Productivity is the ratio between the volume of output and input. With so many hours in a day, it is easy to waste time thereby reducing productivity significantly. While there are some apps and hacks to help you become productive, it takes a whole lot to achieve better results. In this article, we share 7 Smart Productivity Techniques You Should Know About.
The first step to attaining productivity is to understand what work is at stake and how it can be done better.
You are required to be innovative and strategic when you are running an organization to see the “fruits” of what you have labored for.
For instance, if your business is doing well locally, you need to figure out how you can take it global.
Whenever people talk about productivity, you will often hear most of them recommend that “working smart” is the key to seeing results. The question is how do you work smart?
There are top-notch techniques that have been found effective at enabling people to get a good output. The tips require that you make time and be ready to make adjustments.
Here are 7 smart productivity techniques that you should know about:
Table of Contents
1. Set Daily Targets
Often, people are unable to stay focused because they fail to set daily goals. Some people will tell you that imposing such intentions on yourself could generate some stress.
It is important to know that self-imposed stress is one of the most effective ways to get your goals met. Daily goals will have you making the most out of the little time you have to get things done.
There are seven steps to setting up goals:
Step 1: Deciding to set goals is the first step to getting things done. You are required to identify what you want to achieve and how much time you need to structure your goals. Goals can be set for major things as well as for small ones.
Step 2: Putting your goals in writing places you one step ahead of achieving them. For you to stick to them, you need to also write indicators that will show how the goals will be reached.
Step 3: Make sure that someone else also knows about them so as to keep you in check all through.
Step 4: Breakdown the big goals to several objectives and devise mini steps to achieve them. You should know that at times big goals can be vague and difficult to achieve hence the need to split them up.
Step 5: Plan the steps to achieve them and take the initial step to meet your desired targets.
Step 6: Given that working towards the set goals is not an easy process, you need to keep going no matter how frustrating it may be. Suppose you are having challenges along the way, you could consult other people who may have walked through a similar path.
Step 7: Take time to acknowledge the goals that you will have achieved and think about the lessons that you have learned through this process.
With these steps you will develop a behavior that helps you stay focused hence enhancing your productivity.
2. Employ the Two-Minute Rule
The two-minute rule was coined by David Allen, who is the author of one of the best-selling books “Getting Things Done.” This law states that if something just takes two minutes to be done, you do it and get it over with.
This technique is emphasized to help people overcome procrastination which happens to be one of the enemies of productivity. Attending two-minute activities means simple things like replying to emails or returning important calls.
When you tick off these small activities, you give yourself room to do bigger things. This rule is popular for reinforcing the identity that you want to build.
It helps you cut down on procrastinating tasks therefore making you efficient and ultimately productive.
3. Push Your Cognitive Capabilities
Becoming productive requires you to be disciplined. The way to achieve discipline is by pushing your cognitive capacities to the edge. Proper cognitive functioning allows you to learn new things, focus and engage with other people efficiently.
So, how do you do this? You need to tap into your ability to concentrate by engaging in intense work for an extended duration. While doing this, avoid distractions of any kind and refrain from engaging in shallow duties.
You could focus on intense duties for about an hour and a half with one objective in mind. When you constantly push your cognitive limits, you get to be very productive in the end.
You can push your cognitive abilities through:
- Managing your stress levels
- Performing regular brain stimulation activities
- Performing physical activities
When you routinely engage in these functions, you will acquire immense sustained attention, speed up how your process information as well as enhance your memory.
Such abilities will shift your focus to the most meaningful activities and make you excel in them.
4. Don’t Multitask
Do not be fooled to think that performing numerous tasks at a go translates to productivity. This move can be detrimental to your overall output.
Research has shown that when you attempt to engage in many activities, you lose time and lower your productivity. Take to doing one activity at a time.
There are negative impacts of multitasking and they include:
- It is associated with memory problems that affect how information is stored and how well you can recall it.
- You can get distracted such that you end up losing sight of what is important and what is not.
- Multitasking is one of the sources of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
- It reduces your efficiency which in turn makes you less productive.
While multitasking has become part of our lives, you need to break the chain of performing multiple tasks at the same time or less you lower your productivity completely.
5. Utilize Parkinson’s Principle
According to Parkinson, “work extends to fill the time allocated to it.” In simple terms, it means that when you take a two-hour task and turn it into a 24-hour activity, the work will develop other complexities making it difficult for you to complete it.
This means that you need to have a to-do list that you follow religiously. While at it, you need to identify how much time you will require to perform the tasks that you have set.
Additionally, you need to get rid of time-fillers that do not make any positive impact to your productivity.
Suppose you spend a lot of time on calls or emails that do contribute anything to your work productivity, you need to limit how much time you allocate to the activities.
6. Perform Task Grouping
Again, it is the small tasks that make you waste so much time reducing your overall productivity. To ensure that you do not waste time, you need to group tasks that look similar and purpose to complete them in one instance.
For instance, if you get numerous emails a day, you need to set a specific time where you attend to all emails. When task grouping, you need to take into account the five C’s which are comprised of:
7. Utilize the Pareto Principle
The Pareto principle which is also known as the 80/20 rule, calls for you to give priority to the most high-value tasks. This rule says that 80% of the output stems from 20% of the effort you put into work.
Therefore, you need to make a list of the top activities that produce the most returns and focus on getting them done. This principle is a useful tool is helping you identify the areas that you need to put a lot of effort and resources into to achieve a greater efficiency.
The Pareto principle is also useful in helping you determine what areas are reporting low performance. For instance when you are leading a team of professionals, it could help you identify hurdles such as unskilled employees or social distractions that are impacting your team’s productivity.
Apart from identifying these problems, these 80/20 rules present you with possible solutions to solve them before your work is negatively impacted. Proper utilization of this rule can lead to:
- Improved productivity for your business
- Web page and online optimization
- Enhanced customer experience
The most successful people are known to make use of this rule to make the most out of the work that they do.
Getting better results requires you to put in more hours and work consistently. You should learn to identify high priority tasks and take a proactive approach to getting them done.
When you master these techniques, you automatically make it a habit to achieve better results in whatever you do. Mastering these techniques and strategies should always serve the purpose of climbing up the business growth ladder.
It is pertinent to note that if you are planning to expand in a foreign country, Hong Kong, for instance, you need to allocate resources that address the purpose of starting a business in Hong Kong.
You could collaborate with global PEO services that are familiar with the market you’re trying to dominate, and help make your breakthrough as seamless as possible.
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