Throughout the day, there are so many things that are on our daily agenda – work, school, taking care of children, running errands, writing – that is seems nearly impossible to complete them all in the time that we need them to get done. But ask yourself: are you utilizing your time to the best of your ability? Probably not. Fortunately, there are only a few extra things you have to change in your daily routine in order to optimize your time and thus to increase your productivity:
Checking messages periodically
Do you find yourself stalking your Gmail and Facebook accounts throughout the day, or constantly glancing at your smart phone? If so, then this may be one of the reasons why you may not be working as productively as you could be. While it may seem harmless to take a quick, fleeting glance at incoming text-messages and the like, research shows that these minutely long distractions have an extremely adverse effect on productivity. As you can see, if you check your emails compulsively, the loss of time adds up. On the other hand, only checking your social network messages and smart phones on a periodic basis eliminates these distractions, enabling you to finish up a given task with speed.
Multitasking, ironically, makes you less productive rather than more productive. Multiple studies have shown that our brains perform tasks with less accuracy and efficiency when we try to complete multiple tasks simultaneously rather than focusing solely on the principal task itself. It is always better to have the time to devote all of one’s energy to one task, so that it can be done well. The Pomodoro method is a useful way to enforce completing one task at a time. For the Pomodoro method, set an alarm for, say, 25 minutes and for those 25 minutes, focus only on the task that you have in mind, and nothing else. Once the alarm goes off, award yourself with a short break, then start again. As you continue to use this method, your stamina and concentration on one task will increase, leading your productivity to soar.
Set up a routine
Our bodies respond well to routines, scientists say. Each day, set up a planner for what you are going to get done for that day, and at what times are best for you. Some people are morning people, and they may like to get a lot of work done in the morning while they take it easy as the day progresses. Others may like to relax during the day and focus more during the night. It is completely up to you. The important part is really sticking to the routine.
All in all, following these few basic guidelines will allow you to accomplish more during each day and to have more free time to tend to leisure or family. There are many other aspects for becoming more productive, such as scheduling free time, or prioritizing. Nevertheless, these tips will enable you to live a more productive life.