There’s no denying it, maintaining productivity on a daily basis is not easy. However, instead of beating ourselves up about times when we weren’t able to match the productivity of the day before, it is more constructive to find the key success factors that we can rely on to work towards consistent and repeatable productivity. Instead of feverishly trying to avoid losing focus, it is better to take an additive approach. Below are some practices that have been proven to contribute to consistent productivity.
We aren’t machines and taking breaks can help us keep our energy up. Any time we lose in a five minute break is well worth it if we are able to productively work for another hour or so as a result. One productivity method that has been proven to increase productivity is the pomodoro technique. This technique, which divides time into twenty-five minute segments, has breaks built in. After every segment, or pomodoro, you are encouraged to take a five minute break. After four of these pomodoros, you take a longer, twenty minute break. Rather than pushing you to finish something in one sitting, this technique emphasizes manageable amounts of uninterrupted time and sees breaks as contributing to your ability to avoid interruptions.
Giving Yourself Credit for Accomplishments
A lot of times we get stressed and lose productivity because we do not acknowledge what we have already accomplished. If we never feel a sense of accomplishment, all the work that we do can start to feel pointless. Instead, looking at what you have already done reminds you that this is what hard work produces-progress and a sense of satisfaction. In addition, according to motivational speaker, William Arruda, taking time for self-congratulation is key because it is a great confidence builder. When other people are too busy to acknowledge your strengths, you simply need to do it yourself.
Maintaining Realistic Expectations
Another thing that can greatly sap productivity is a constant feeling of failure. When we put too much on our list we will never succeed. While challenging ourselves to accomplish an unheard of amount of tasks in one day might seem like just what we need to kickstart our motivation and send us into hyperdrive, more often than not, when we invariably do not finish everything, we end up demotivated the next time we start work. Instead, consistently accomplishing realistic goals encourages us and will lead to a greater sense of productivity which will in turn lead to an increase in actual productivity.
Multitasking is not possible. In fact, continuing to try do it does more harm for our productivity than good. When we think that we are multitasking we are actually frantically jumping back and forth between several different tasks, unwittingly losing time as our brains try to keep up with all the context switching. Instead, being content to do one task at a time and doing it as best as you can is much better for your productivity.
Staying Focused on Goals
It is difficult to stay productive when you cannot quite remember why you are working on the mountain of work in front of you. Make sure that you always understand why and how each task is important to your goals. A good practice is to consistently challenge each task as if it was personally trying to steal your time. Perhaps you keep feeling like you should do a task but you can’t actually figure out how it will help. These are the tasks that demotivate you and distract you from more important things. You are able to to tackle the tasks that you see as directly contributing to your goals with a much better sense of purpose, which will encourage you to work more productively. One way to make sure that all of your tasks are connected to goals is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. The Eisenhower Matrix categorizes tasks based on priority level, and this is directly related to how it will impact your goals. When you look at your tasks placed in the Eisenhower Matrix, you directly see the impact of accomplishing each and every one of them.
Finding the Right Tools
When we do not have the right tools, productivity can suffer. Finding the right notebook, organizer or project management software can do wonders to help productivity because these tools are supposed to continually support our efforts. To find the right tool, do your research to see what methods and software is out there. This way, you will get a sense of your options before you make a choice. One productivity tool to check out is Priority Matrix, a priority and project management software that directly uses the Eisenhower Matrix. You can download a free trial today!
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