Most people would love to boost their productivity levels. Who wouldn’t like to get more done in less time with less effort? Yet even the most widespread productivity-boosting methods can only do so much.
Take the concept of turning off the notifications on your phone. It can give you a little productivity bump if you’re trying to focus. However, you eventually have to pick up your phone again. At that point, you can wind up getting lost in a myriad of missed texts and messages. While you still may have improved your productivity briefly, you still had to pay for it later.
That being said, you shouldn’t stop silencing your phone or wearing noise-cancellation earbuds in the office. You just need to add some unique elements, ideas, and activities to your productivity enhancement toolkit. That way, you can cross off tons of office to-dos — and maybe give yourself a little extra “me time” in the process.
1. Lower Your Stress Levels
Stress and burnout are at all-time highs, with 55% of Americans saying they face stress daily. When you’re feeling psychologically overwhelmed, you can’t move quickly or effectively. Multitasking is particularly tough if all you can think about are your stressors.
Of course, minimizing your stress won’t happen without effort. Start by identifying the sources of your three biggest stressors. For each one, think of changes you could make to take away their sting. As an example, you may feel stressed out about your health because you’ve gotten out of shape. While you can’t do anything right away to solve this problem, you can work toward improving your fitness. Adding physical activity will help you achieve your strength or cardiovascular goals. It will also give you a mental endorphin boost to tame your overall stress.
Other ways to give stress the heave-ho include engaging in hobbies, spending time with positive people, and prioritizing self-care. As your stress melts away, you’ll find that you can bring more of your energies to producing your best work.
2. Become Financially Confident
Are you a confident money manager? It’s okay to say that you aren’t, or that you’re not sure. Plenty of people simply didn’t have great money role models growing up. As a result, adults of all ages struggle to figure out how to be smarter spenders, savvy savers, and data-driven investors.
How can getting control over your dollars affect your productivity? Your finances will be one less thing on your mind. Let’s say you often become worried toward the end of the month when your bills are due. Like stress, the worry will interfere with your ability to concentrate on churning through your daily agenda items.
One way to reduce the worry might be to get a budget plan with your utility. Or, if you own a home, to invest in solar panels so you can reap immediate financial benefits. You may not even have to pay anything upfront. Solar energy company PosiGen offers a leasing program that allows consumers to enjoy immediate savings. It’s money back in your pocket and less to fret about fiscally.
3. Channel Your Inner Lifelong Learner
You’ve probably gotten accustomed to doing routine tasks a certain way. But what if you’re adding steps that are making your life harder and slowing your progress? Many of us think we’re being efficient when we’re not.
The answer to this problem is for you to seek out hacks, information, and insights. Essentially, you should constantly be trying to learn new ways of doing “old” things. You might just discover that something you’ve always done is surprisingly unproductive.
This productivity tip isn’t limited to professional tasks. It’s just as practical for what you do on your off-hours. Something as simple as learning how to tactically plan a grocery shopping trip could make your life less hectic. Never assume that you have everything down to a science. There’s always something more to fill your noggin.
4. Block Off Your Schedule
Many busy people find it helpful to simply block off periods on their calendars. This is called “time blocking.” These periods can be used for anything from making dinner to hosting a Zoom client meeting. Every block represents something that needs to happen. Once all the blocks are taken, that’s it. There isn’t any room for overbooking.
Getting used to a blocked schedule can be tough, especially if you’re not used to the practice. Nevertheless, you’ll find that you’re not as tempted to take on too much. Yes, you can be flexible in cases of emergencies. But you’ll feel increasingly empowered to say “no” to non-essential requests.
Where does productivity fit into the picture? You will have the time you need already set aside. Unless a project takes a great deal more time than you anticipate, you shouldn’t have problems breezing through your blocked-off responsibilities. Try blocking your calendar for a couple of weeks so you get into the habit.