Productivity. This word is the new obsession of this digital era. Staying on tasks, avoiding distractions, and multitasking are a few misconceived habits of highly productive people. Developing productive habits is much more than just checking tasks off your to-do list. If you really want to be productive, you have to start by changing small aspects of your daily routine. Below are four habits you can start practicing to improve your daily routine and increase your productivity.
1. Break Down Your To-Do List
Before you start an assignment, you should ask yourself questions like: What do I need to achieve? How will I know if the task is successful? How do I gauge its success? What’s the timeline? What resources do I need—people, budget, tools, support, etc., How many of these resources are under my control?
Once you have identified the answers to these questions, sit down and write a list with all the important things you have to accomplish during the day. What’s the point of having a 50-task to-do list when you know you can only complete only a few of them? Take a quality-over-quantity approach and only focus on the tasks that really matter, foregoing the tasks that have minimal effect on your overall productivity.
2. Take More Breaks
You have back pain, your head aches, your eyes twitch… when symptoms like these arise, it is time to give yourself a break. Working from sunrise to sunset does not make a person more productive. On the contrary, regular breaks for things as essential as drinking a glass of water, having a snack or moving around, can help you be more effective and efficient. If it is hard for you to find the time to stop, add breaks into your schedule strategically. Having a 15-minute break for every 60 consecutive minutes of non-stop working will do the trick.
3. Stop Multitasking
Contrary to popular belief, multitasking is not a skill to brag about, but to worry about. Recent studies indicate multitasking is less efficient because it takes extra time to shift your eyes every time you switch between tasks. Also, multitasking can actually affect your brain efficiency by dropping your IQ 15 points. Less is more when it comes to increasing productivity during your day. Get things done more productively by focusing on one task at a time.
4. Have a Productive Morning Routine
Mornings set the mood for the entire day. How your day starts can be the difference between a productive and an unproductive day. Creating a morning routine will help you start your day on the right foot. Start your day by waking up early—at the same time every day—and having a substantial breakfast. It is also a good idea to meditate for 5 to 10 minutes. There are great apps that will guide you with light prompts. If meditation is not your cup of tea, do something that helps you release your stress, such as running, writing or even reading.
Becoming more productive is within your reach and in your control. Start today by using these 4 habits to help increase your productivity.