Do you feel unproductive, did your New Year’s resolutions fail, or have you lost steam? The bad news is, there are no secret tricks to achieve miracle productivity results.
But stay with us, because the good news is we can help you.
We’ll teach you how to tackle main productivity challenges one by one and equip you with the best tools to do so.
Why You Feel Unproductive
Was becoming more productive one of your New Year’s resolutions? Maybe you didn’t stick with it. But have you asked yourself why?
Often we get a good start and then somehow seem to lose focus and energy along the way. That’s why recharging and keeping balance is so important.
Studies keep popping up with scientific evidence proving that happy people are more productive. A Gallup-Healthways study even found that unhappiness among workers in the US is costing around $300 billion per year in lost productivity.
The obvious question that comes next is: how do you make and keep yourself happy?
The easiest way to personal harmony and well-being is making sure all your basic needs are met. You can start taking care of your body and soul today. Following this simple checklist will help you find balance.
1. Pay Attention to Your Sleeping Schedule
Sleep seems like the most basic human need, yet almost everyone is guilty of ignoring it to some extent. Sticking to a regular sleeping schedule will help you limit the stress in your life, become more alert, and feel more energized every day.
If you have trouble sleeping, check out these secrets to sleeping peacefully. Among obvious things like sticking to a bedtime, you might discover something new for yourself.
2. Start Exercising Daily
By the way, one of the secrets to getting a good night’s rest is physical activity and regular exercise.
It almost seems wrong to exercise when you already feel like you’re lacking energy. However, it’s a proven fact that the more energy you spend, the more of it you generate. This one is of extra importance for those who spend most of their working day sitting at their desk. If your body hasn’t burned any physical energy it may not feel that it needs to sleep at all.
3. Don’t Forget About Your Diet
We’re not talking about weight loss here. This is about knowing and understanding what you eat. Why? Because what you’re eating and drinking directly affects your sleep, mood, well-being, and ultimately productivity.
Eating well can also help you generate more energy. And the best thing about it all is that you can easily teach yourself how to start and maintain a healthy diet online.
4. Take Care of Your Well-Being
Mindfulness is scientifically proven to be good for the soul.
The technique can be used to take your mind away from negative or bothersome thoughts, by grounding you in your surroundings through the awareness of oneself. What better way is there to reach harmony?
Maybe not a better, but a different way towards your well-being is meditation. It’s another great technique to help you calm your mind and get rid of the unnecessary stress in your life.
5. Increase or Limit Social Activity
Depending on how much time you spend being socially active, the lack or excess of communication can be a source of your unhappiness. Over one week, try and track all the social activity that you participate in, social networking excluded.
You may find that you don’t connect with other people enough, which means it’s time to give a few of your old friends a call. Or maybe you spend so much time and energy on other people, you don’t get enough time to rest and recharge afterward.
There are several powerful TED talks that can help you understand and revolutionize your social interactions to make sure you get the most out of them.
Pick Your Productivity Challenge
When you feel content and well, it’s much easier to find motivation for a certain task. Boosting your productivity won’t happen in a day, but the most difficult part is to get started. In order to not get overwhelmed by your own goals, we suggest you pick one of the three main productivity challenges to begin working on today.
Think of what you struggle with most: is it task management, communication, or maybe time management? Start with the one you fear most for more fruitful results.
Challenge 1: Staying on Top of Your Projects
Task Management may sometimes seem like no play and a lot of work. Especially if you’re managing a big team. But of course, there’s nothing impossible. Use this short algorithm that will help you start planning for the future and leave your task management troubles behind:
- Start small.
- Break big tasks into smaller pieces.
- Do the “scary” tasks first.
- Keep focused on one task at a time.
All of these might seem obvious, but try and monitor the way you work on the next project. You’ll be surprised to see how rarely we actually stick to these quite banal and simple rules.
Your Tech Aid: If you often feel overwhelmed by a number of different projects you have to juggle, you’re probably not using the right tools. A good project management platform can save you a lot of time and effort.
Thankfully, there are a few excellent tools out there that you can get for free. The two biggest names out there are Trello and Asana. Both are tested and trusted, and if you haven’t started using one of them yet, maybe now is a good time to give it a try.
To help you decide which one is best suited for you and your needs, use our mini comparison guide of the two project management giants.
Another impressive tool that can help you get your work done is Evernote. It’s a cross-platform tool for taking notes, managing tasks, and storing information with its suite of apps. Learn how to take full advantage of all things Evernote has to offer and it will make your life significantly easier.
Challenge 2: Becoming a Time Management Pro
There’s an opinion that procrastination can’t be cured by task management apps. And while that might be true for numerous to-do-list tools, there are working tips (and tech) that you can use to beat procrastination. The best one of them yet is creating your own rituals and habits to get yourself started.
How does it work? It makes the unpleasant parts of a task more appealing so you can deal with them. For example, listen to a song you love while getting dressed for the gym. Or instead of creating your own, use rituals and techniques that already have a proven record of improving your time management skills.
Your Tech Aid: A good example of an existing ritual that will help you tackle your time-wasting habits is the Pomodoro technique. A simple kitchen timer holds the secret to your productivity. Hard to believe? Our writers have tried it out before, and the Pomodoro technique does have a life-changing effect.
The secret is to put your productivity on cue, limit any distractions, and help you turn your working routine into an exciting challenge. Ready to rocket your productivity with Pomodoro technique? Start by getting one of these apps that will change the way you see time management once and for all.
Challenge 3: Choosing Smart Communication
Communication and communication tools specifically can both increase or limit your productivity, depending on whether you choose the ones that suit your needs and skills. Sometimes communication creates distractions that can be difficult to manage.
So how can you turn things around and make your communication tools work for you? Once again, there are a few simple rules to follow:
- Choose your communication methods right
Different tasks require different means of communication. Some projects should be discussed via email, while other problems might require the use of team communication platforms like Slack and similar.
- Separate your work and personal communication
In order to not get overwhelmed, use different tools for work and personal communication. It’ll also help you avoid confusion and embarrassing mistakes, like sending a private message to a work colleague instead of a friend.
- Treat communication as a separate task
A task that needs its own routine and a time-slot. Otherwise, you may end up spending your entire day replying to emails.
Your Tech Aid: Speaking of email, choose your app right and it’ll come with a great number of advantages. You can set reminders, pin important emails, and get access to smart search. All those little things can potentially save you a lot of time.
Are You Happy With Your Productivity Levels?
Sadly, making productivity your Christmas wish isn’t enough to make you stop procrastinating and start getting things done. But identifying what productivity challenges you face daily and using the right tools to tackle them might just do the trick.
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