Need more time in your day? We know the feeling. We know getting through the day can be challenging, especially when things start piling up. We did the research and found the five best work productivity tips you can adopt today.
1. Add easy wins to your to-do list
Sometimes you have so much work, it can be overwhelming. To help you gain momentum on your to-do list, add some easy wins. An easy win can be something simple like “update your week’s calendar” or non-critical like “respond to three emails.” These easy wins may not be the most important but they can be helpful. According to a study by Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile and psychologist Steven Kramer, making progress (even small wins) on meaningful work is the most powerful motivator.
2. Delegate and outsource
You may be managing a few employees. In order to maximize your productivity, you want to maintain a reasonable span of control. As we mentioned in a previous post, this means you should delegate work to six or seven of your direct reports. But what about the work you can’t delegate? Consider outsourcing them to services like Fiverr or oDesk, or hire a virtual personal assistant from Zirtual or AskSunday.
3. Go on “airplane-mode”
While it’s important to stay caught up, it’s easy to get distracted at work. That’s why it’s important to go on “airplane-mode” on occasion. That means no internet, which also means no email, Facebook, Twitter, and reading content (even if it’s work related). Also consider wiping your calendar clear of meetings. Asana co-founder and CEO, Dustin Moskovitz, has a no-meeting policy on Wednesdays to give the whole office time to do the work they’ve been putting off. For the full story, read his Quora post.
4. Take mini breaks
Sometimes you are in the mood to crank. But other times, it may be a challenge to get through a work day (especially if it’s a case of the Mondays). That’s why you should take breaks throughout the day. Studies have shown that exercise can make you more productive and energetic. The same is true for a day-time nap. However you spend your break, be sure to do it consistently. The Pomodoro Technique, for example, suggests taking a 5 minute break every 25 minutes of uninterrupted work. For more productivity methods, check out this Lifehacker article. In the same article, they conducted a poll to find the best productivity methods.
5. Manage your production in software
The common thread for every one of our boot camp lessons is software. That’s why you should consider using software to help manage your day. For projects, consider using tools like Asana, Trello, or Basecamp. To help measure performance, check out 15Five and iDoneThis. While a piece of paper is simpler, by doing it in software, you can seamlessly track your goals over time and monitor long-term projects with ease.