We often find ourselves in chains of interruptions and our control is flying out of the window. The current era is filled with lots of fancy and compelling distractions like the internet and social media; thus, conquering the art of productivity is the real deal.
Everybody has a different perspective of productivity in their mind. Some want to do a job with little resources without the extra hassle, and some want to achieve their goal in less time. It doesn’t matter how we perceive it, but the one thing we know for sure is that it brings harmony and balance to life.
Some people motivate themselves to do a job by listening to motivational speeches or quotes, and some might go by logging into productivity apps. Regardless of the method to remain productive, we often search for tips and tricks for productivity.
If you are also finding yourself in this situation, we have accumulated some of the best and most practical personal productivity tips to help you get out of this ordeal. Here are the best top 10 productivity tips, so before delaying any further, let’s dig deeper!
What is Personal Productivity?
Personal productivity is achieving tasks efficiently and keeping your life in line. How you become more productive depends upon your individual situation. Ultimately, we need to prioritize what we want so that we reach our goals and avoid burnout. What is a good reason for setting goals? Well, when one is aiming towards a goal, they are looking forward to every time.
Personal productivity refers to the ability to be productive at work and in your personal life. It’s the ability to complete tasks efficiently and effectively every day. This includes being able to complete work faster, be organized, create a schedule, track your habits, and stay focused during your work time. This is a critical aspect of time management and planning your day or week.
Productivity is not just about being busy or doing stuff; it’s about getting things done well. To achieve and improve your personal productivity levels, you need to organize yourself first thing in the morning, prioritize tasks, and keep track of your progress and the amount of time spent productively.
There are many ways or systems you can use to improve personal productivity, including setting goals, delegating responsibilities, time blocking, and scheduling free time for personal activities.
For example, to be your best self, you need to schedule time in your digital planner, task management app, or physical or paper calendar to focus on your self care. Using personal productivity tools or a digital management app can help you organize your life, set goals, and create productive habits, such as getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising regularly, and enjoying leisure activities.
This is an important productivity step and by making these personal productivity tools in your life, you’ll be your best self and perform better. When you perform better and more things will get done.
Why is Personal Productivity Important?
Personal productivity is important because it helps you be more effective at work and life every day or week. You can complete tasks and get stuff done when you use your time wisely.
You need to be productive to spend your time effectively, and you need to be efficient to take advantage of time management tactics.
When you do not use a personal productivity system, method, or app, you won’t have data to help you schedule your tasks or improve your habits. This means time tracking will be difficult and it will be harder to set goals or focus on your most urgent project.
When you’re being productive, you will utilize better time management methods and won’t waste much time trying to tackle multiple tasks at once. This will allow you to save time and focus on what’s urgent, which means personal productivity is essential to living a happy and fulfilling life.
Personal productivity enables you to complete tasks quickly and efficiently, and to have enough free time to pursue leisure activities. This makes personal productivity an important task every day or week.
It helps you save time and energy and makes you more successful at whatever you do. If you’re not getting things done, it may be because you don’t know what your personal productivity percentage is or lack personal productivity skills.
How Can You Measure Personal Productivity?
Measuring personal productivity is essential if you want to be more productive.
There are many methods, systems, and ways to measure personal productivity. You can use a pen and paper method or you can measure your personal productivity using a digital app.
Time tracking is one of the most important aspects of measuring personal productivity. You can track a single activity and how much time you spent on it, as an example.
You can view how often you used your calendar for time blocking. When using a system to measure personal productivity, such as the Eisenhower Matrix, you can schedule a time block for every urgent task. Having a system like the Eisenhower Matrix will help with time tracking and give you a visual representation of what you need to focus on every day.
Other examples of methods you can use to measure personal productivity include:
- Post a sticky note as a visual reminder for what you need to focus on each day. Using sticky notes is a simple, yet effective system for those who want to create a pen and paper method as a time management tool.
- How often distractions derailed your productivity. This can include how much time you spent on social media or meetings you attended that were not necessary.
- Number of completed projects or tasks. If you complete your tasks consistently, that means your productivity system is working well.
- How many proposals you create and how many sales they bring in. Being productive should lead to specific goals you want to achieve, which includes revenue goals.
