Attract the Right Job or Clientele: 4 Simple Strategies To Enhance Your Productivity
From procrastination to clutter to missed deadlines, it seems that roadblocks pop up everywhere in the quest for increased productivity. There is no single key to self-improvement when it comes to making the most out of your day. But there are steps you can take – follow this guide to becoming more productive.
Stagger your to-do list, starting with the easiest, least intimidating task.
Get More Sleep
Productivity and hard work are often associated with burning the midnight oil and then getting up early. But the reality is that sleep deprivation is bad – really bad. Not only is sleep deprivation linked to increased risk of everything from diabetes to stroke, but it depletes cognitive function, memory and the ability to perform basic tasks. Get a good night's sleep and tackle the day when you're well-rested. You'll have fewer hours in the day, but they'll be much more productive hours.
Stagger Your To-Do List
As discussed in the article "6 Ways to Take Your Office Productivity into the Next Generation," calendar management is everything. But it's all for naught if you don't actually do the things you're supposed to do on any given day.
Before you go to bed at night, write down 3-5 things that you absolutely have to do the next day. Increase your likelihood of actually doing them by scheduling an easy or fun task first. You'll build momentum and give yourself that warm, fuzzy feeling of crossing something off of your to-do list. Now that you're warmed up, do the heavy lifting by putting the hardest thing second. Do the second-easiest thing third, second-hardest thing fourth and so on.
There are many kinds of meditation, but the easiest and most common is to sit in a comfortable position and focus only on your breathing. When you're mind wanders – which it inevitably will while you're getting the hang of it – don't worry, just bring your focus back to your breathing.
The key to meditation is consistency. It is a muscle, and one that atrophies quickly. Get into a routine and meditate daily. The more frequently you do it, the more benefits you'll realize – and the benefits are numerous and powerful. Meditation can increase overall focus, mental dexterity, reduce anxiety and stress and, yes, increase overall productivity.
Puzzles, such as number and word games, improve cognitive function, memory and the ability to focus and retain information. Test yourself with game apps on your phone, or even a jigsaw puzzle at night. Also called "brain training," engaging in a daily puzzle that tests your cognitive function can help you be more productive all day long.
When practiced regularly, meditation can clear the mind and improve the ability to focus throughout the day.
Being more productive is a vague goal that many of us harbor when we know the things that we need to do, but find a way to not do them. Go back to the basics. Get sufficient sleep, keep your mind limber with meditation and puzzle games, and schedule your tasks in a way that gives you a mental edge.
Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer who covers small-business management and self employment.