A lot of us struggle with productivity on a daily basis.
It’s always a race against time to complete the work we have. And more often than not, we end up feeling exhausted with a lot left in our to-do lists.
There are hundreds of popular techniques and thousands of self-help books that promise to make you extraordinarily productive, and somehow, nothing seems to work.
The truth is, there is no magic pill that can suddenly transform you into a ninja who can actually bite more than he can chew.
The only way to be more productive is to make small gradual changes and adopt habits that will help you be more productive and content.
In this article, I will share 7 simple habits that have helped me become more productive in my day to day work.
Work in Blocks of 25 Minutes
While you can work for 5 hours at a stretch, your productivity is likely to be higher if you take frequent breaks in between.
I usually prefer to work in blocks of 25 minutes. After every 25 minutes, I take a casual walk in the office, drink water, look around (very important to relax your eyes) and come back in 2-5 minutes.
The real magic is in the habit of not getting distracted by anything during these 25 minutes. Make sure you’re only focussing on the work at hand.
No social media, no emails, no chit-chat.
Once your 25 minutes are over, you can take a short break (and feel free to tend to any distraction you want during this 5 minutes). And then gear up for the next 25-minute block.
Prepare a To-Do List in a Day Before
To-do lists are great, but the issue with it is that we tend to write everything that’s on our mind.
And when you have a mile-long to-do list, there is no way you can feel accomplished at the end of the day.
A good way to work with to-do lists is to have two of it.
One that has everything you want to do, and one that has only 3 items.
Before you go to sleep, make a to-do list of the top three things you need to get done the next day. Be realistic and analyze all the items in your current to-do list. Then identify the top three.
Once you have this done, you will wake the next day with a very clear focus. Since this is realistic, you’re more likely to get these things done. And since you forced yourself to prioritize, despite getting only three tasks off your list, you would be able to have more impact through your work.
Batch Your Work
Multi-tasking is not your friend – it’s no one’s friend.
When you switch from one task to another (no matter how minor the change be), it takes up some of your energy.
And you have a limited supply of this energy in a day.
To make sure you’re making the best use of this energy, you need to minimize these switches. A good way to do this is to batch your work.
For example, if you’re a manager, it’s better to have all the meetings one after the other instead of having one in the morning, one in the afternoon and one later in the day.
By batching your work, you’ll able to conserve energy and get more work done.
Since I am a full-time blogger now, I batch my work by days. Mondays and Thursdays are strictly for writing and Tuesdays are devoted to recording videos. This helps me plan better and get more work done.
The way we treat our body has a huge impact on how we feel and work.
I got interested in ergonomic working last year and it has been a great improvement.
By making minor changes such as standing and walking every 30 minutes or keeping your posture right when sitting can not only make you more productive but also has a long-lasting impact on your well-being.
There are many online guides and videos available on how to set up an ergonomic workstation and make the most out of it.
There are also many ergonomic products such as a mouse, keyboards, standing desks, etc. that you can try.
Get More Plants Around You
Now, this may sound silly to you at first, but it can have a huge impact on your productivity.
Do you know that the closed spaces in which you work are extremely polluted?
Your furniture, carpet, walls, etc are continuously releasing harmful gases such as benzene, toluene, xylene, etc.
This is called off-gassing.
Since you’re exposed to these gases most of the time, it has an adverse impact on your health. It can lead to headaches and fatigue. Without knowing, you’re exposing yourself to harmful gases.
There is even a term for it – Sick Building Syndrome.
Keeping indoor plants can help take care of many of these issues.
There are many indoor plants that act as a natural air filter and purify the air. There are many other benefits of keeping indoor plants (such as these act as natural humidifiers, helps improve concentration, and removes background noise).
These are minor changes that you can adopt today and see an immediate improvement in your productivity.
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