If you think that highly productive people are superheroes who have special methods which help them be at the top of their game every single day, you are very wrong. They apply these simple habits and stick to them religiously. With a little practice, you can do so as well!
1. Neat surroundings
Focusing on your work while the workspace is full of distractions can be very tricky. So if you have piles of papers or documents in your line of sight, take some time to put them in a drawer and tidy up your surroundings a bit. It will help you concentrate on your work and allow you to dedicate more time to a particular task.
2. Power naps
As odd as it might seem, taking short naps during your work hours can actually help you feel less stressed and increase your productivity. You will also be less prone to impulsive decisions after you doze off for an hour or so which will undoubtedly make you more successful.
3. Away with the distractors
Checking your Facebook or Instagram feed constantly can lead to a distracting spiral which will disrupt your productivity at the end of the day. It can sound impossible, but as soon as you identify the distractor that takes up most of your work time, you should try to reduce the minutes (or hours) you spend on it. The most common distractions are the internet, social media, texting, office gossip, and e-mail.
4. No cell phones
Leaving your phone on while working can be damaging because the very sound of vibration can make you think about the received text message so your mind cannot focus completely. Using your smartphone during work hours can harm your productivity but also make you less communicative. Not to forget that you will probably miss some important deadlines along the way.
5. Move regularly
Being physically active can do wonders for your creativity and efficiency. You don’t have to join a gym and exercise every single day – simply take a walk or a quick twenty minutes jog. It will help you clear up your thoughts and come up with brand new ideas.
6. Positive work environment
If you work for a company that often surveys their employees and gives positive feedback, the chances are you will feel more confident and be at least 21% more productive on a regular basis. Fewer people would leave the firm and your clients will be 10% more satisfied with the quality of the delivered products or services.
7. Sunshine and nature
Is your workspace situated in a poorly lit corner with the artificial lights? Try relocating closer to a window. The results of a study by California Energy Commission proves that people who enjoy the sunshine and natural surroundings during their work day are more efficient by 25% when it comes to performance tests. The tested subjects also processed the calls 12% faster.
8. Plan ahead
Use schedules and to-do lists in order to determine which tasks require your immediate attention. Try to keep your ideas out of it and write them down in a separate notebook so you don’t mix them up with the work.
9. Don’t overwork yourself
If you think that clocking in more hours on a weekly basis will make you more productive, you are very wrong. People are not machines so there is no need to tire yourself every single week. John Pencavel who works at Stanford University published his research in 2014 which proves that employees who worked for 70 hours a week were as productive as those who worked for 56 hours.
10. Catch those z’s in moderation
Showing up well rested at your workplace is a first step to boosting your productivity but this doesn’t mean that you should sleep for twelve hours either. The research published by Finnish Institute of Occupational Health proves that under sleepers and over sleepers used more sick days than people who slept for seven to eight hours every night. So make sure you stay in that range.
11. The most important 20%
If your work day lasts for eight hours, you should spend exactly ninety minutes working on the hardest and most important tasks that require your full focus and attention. It will help you deliver the high-quality results without increasing your work related stress.
Some of these habits such as limiting the time you spend on your phone or social media might look complicated and impossible at first but you can always start small. As a matter of fact, you can tidy up your work space right now and make an instant change that will brighten up your mood.
Also, don’t beat yourself up if you are unable to apply every single habit from this list right away. And keep in mind that sometimes your productivity depends on the company you work for and you can’t directly influence that.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.