) (From anime: Hyouka)

I wanted to include these straightforward tips which I don’t want to elaborate on but are very good for a productive day.

  • Check your emails later in the day(possibly after Working Sessions)
  • Always have good and driven people around you who doesn’t fill you with negative energy.
  • Have a plan before the day for the following day and strongly recommend using a To-do list app. Anyway, I use you can try using Taskful, Wunderlist, and Asana.
  • Don’t forget to Celebrate your Small wins.
  • Have a good sleep schedule and make sure that you are getting 7-8 hours of sleep every day.
  • Maintain accomplishment journal which tracks all your proud wins and accomplishments. This helps you understand that you haven’t been a lazy-good-for-nothing in past. This helps you as a Motivation recharge for you.
  • Reduce Caffeine intake as much as you can. You have heard that caffeine helps you focus and you’re right.

Hold on, You can take caffeine when you are near a serious deadline but don’t take it too often. Read this article from Healthline to know more about side effects due to too much caffeine intake.

  • Try to Wake up early from Bed. Most of us including me like to pretend like a night owl and stay up at night. But waking up early in the morning helps you get more work done and mark on my words Nothing beats a Quiet Room.

  • Go for a walk or two. Thomas Frank, says that this piece of advice was a no Brainer for him.

He advises that going for a walk when you are feeling down and unmotivated will get you back to your happy spirits.

  • Meditate for an at least 3mins a day. Just focus on maintaining the breath. This will help you build your Willpower muscle.
  • Work under no Distractions Mode and try to minimize your chances to get distracted while you are at it by maintaining a Distraction list and getting back to it after that work session.

And you have read all the way to the end, Here is the best piece of advice you could possibly get from anyone to be Productive.

Get started

I am Serious about this. This is the most important key to productivity. Most of us see the big mountain load of work and never even start.

When a person starts a task, there is a big chance for him to complete it. This is because of a phenomenon called the Zeigarnik effect. Which states that a task which is already started has more of a tendency to complete it. If you don’t then you will be put in a state of Discomfort.

So get started today!

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