Being productive is very important not only during work hours but also at home and in your personal life. However, a lot of your productivity can be improved or impaired by poor organization, lack of routine, a bad diet, or even an uncomfortable chair.
Many people think it’s all about using the right apps and employing “life hacks” and you’re all set, but it’s a lot more than that – your state of mind also plays a huge part. Besides, not every method will work for everyone.
This is why I consider the following tips more along the lines of suggestions. These have worked wonders for me over the years, and I bet at least one of these will already improve your workflow and daily routine.
Take short breaks
You might have already heard of the Pomodoro method, in which you work in small chunks of 25 minutes and take 5-minute breaks in between every block of work. I tried this for a bit but it wasn’t working because I tend to be more focused after the initial 15-20 minutes, so adding a break right after that felt odd.
So I started working in chunks of 45 minutes, which was enough time for me to concentrate and make a lot of progress before taking a small break. Since I don’t like to keep timing everything and live by the clock, I would simply measure time in different ways.
So a short break would be a bathroom break, a snack break, or long enough to watch a video before resuming work. I found that most of the time I set a timer for 45 minutes, I would be so into it that I would work for longer than that and get more done.
Don’t be afraid to try new methods and make small adjustments based on what works better for you. These are supposed to help you, not hinder you!
Find a method to stay organized and stick to it
One of my greatest flaws when it comes to organization is that I love trying out new apps. On the one hand, that’s a good habit that introduced me to a lot of useful tools I use to this day, but on the other… It made me incredibly disorganized.
I would end up creating lists and notes on several different apps, making it hard to find where the important stuff was. And I highly recommend creating lists, but if you do, choose one app and stick to it.
The same goes for your general note-taking and calendars. Try not to spread out over several different apps because that just makes it hard to keep track of yourself.
Break down big tasks in small chunks
It can be daunting to start a new complex task when the process feels so long. As a practical example, writing a single article usually takes several hours for me, but half of the process isn’t about the writing.
First, there’s research, outlining, looking for images, and only then does the writing begin. I found that the first half of this process was grueling when I had a lot of tasks to go over, so I changed the order in which I did it.
I started to first decide what I would be working on for the week (or for that day) and outline the schedule for all of them at once. Once everything was ready, I sat down and started one by one. This helped me maintain a better workflow, instead of the fragmented way I was doing it before.
If you find yourself struggling in a similar way, try to break your tasks into smaller chunks like this!
Eat, drink, sleep
Your productivity will always suffer if you’re not having enough sleep and nutrition, and there’s no way around it.
At least 6 hours of sleep is the bare minimum required for your body to rest, with 8 hours being the ideal. But don’t forget to eat and drink a lot of water during the day – water alone is enough to give you a shot of energy. Our body is 60% water, we need it way more than we think.
Identify your biggest distractions
This is where most people struggle, but we’re all distracted by different things and for different reasons.
Social media nowadays is a common enemy of productivity, with its enticing allure of constant new information every few seconds. For that, I recommend staying away from your phone – mute it and preferably store it inside a drawer so that the blinking screen won’t divert your eyes.
And while emails are important for work, it’s not a good habit to check them every 15 minutes. Ideally, check them at set times during the day – when you start working and during the afternoon. That should be enough time to reply to what you need.
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