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You’ve heard it said that boosting your productivity is a sure-fire way to achieve success. But that’s easier said than done. How exactly do you increase productivity beyond simply chastising yourself for being unproductive? While you’ll find a different answer from any person you ask, experience has taught me that keeping it simple is the best way to become a more productive person. Try out these quick and easy productivity tips and get started.
Increasing Productivity—Tip 1: Get Busy
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” ~Bruce Lee
The primary roadblock to increasing productivity for most people is procrastination. And the only way to beat procrastination is to forge ahead. How? Easy.
- End inertia with step one. (Do something!)
- Gain momentum with step two. (Don’t stop!)
- Repeat as needed. (Keep going!)
The more you do, the more you can take on. When you’re busy, those little things that we tend to procrastinate—like answering emails or returning calls—get handled during “down time” (in between meetings, on your commute, as the computer boots up). So, get busy by doing one thing then stay busy by doing another.
If you’re dreading getting started with a certain task, you can easily keep yourself busy with something else. The key is to get started doing something, anything, even if it isn’t the most pressing thing you need to do. Once you’re up and moving, it becomes that much easier to tackle that task you’ve been dreading.
Increasing Productivity—Tip 2: Focus
“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work in hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” ~Alexander Graham Bell
“Busy” doesn’t mean “frenzied.” For so many years we were told that multi-tasking was the way to increase productivity. It turns out, multi-tasking is really just a recipe for shoddy work. Focusing on the task at hand leads to increased productivity. So, to increase focus:
- Make a To Do list
- Schedule your day
- Set short- and long-term goals
Goals will give your days direction. A schedule will allow you to concentrate on one thing at a time for the time allotted. And a list will allow you to avoid distraction, intrusions, and worry about forgetting something.
Increasing Productivity—Tip 3: Do Less
“Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.” ~Peter Drucker
Increase productivity by prioritizing, setting boundaries, and streamlining your list of things to do. Don’t get waylaid with unnecessary tasks or other people’s emergencies. If you find you spend a lot of your day:
- Putting out fires / handling emergencies
- Helping others more often than you help yourself
- Doing things that don’t further your goals
If you’re serious about increasing your productivity, you have to set boundaries, weed out unnecessary tasks, and value your own work above all.
Put it All Together—My 3 Speedy Quick Tips to Increasing Productivity
1. Get to work. Right now. Do something.
This Productivity Tip ends inertia. Seems like a no-brainer that doing something will increase your productivity. It is simple. And since it’s so simple, why not do it?
2. Concentrate on one thing at a time.
This Productivity Tip focuses your energy. Busy and scattered is useless. Commit to one project at a time. Then when you get the hang of this, go bigger. Schedule your time and set goals to really focus on what’s important to you.
3. Cut out useless tasks.
This Productivity Tip lets you pay yourself first. And the currency here is time that you’re spending on your goals. Make the choice every day to help yourself. You’ll be amazed how far you can go.
Countless life coaches and gurus will try and sell you on different ways to be productive, but the power lies in these three simple steps. By having the willingness to make these small changes, you’re halfway there! Don’t let the noise distract you from achieving your goal of increasing productivity. Now go get started.