Doesn’t it feel amazing when your able to get so much done in one day? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case whether it be from tiredness, a lack of resources or the fact that there is just too much to get done in a day. How do you fight these variables when trying to be productive to get more done? Try these productivity tricks which have scientific support for a more proactive day.
1. Use Rewards for Yourself
It has been found by researchers that dopamine is released from the brain in anticipation of a reward. So whether you have a small snack you’re working toward or even your lunch break, you’re more likely to be in a better mood as you continue to work. By being relaxed and happy, there is less chance of shutting down critical thinking points of your brain from a fight or flight response. You will be able to view your projects and work with a rational eye and make better good decisions that you won’t regret later.
2. Use Relevant Apps Only
We’re all guilty of checking our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram during our work hours. There are also the sights some people will use to stop themselves from checking such apps while at work. Instead of just blocking particular sites or apps, you can still go another step further by keeping irrelevant apps to the task at hand closed. If you’re working on answering your emails, there’s no reason to have five other tabs open on Chrome with Facebook, Twitter or that article you have been meaning to read. Having so many apps open are potential distractions to the task at hand.
3. Utilize To-Do Lists
It can be very easy to become distracted, going from one task to another without completely finishing the first. For example, you get to work in the morning and begin checking and replying to your emails. You get about three emails through when you see an email asking for sales numbers you had never gotten to. As you receive the number for your boss, your co-worker asks you about the proposal he asked for the previous day.
Now you’re off to find the proposal you had written up while you still have the emails you still haven’t checked and the numbers your boss asked for in your other hand. This continues throughout the day, completing tasks as you think of them which is causing delays in tasks that have higher priority.
Instead of going a task at a time, it is better to add the task to your to-do list and get back to it later so that you can focus on your original job. It is also important to schedule the time you will be addressing the task. This helps in allowing yourself to know whether or not you’ll be able to complete the task and not feel anxious.
4. Cut Five Minutes Off Estimated Time of Tasks
A British historian named Cyril Parkinson observed a number of years ago that people would take longer to complete a task allotting with the time allowed. For example, if someone has 45 minutes to do a 30 minute job, they’ll most likely use the entire 45 minutes for the job. If you’re not familiar with this idea it is called Parkinson’s Law. By taking some time off the amount you think you need, you will have a feeling to work a bit faster and not overcomplicate what you’re doing. If you think a job will take you 30 minutes, you can give yourself 20 or 25 minutes.
5. One Time Task
While not all tasks can be done in one sitting, always try to finish a job in one sitting whenever possible so that you do not have to return to the task at a later time. When arriving at a task, you’ll want to make sure you have the proper time to complete every part such as checking your emails, reading through each message, responding appropriately and clearing any unwanted emails/spam. By completing a task in one sitting you won’t feel as anxious as you would by accumulating half-completed work. When finishing a task completely, you receive a rush of dopamine that increases happiness and motivation.
6. Write More Down
We’re all guilty of this one. We think we’re going to remember something we were told or heard but five minutes later we remember nothing. Before you know it, you’re going back to the person you had already spoken to or fact checking different ways. By writing down more notes, you can easily remember more and will be more productive. You’ll want to use pen and paper to write these notes down, no technology and especially not the notes app on your phone. It has been found by researchers that using longhand improves ones memory and understanding.
How, you ask?
By using pen and paper to write longhand, networks are being built in your brain based on the visual and motor input simultaneously. It is also because your brain focuses on the most critical elements to focus on as there isn’t enough time to write everything down. Using longhand rather than laptops or other technologies has also shown higher grades for those taking notes in school.
As you use these productivity tricks, you don’t necessarily have to fill any time saved with more work. While there is something you could always add, the end goal isn’t just to have the ability to do more. The tips are used to meet obligations in the most efficient way possible so that you have time elsewhere like at home with your family.
Source: Wanda Thibodeaux, Inc.