- Number of hours you work every day and how much time you spend on productive tasks. Being busy does not always equate to being productive. What you get done is more important than the hours you work.
- How much time you spend on unimportant tasks. Your goals should be to reduce how much time you spend on tasks that are not important. Aim to delegate as many of these tasks as possible.
- The average amount of time you spend on a given task. If a task takes longer than you had planned, find out why. Sometimes, it may mean you did not allow enough time for the task.
- What the quality of your work was. Did you finish all the tasks assigned to you? How long did it take you to accomplish the task?
- The number of times you failed to meet deadlines. Do you have reasons for missing deadlines?
If you’re looking to improve your personal productivity, these metrics will help you decide where to invest your time and energy.
How Can You Improve Personal Productivity?
Many people use productivity software but to get the maximum use from the application you will require an integrated product development strategy. A productivity system provides a framework for managing time and identifying your priorities — making your job a reality by executing your tasks. List some common productivity techniques that are commonly accepted by many people striving to achieve better productivity.
There are many ways to improve personal productivity, including setting goals, planning ahead, delegating, prioritizing, and managing distractions.
Setting goals helps you focus on what needs to be done. Planning allows you to prepare for upcoming projects and helps with getting things done. Delegating means assigning specific responsibilities to others. Prioritizing lets you determine what matters most and eliminates unnecessary activities. Managing distractions keeps you from getting distracted by things that aren’t important.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take time to plan your day. Then set aside 15 minutes each morning to review your schedule and prioritize your tasks. Also, aim to delegate at least one task per week to another person. When you find yourself becoming distracted, stop whatever you’re doing and focus your energy on what matters most.
There are many ways to improve personal productivity. Here are tips to help you become more productive.
- Prioritize. Make a list of everything you need to do each day. Then prioritize them based on importance. This helps you stay focused and avoid getting overwhelmed.
- Set goals. Write down specific daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. These goals should be realistic and attainable. When you set goals, they should motivate you to work harder and achieve more. Use sticky notes as a visual reminder of the goals you want to achieve.
- Focus on quality over quantity. Don’t try to do too much at once. Instead, set aside a certain amount of time every day to complete important projects.
- Be organized. Create a system for managing your time and prioritizing your tasks. Use a calendar, task manager, or notebook to keep notes, track your progress, and post your wins.
- Take breaks. Every hour or two, take a break and relax. Doing this allows you to recharge, so you can focus on your next task.
- Reward yourself. Give yourself small rewards when you reach milestones. For example, give yourself a treat after completing a project or writing a certain number of words.
- Keep learning. Read books, watch videos, attend meetings or seminars, and join social media communities. Note what’s working well and what you need to change. Learning new things keeps you sharp and improves your skills.
- Find balance. Work hard, play hard. Balance your professional life with your personal life. Have fun and spend time with friends and family.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation makes you tired and unfocused. Go to bed early and wake up early. Also, limit caffeine intake. Caffeine causes anxiety and stress, making it harder to fall asleep.
- Exercise regularly. Regular exercise boosts energy, increases concentration, and reduces stress. Choose activities that you enjoy and find relaxing.
For teams to be productive they must also take a look at productivity in their individual lives. Only a better management of the work life can prevent the effects of stress and fatigue.
What are Examples of Personal Productivity?
Personal productivity is not just about getting things done because it affects many aspects of life, including personal health, relationships, finances, career advancement, and self-improvement.
Here are some examples of personal productivity:
- Being organized and efficient at work.
- Getting things done quickly.
- Making progress towards accomplishing goals.
- Managing your time well.
- Improving your skills and knowledge.
- Taking care of yourself.
- Having healthy habits.
- Doing things you enjoy.
- Finding a balance between work and leisure.
- Knowing what your priorities are and what you should say no to.
What Adds to Your Personal Productivity?
Things that add to your personal productivity include:
- Setting priorities.
- Planning ahead.
- Time management.
- Focusing on what’s most important.
- Staying motivated.
- Learning new skills.
- Eliminating distractions.
- Keeping a positive attitude.
- Energy management.
The Challenge with Being Productive Right Now
Remote working is becoming increasingly common for many companies who work in unfamiliar places. Over time there have emerged two narrative stories to the massive transformation — some companies report higher employee productivity while some insist upon returning to work.
