04 Mar 5 Great Ways to Boost Productivity
In today’s fast-paced economy, taking steps to boost your output is important if you want to increase your chances of success. We are now competing against workers from around the world, and AI is getting smarter with each year that goes by.
As such, getting more done and increasing quality of that output is of paramount importance. Below, we’ll share a few ways to Boost Productivity which will help you extract better results from your efforts.
1) Use the Pareto principle to highlight high-value tasks
Take a look at your to-do list: chances are, not all of its tasks are of equal value. Some are superfluous, like picking up milk on the way home from work, while others, such as getting a sales report done by 5 pm Friday, are slightly more important.
If you haven’t already, make a list of all the things you want to get done with the next 24-72 hours, and ask yourself, “Which of these are the crucial few that will produce the greatest results for me, or if left undone, will result in the worst consequences?”.
This question is a way of condensing the Pareto principle, a theory of economics which posits that 80% (or more) of an effect is generated by 20% (or less) of causes, into a query that will provoke necessary action.
2) Minimize distractions
In order to summon the focus necessary to get the most important tasks done, you’ll need to limit or eliminate distractions which are knocking you off your game.
Got nosy co-workers? Close your office door, post a do not disturb sign on your cubicle, or put on headphones.
Social media or other websites keep sucking you into their vortex? Download site-blocking software which will restrict access during set hours.
Are there certain aspects of office life that are sapping your creativity? Attempt to negotiate a remote working arrangement so you can pound out work at home without being tapped to go to yet another useless meeting.
You may not be able to cut out all distractions, but taking steps to limit them is one of the more effective ways to boost productivity.
3) Set a time limit for specific tasks
When starting a task, there is an initial jolt of adrenaline which powers us through the first few steps, but as the minutes turn into hours, our motivation tends to wane.
A great way to keep your foot on the gas pedal is to set a visible timer that counts down to when you are supposed to be done a specific task.
This appeals to the competitive nature inside most of us. Not wanting to lose, the temptation to slack off goes away, as you won’t want to cause you to miss your own self-imposed deadline.
4) Take regular breaks
As much as you try to be the hero at the office, we all have a limited capacity to perform mental work.
Just as the construction worker needs to pace themselves to avoid muscle strain, the knowledge worker needs to take regular breaks to avoid overtaxing their minds.
Every 45 minutes, get up from your desk and do something else for five minutes to clear your head. If you make a habit of this, it will show in the quality of your work.
4) Get the worst tasks done first
Sometimes, you get assigned tasks that you’d rather not do, but tedious assignments come with the territory just like the straightforward ones.
These jobs are the ones most people procrastinate on, so it makes sense just to dive in and start doing them. The sooner you get them out of your way, the sooner they’ll be a weight off your shoulders. With the remaining tasks being much easier, it is easy to see how this is one of the best ways to boost productivity.