Wednesday, April 26, 2017

4 Ways To Be More Productive

As the lines between work and our personal lives become increasingly blurred, it’s easier to become overwhelmed with assignments and professional communications that never seem to end. If you’re comparing yourself to your star coworker or your role model and wondering how they get so much done in the amount of time it takes for you to just get your brain started that day, you’re not alone.

Whether you’re looking to go farther in your career or just make time for your hobby, up your game and get more done today with these 4 tips for increasing productivity:

Find The Music That Works For Your Brain

If you’re trying to work but find that the distractions of your home office, workplace or the internet (or, let’s be real, all of the above) are making it impossible, experiment with different kinds of music. It’s proven both by science and by my own personal life experience that the right sounds can help center you into a task, either by helping you drown out everything else, or set a rhythm your brain can latch onto that helps you work better.

Think Inside The Box

Keep falling flat on creative work? Whether you dub it “writer’s block” or have another name for it, it’s all the same - you can’t think of a new idea without lots and lots of effort. If this is holding back you work, consider if you really should be trying to think of something totally different, or if you can build on what you’ve done before.

There’s a significant body of proof that shows real creative ideas are almost always built on prior experiences and successes, instead of pulled out of thin air. Game of Thrones? Based on the real life Wars of the Roses (House Tyrell forever!), and seasoned with some traditional dragon lore. Cell phones? Inspired by the communicators in Star Trek decades prior.

When you reach into your mind, look for stepping stones that will lead you to the path of success, instead of trying to forge through a thicket of new territory with no direction.

Write Down All Of Your Tasks

You already have plenty to do - don’t make remembering it all one of them too! Writing down everything that needs to be done not only will help you keep track of what’s left, but it will also help you prioritize your list.

If you find that you have more than can realistically get done in a day, start ranking tasks in order of importance. What really needs to be done? What can wait until tomorrow? Even better, what can you delegate or nix entirely?

Writing it all down and ordering it will make even the most hectic schedules a bit more manageable.

Create Deadlines - And Keep Them

It’s really, really difficult to get something done if you don’t have a deadline. While this may not be a problem if you have too much to do, if there’s a project (especially a personal or optional one) you want to get done but keep putting off, maybe the problem is a lack of urgency. For most of us, there’s always some other small task that should get done beforehand, from cleaning the house to making your next doctor appointment to… the list goes on. Once you’re through all the little things? Man, you’re so tired you couldn’t even think of doing more!

If you’re struggling to be more productive, the key may just be being honest with yourself. From acknowledging you have too much on your plate and you need to ask for help, to forcing a deadline on yourself to accomplish a goal you’ve been procrastinating, the best thing you can likely do is question what’s really holding you back.

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