A study showed that remote working improved productivity and mental health and that self-regulation could influence productivity. Those able to adapt quickly to changing situations and withstand the distractions will also stay productive when working remotely.
We also live in an age where technology is constantly changing. The internet is always evolving, so we need to stay current with all the latest trends.
Being productive right now means being able to work efficiently and effectively at any given moment. And yet, we’re often not very efficient when it comes to our personal productivity. We procrastinate, we waste time on social media, and we fail to complete tasks because the way we have been accustomed to working has changed.
However, there’s hope! There are many ways to improve your personal productivity if you follow the tips mentioned below.
Approach productivity problems with logical thinking. Many people struggle to admit that they are distracted easily. We have to examine the ugly aspects to get better.
Top 10 Best Personal Productivity Tips
As a way to increase productivity, personal improvement is an excellent catalyst. When a person is thinking about improving his productivity, they also point out where the gaps lie within their working environment. You may find yourself prone to tired / distracted behavior. It can be necessary to learn to conserve time and energy to increase productivity. Some people realize they can’t work every morning to reach the goal they want. This may mean that they have to separate urgency from important tasks to devote more time and attention to important tasks.
Here are the top 10 productivity tips, so before delaying any further, let’s dig deeper!
1. Make a to-do list
Perfect for people with a tendency to do many projects but finish very few. How do we visualize our work? Personal Kanban can be a very easy-to-use system. It’s an excellent feature. Often you just need to see progress on your projects. How Kanban is used: You can divide your projects into three categories: to accomplish, in process, done. This easy system appears to be much stronger.
Start by making a list of tasks that need to be done in a day. This way, you have a clear idea of what you need to do that day. Moreover, writing down the to-do tasks will help you remember every one of them without the risk of getting forgotten during a busy day. You should take your time in the morning and start by making a to-do list for the day. The jobs will get designated in your memory, and once you complete one job, you can move to another. This way, it will motivate you to move faster to the next job on your to-do list, thus boosting your productivity level.
At Dominican University, Dr. Gail Mathew researched the results of writing down goals and concluded that those who write down a list of to-do jobs are more likely to finish those tasks.
If you need something quick, you can always use a smartphone or a note-taking app to have them on your phone. Note app captures knowledge not simply by capturing ideas but helps organize it according to your workflow so you don’t spend too long searching for it later. They help with project planning and knowledge management and they help with keeping your organization consistent. There is an abundance of different ways of taking notes which feels like a daily update on notes.
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2. Figure out your most productive time
Perfect for someone with a passion for data and experimentation and who needs to increase efficiency in their daily routines. How it helps to monitor biological cycles and determine best times for various productivity types. It is an amazing nerdy way to go! It takes time and effort to learn yourself but personal productivity insights can pay off over time. This simple idea aims to track our energy and focus so that you can understand when and how productive we are.
It is imperative to figure out the time you are most productive. Finding your most productive time of the day will make your job a lot easier, and you will finally have that vigorous energy to finish your tasks. And we all want to relish that peace of finishing tasks? Right?
The research done by Jennifer Ackerman in the Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body shows that when we wake up for the first 2.5 to 4 hours, our brains have an increased productivity level. During this time, our brains produce hormones that will be of great help in tackling challenging assignments. You can use this productive time of your brain to your advantage by setting your list of jobs accordingly. You can place a few complicated assignments upfront to deal with them with an active and alert brain.
Once your fear of failing has been lowered to manageable proportions, your work will begin. Using your planned schedule is only half the fun! Keep track of your progress.
3. Finish your hardest task first
Everyone has the less pleasant jobs on their to-do list that they keep delaying, whether it’s research assignments that require brainstorming or searching for the content for the blogs with long details. The cycle continues unless you put an end to it.
One of the effective productivity tips is to eat the frog first – meaning you should always tackle your most dreaded or least pleasant task first in the morning. It will boost you to thrive to the next task of the day.
Eat The Frog is an easy method for improving the productivity and efficiency of your job. Frogs are often used as your most intimidating task. When you start doing this early in the afternoon and have the most energy, you will have it easier for you. Using frogs in a row, tackle the hardest first. Do this all the time and continue to make progress towards impactful jobs. The satisfaction of accomplishing the tasks you have set in your mind will motivate you to continue.
