"I need more hours in the day" is a common complaint of busy people who feel they just can't do it all. While it's impossible to get those extra hours, there are ways to make the existing number of hours we have truly count. The key isn't working longer or harder — it's working smarter.
Here are 25 invaluable tips to rev up your productivity get the biggest return on your efforts.
1. Quiet your distractions. Turn off the TV, silence the cell phone, and get to work.
2. Make a list of priorities. Knowing what needs to be accomplished is the first step in getting it all done.
3. Take short breaks throughout your work day. By letting your brain think about something else for a while, you can come back to your desk with fresh eyes.
4. Set a timer and give yourself a specific amount of time to do a task.
5. Write things down when they pop into your head. If it isn't related to what you're doing, make a note to do it later. Don't interrupt your current task to work on something else.
6. Limit your multitasking. It actually makes things take longer and they're usually done with lower quality.
7. Put yourself on a schedule so all of your tasks get completed on time and being productive becomes routine.
8. Plan ahead. Don't start a task until you have prepped everything needed to get it done once you've started.
9. Use plugins on your browser to improve your workflow. OneTab condenses all of your open tabs into one, cutting down on computer clutter while saving your place.
10. Do the things you hate to do the most right away. If you just get them over with, you will do less procrastinating throughout the day.
11. Keep your eyes on the prize. Remind yourself what you're working toward, and it'll help keep you on task.
12. Clear the clutter from your workspace. Having a clean desk will make you feel more relaxed and provide fewer distractions.
13. Set aside time to do similar activities together, such as responding to emails, making phone calls, and scheduling appointments.
14. Get some exercise. Even something small like taking a walk each day will boost your brain activity, allowing you to get more done.
15. Keep a list of routine tasks that take 5 minutes or less to complete. This will help you be productive if a meeting is delayed slightly or you find other short bits of down time.
16. Learn to type correctly to make your time at the computer more efficient. Home keys: learn 'em, love 'em.
17. Break large jobs up into smaller pieces. Large jobs can feel like they're never going to end. Find smaller milestones within the bigger picture to focus on so you feel like you're accomplishing more and keep up the momentum.
18. Eat healthy food. Keep your brain fog to a minimum by cutting down on processed carbs and eating
19. Don't forget to sleep. Your mind works much better when you've had a good night's rest.
20. Figure out when you work best. Whether you are an early bird or a night owl, try to get work done when your body is most alert.
21. Give your brain a caffeine boost to kick productivity into overdrive.
22. Improve your commute. If you spend a long time sitting in traffic each day, try leaving the house a few minutes earlier or find a new route to cut down on that wasted time.
23. Ask for help. You're only one person, so if you're drowning in tasks that you're having a hard time completing, don't be afraid to ask for some assistance to get it done faster.
24. Don't shop during peak time. Stay out of the grocery store right after work during the week or on Saturday morning, and you'll get in and out much faster.
25. Drink water. Your thinking gets fuzzy when the body is dehydrated, so making sure you're getting enough water will keep your brain sharp.
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