Getting more done in less time is what being productive is all about. And being organized means prioritizing those things you don’t need to do and focusing more on what’s important. In essence, you’re cutting through the clutter to gain more clarity and with it, comes the ability to accomplish more.
The underlying principle to less stress and more success is implementing good behaviors and avoiding bad habits. Eliminating bad behaviors and replacing them with good habits will have an immediate positive impact on your productivity. When you’re striving to become more productive it’s important to recognize the detrimental effects bad behaviors have on your daily habits.
- Being a busy body doesn’t make you more productive
Constantly checking your phone or email robs your productivity. Incessantly looking at your phone instills a terrible habit of distraction. Most often, people who check their phones frequently are avoiding getting down to the tasks at hand. When confronted with an uncomfortable task or obstacle, out of impulse they check their phone instead. Implement a new behavior and when your impulse is to check your phone or your email again, consider the negative consequences. The phone call or email most likely isn’t urgent, and usually it can wait until you completed the primary task at hand.
- Take time to really listen
When engaging in a conversation do you ever feel the person sitting opposite you isn’t really listening at all and instead is just anticipating what to say next? Really listening takes practice and in order to do it well, you need to keep a clear mind and be focused on what the other person is saying. Productivity declines when one or the other stops really listening and gives the perception you’re disinterested and is disrespectful. Increase your interactive listening skills by repeating back what you’ve just heard and asking probing questions to develop more effective and engaging conversations.
- Multitasking is the curse of productivity
Trying to do two things at once is what some may call multitasking and it is never as effective as concentrating on a single task. Multitaskers lack a clear focus on the task at hand. Their attention is not as acute and therefore productivity actually declines. Even if they accomplish two things at once, neither one of them will be of high quality. Not only does multitasking cause mental clutter, switching between tasks makes us less efficient. A study reported in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that it took students 40 percent longer to solve complicated problems when they multitasked. Performing one task at a time will increase your productivity and help you accomplish more in less time.
- Proper preparation increases productivity
Productivity isn’t just about the moment; it’s about all the moments leading up to that. Your productivity increases over time through planning. The busier you are the more planning that is involved. Without proper planning, there will be no clear objective and the outcome will become diminished. Large projects will take longer than necessary to complete because a lack of planning didn’t allow for them to be broken down into more manageable tasks. When you have a clear understanding of the bigger picture behind what you are doing, productivity will increase.
- Avoid distractions and turn off alerts and notifications
It’s no wonder our productivity declines when we hear a ding alerting us that “you’ve got mail” has just hit our inbox. We immediately disregard what we’re working on and become fixated on an email, a calendar invite or some other form of alert from Facebook or Twitter that has just popped up. They are a distraction and pull your attention away from important tasks. To become more productive and accomplish high value goals, turn off your alerts and notifications. You aren’t missing a thing if you avoid this trivial stuff for a few hours. Don’t feel the need you have to respond immediately when “you’ve got mail” dings on your computer. Increase your productivity by scheduling specific time periods during your day to check and respond to email, invites and other requests of your time.
Share this with your friends on your favorite social media site!