In the morning, we are less likely to be inclined to distractions and have better energy to do complex assignments. But some people prefer to do the easy jobs first in the morning, and as the days go by, we would be left with low energy to deal with complex jobs. As writer Michael Hyatt mentions, “slay the dragon in the breakfast”, indicating to get done with the most complicated part of the job first thing in the morning.
4. Take time for breaks
You are most productive when you take breaks during work. Nobody can stay productive all day working because, after some time, the law of diminishing influences by reducing productivity. When making a schedule of to-do tasks, add a break of 5 to 15 minutes. It will significantly affect your efficiency, and you can return to your work productive and active. When working for a long time, give yourself a 5-minute break and stretch your legs or do anything relaxing during that period.
Do you need re-orientation to avoid repetitive tasks? Tell me the process: you work for 25 minutes, take a five-minute break and repeat. After four sessions, Pomodoro takes longer breaks of 15 min. Using small steps in an important task can be done quickly and efficiently. Breaking into each session can help improve mental clarity and motivation all day long. Working in short intervals can help increase the pressure on the work. Since each session is devoted solely to one objective, it’s important that you develop a better resistance to distractions.
The US Army research institute conducted a study showing that people taking breaks of 15 to 20 minutes after working for 90 minutes have more energy to stay focused on a job for a long duration. Spend your break creatively by talking to a funny friend, singing your favorite song, or whatever lightens your mood. Do it!
5. Cut big projects into chunks
How can setting goals help you get more accomplished? It’s easy to develop a habit by doing something positive (e.g., reading). As long as we stick with our behavior, the motivation to accomplish our goal will increase. The task management tools available for this purpose allow the user to build his own habit tracking system and another app will also help. Habit tracking tools can help you track your progress by tracking your habits and gaining a trackable reward.
People often get overwhelmed by a large project and fear doing it because of the massive details and time it requires. Janet Polivy mentioned in her research that our brains tend to fear and avoid complicated and complex projects. You can break a daunting and challenging project into manageable small assignments to overcome this problem.
Make a checklist of steps of the job to ensure completion. It would simplify the workflow and provide a good environment for you and your team to work. Completing each small assignment of a big project would not only get the job done on schedule but would also empower the team. The team will have a motivating and positive environment that will help them prioritize work.
The next phase in the development cycle involves defining clear goals in a clear direction for your productivity. For real progress, it requires milestones. This is a good way of thinking: If you have specific criteria that you must meet within a specific timeframe, you can drive your work more effectively.
6. Find suitable productivity apps
The use of productivity tools will simplify and organize your list of jobs in the best way possible. There are thousands of apps for productivity that are more than just assembling tasks.
Productivity apps are also capable of remembering your passwords and come with an option like a timer. Moreover, most productivity apps have premium features like scanning business cards. You can incorporate these tools with long beneficial details into your job strategy as it will simplify your company checklist and ensure the completion of each assignment. These helpful details empower the team, and they can prioritize work in a healthy working environment.
On the typical workday, it is likely that you will need several tools in order to accomplish your most important task. That’s how automation happens with workflows. Integrated automation software allows you to connect multiple applications to enable the transfer of data between these systems with ease. Nowadays, it is possible to automate most tasks without knowing the code.
7. Take time to meditate and exercise
Many of you might perceive that meditating and exercising between work would waste time, but that’s not true. Humans are not robots and thus are not made for constant work. Our body needs rest from the constant stress of a job. Meditation is a great way to relieve stress and helps boost willpower. Take some extra minutes from your job and start meditating. It will strengthen your willpower and align your energy to focus on your job better. It will also clear your mind and untangle your cluttered thoughts, and help you think of your next step.
Another aspect to making yourself more productive is changing your attitude toward supporting others. It’s not easy for anyone who wants to improve their abilities. Especially when you expect too much or are too strict about yourself. Strictness is one big reason for abandoning habits or failing halfway. Can we become our own best cheerleaders with real life experiences?
Exercise is the primary source to keep humans healthy and fit, and we all know healthy people are more productive. They have a greater tendency to deal with stress without giving into it. You don’t have to spend hours doing hard exercises to increase productivity. Still, you can take extra minutes to walk in your job area or to do some isometric exercises.
