It might sound counter-productive, but taking less time on your tasks can help you focus, avoid task-switching and actually manage to actually get your work done.
Many office workers with an average of a 40 hour workweek will struggle to stay concentrated for that long, and who can blame them when they’re trying to concentrate for hours on end at a time?
Enter stage left; frequent breaks.
Trying to concentrate for long hours without taking enough breaks can do serious damage to both your productivity and your mental health; particularly if you work in a high pressured environment that requires you to focus intensely to meet tight deadlines.
A combination of regular breaks, a structured day and simply looking after yourself is the perfect formula for effective productivity.
Not all productivity means you’re getting a good end result. Effective productivity, however, is the one you want to work on to get results from your input.
We’ve put together a list of effective productivity tips to help you get the most out of your day – they’re tried and tested by us so we know that they’re worth it!
Tip 1: To-Do Lists
A firm favourite, you can’t get through the day without a clear to-do list of your priorities. If you don’t have one you’re more likely to flounder through your day, struggling to focus on one task; and when you finally do you’re worrying that it shouldn’t be afforded the time you’re giving it.
Take control of your day and create a to-do list.
If you’re after something slightly more advanced than a pen and paper to track your tasks, a couple of our favourite apps to use are Trello and Wunderlist. Then can help you keep track of how much you accomplish in a day so you can work on improving your productivity.
Tip 2: Mindfulness
Taking ten minutes out of your day to slow down and relax your mind can leave you feeling calm, rested and ready for a busy day ahead.
Just a step away from meditation, mindfulness is the practice of slowing down and being aware of your present surroundings, thoughts and body.
While you might not associate this idea with being productive, there have been studies that prove its impact in a productive lifestyle, adding roughly 60 minutes of productivity to the week for those who practice it.
There are plenty of apps you can try to help increase your mindfulness, but our favourite is Headspace.
Tip 3: Pomodoro Technique
If you’re ready for a new time management technique, then Pomodoro is waiting. Once you begin, you won’t find any other way of working as nearly as productive, and we recommend it wholeheartedly.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Pomodoro Technique, here’s some background. It is a time management method that was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 80s. The system is named after the tomato timer that Cirillo used to test out his technique – which are now widely available to buy for productivity lovers alike.
The technique works by awarding you 25 minutes to concentrate, after which you take a 3-5 minute interval. Once you complete four pomodoros you take a 15 – 30 minute interval.
The best app we’ve found (if you don’t fancy adorning your desk with a tomato timer) is the Pomo Done App.
Will you be trying out our effective productivity tips? Share your thoughts on productivity in the comment section below!