How to be more productive? These are the steps you can try.

When we have a million things to do every day, it’s hard to give our full concentration to them all. Ultimately, we start working on auto-pilot, gliding through our responsibilities and chores without even comprehending them. Most of the time, we don’t even know how we did something or what someone told us, and we have trouble remembering something we did only that morning. This is not at all productive, both professionally and in your personal life! 

how to be more productive

Just doing something or completing something isn’t enough; it’ll only be productive when we have managed to achieve something consciously, by focusing on it, and by doing it deliberately. The right way to do something is to, therefore, be productive in our lives. 

Learning to be More Productive 

You can’t just decide to be more productive one day and succeed; you can’t just become productive overnight. It’s not a single decision you can make, but a number of small steps to take. By becoming more productive than you are at the present, you can achieve more in half the time than by working 16 hours a day! Not to mention, the satisfaction of getting the job done can be completely exhilarated! 

So, how can you be more productive? How can you learn to own and control your own actions, and give your life the best that you can? Here are 5 steps that might come in handy! 

  1. Be Reasonable in Your To-do Lists 

To-do lists actually work, but only when you make them in a reasonable manner. You might have 50 tasks that need your attention, but is it possible to complete them all in a single day? You keep on adding the same tasks to your To-do lists every day, but you’ll never be able to finish them within 24 hours, because you are not being reasonable about it. You’re wasting time writing a long To-do list you know you won’t be able to finish, and you are putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. 

Make your to-do lists, but be practical about it. Don’t put two tasks in a single day that will require you to drive to the two opposite ends of the town; don’t put in tasks that don’t need your immediate attention. Make your lists so that you can actually complete whatever is written on it: a mixture of the easy ones and the harder, lengthy ones. Only then, you can end the day with a sense of satisfaction at having a few important chores down.

 2. Take More Breaks 

No, you don’t have to disappear for hours for a couple of coffee and you certainly don’t want to take the whole afternoon off for lunch, but it is important that you take small breaks in between tasks throughout the day. If you throw yourself to work early in the morning without any breaks, you will find yourself completely exhausted in the middle of the day. That’ll result half of your day gone to waste just because you refused to slow down between your tasks. 

Throughout the day, invest some time on yourself by taking small, 5-minute breaks. Grab a cup of coffee/tea, a glass of water or just munch on a protein bar at your desk, but you will need to give your overworked brain a few minutes to rest. Chat with your co-workers or call your significant other on the phone, or simply close your eyes and rest for 5 minutes. Your brain desperately needs this break to be ready to work again, and so does the rest of your body. 

3. Identify and Reserve your Most Productive Time 

Some people work the best first thing in the morning, others can work better and more productively after lunch. Some people even give their best late at night. Keep your important tasks reserved for these specific time, and use the rest of the day for the other, smaller, less important tasks, i.e. returning emails, attending meetings, making phone calls, etc. Reserve your productive time for what truly matters and what requires your most concentration, and don’t trouble yourself with anything else during this time. 

4. Stop Multitasking 

When you are trying to multitask, you might think you are doing two (or three) tasks at the same time, but that’s not the case. In actuality, you are taking twice (or thrice) the original time! Besides, you might not even be doing anything properly. Your concentration will be divided between the tasks and home, and you won’t be able give any of them your 100% efforts. 

Multitasking is a big barricade for productivity and perfection. Choose only one task to concentrate on at one time, and then go for another one when you have successfully completed the previous one – and taken a break in the middle. It might seem like you are taking the long way, but it will help you reach the goal in a better condition. 

5. Don’t try to Do Everything Yourself  

Sometimes, you just have to let others help. The more you try to do by yourself, the more you hamper your productivity. When you are the only person – at home or at work – who has to micromanage everything, you won’t be able to do anything properly. You have to let others in to help while you take care of the main and the most important tasks allocated to you, while the other people around you do the rest. 

This can also be explained with the 80/20 rule. In life, you cannot be responsible for 100% of your responsibilities. The optimal situation is when you only do 20% of the work that bring in 80% of the results. Managing others well to do your bidding is one of the most important features of excellent leadership. A true leader can maximize their productivity by not getting exhausted doing everything themselves, but taking necessary assistance from others. 

The key to productivity is to have confidence in yourself, and to know what makes you work more efficiently. Productivity means to do everything better, giving your responsibilities the best you can. Working hard can be useless if you are not being productive; after all, it is quality that matters, not the amount of time and effort you give. So, it is more important to be productive in your life than anything else, because only by being your most productive self, you can be a success where it matters the most.