8. Avoid distractions
Perfect for those who have to strategize and plan before committing. Using this software can convert big abstract plans into actionable plans. Since SMART productivity methods began their use, dozens of changes have been made. SMART focuses on identifying and implementing big ideas into the real world using questions and experiments with them to determine what will make the idea work. SMART represents specific, quantifiable, assignment-ready, realistic time and precision.
The notification overloads from social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram will distract you. The constant pings and buzz of notifications serve great distraction and keep you from staying productive for an extended period. The appealing urge to check the notifications will not solely help you pay attention to your job. The best way to combat the distraction of notifications overload is to turn your mobile device off during work. It will save you a lot of time.
Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer at Ides Capital, Dianne McKeever, said she puts everything on mute when she starts work. This way, she is less likely to give in to distractions when there is no sound of any notifications. Moreover, some apps have features of dynamic notifications. You can set how you want to be notified according to work priorities. This way, you get notifications that are essential for work. It is an effective way to remain productive during working hours with fewer risks of giving in to distractions.
If you are working from home, you may find interesting our article about staying productive while working remotely.
9. Strategize for tomorrow, today
Suitable for anyone needing to convert creative brainstorms into actionable to-do lists. It is designed to tidy up some of the more difficult aspects of a project. The action method was invented at Behance in 2006 to simplify creative meetings. It’s a challenge to do creative work, but it often needs a messy approach. It requires discipline but in fact it requires an orderly system. The Action Method allows for the transition from ideas to actionable steps with deadlines and assignments (for example, if we use action methods in our teams).
At the end of the day, when you have tackled all your business, dedicate minutes to thinking about the duties of the next day. Review each task and note productive things you have to do tomorrow. It helps you focus on the critical duties tomorrow when going to your job. You will have a clear idea of the things you need to tackle.
Founder of GTD Method, the productivity expert David Allen when giving personal productivity tips, said that before going to bed, he dedicates minutes to thinking about the things that he needs to finish tomorrow. More to his strategy, he also talked about separating his work into two parts: hard landscape and soft landscape. The hard landscape refers to the essential assignments that cannot be delayed, and the latter describes the assignments that have the leverage to be set on another schedule. This technique has helped him to remain productive during working hours as he always notes productive assignments for tomorrow before calling it a day.
Ideal for people who have many loose ends rumbling around in the brain needing to organize everything. This software will help you write your thoughts and concerns down and then put them into small tasks you can easily tackle. It’s the world’s most widely used productivity tool. David’s book “Getting Things Done” was widely acclaimed and Getting Things Done offers comprehensive productivity software.
10. Learn to say NO
Perfect for someone who needs to prioritize tasks. It helps prioritize your tasks in order to accomplish the right tasks. Having a plan is the best way to identify things that can’t be fixed. Write down what to-dos and then list them with Musts, Shoulds and Needs. Your duty is not negotiable. Paying rent is mandatory when the week starts. There should be something you can do and that is not terrible. Answering certain messages could help.
Does your to-do list have several jobs that don’t really matter to you? Or is it filled with someone else’s jobs?
It is high time you learn to say no. When you burden yourself with lots of tasks that can be shifted further, you increase the chances of burnout and decreased productivity. You should take some personal time to spend with yourself. It will help you reevaluate yourself. Moreover, for making an easy work-life balance, you need to learn to say NO to things that aren’t your priorities or aren’t contributing to the organization you are working for. Practice humbly saying no, so you don’t hurt anybody and prevent yourself from extra stress on your mind. It is one of the essential productive tips that often gets ignored but contributes significantly to maintaining a manageable and easy work-life balance.
Ideal for people who have little or no work at all taking up most of their day. How does this function? Scientists have discovered a short period between 3-5 minutes of interrupted work can disrupt concentration. It is a simple method to get things done in less amount of time and spend less time on larger items.
The Bottom Line
Finding a way to remain productive depends on how much you are willing to invest in yourself.
Suppose you are motivated enough to bring changes by cutting down the distraction. In that case, you can surely make the environment for yourself that helps you thrive in productivity to achieve your ultimate goals. Above are some best productivity tips and tricks to work with improved productivity.