Whether you are running a small start-up business or you are high up in the corporate world, you will at some point have struggled with productivity. A quick search on the internet will give you endless lists of productivity strategies to help get your motivation back. Everyone is different though, so the best way to be productive is to create your own set of strategies that work for you. Remember habits take around 2 weeks of constant practice before they become formed, so don’t be tempted to give up straight away if something doesn’t work.
If your workload is becoming a bit too much, and you are struggling to motivate yourself, here are some of our top productivity tips:
1. Make a ‘To-Do List’ each night
You may be thinking, why make this list at night, surely it is best to create it in the morning? Wrong. You will get to the office in the morning, grab a coffee, and get distracted by a phone call or email before you even get the chance to think about your to-do list. The best time to write it is at the end of each day. Run through the tasks that you haven’t managed to achieve, and prioritise them in order of importance. It is also really satisfying to cross your tasks off as you complete them!
2. Stop procrastinating
We are all guilty of doing a bit of online shopping or browsing social media when we aren’t motivated to start work. It is often the most boring tasks that we end up procrastinating over. You really need to just bite the bullet and get them done. When faced with these tasks, give yourself 3 seconds to stop procrastinating. Countdown from 3,2,1 and then get on with it!
3. Start with your hardest task
Whilst you might want to ease yourself into the day and start with a small, quick task, if you are wanting to be productive you should start with the hardest one. Your brain will be more awake first thing in the morning, so it will be much easier than trying to face it later in the day.
4. Cut projects down into manageable chunks
If you are looking through your to-do list and feeling demoralised, consider breaking up your tasks into smaller chunks. You will find that once you have completed one section it will be much easier to tackle the others. Before you know it, the project will be done! Taking regular breaks in-between each chunk will also help.
5. Use post-it notes
Or alternatively, a digital tool like Trello will do the trick. When new tasks pop into your head or are emailed over, assign them to individual post-it notes (or boards). Not only does this stop the tasks going round in your head, but you can also easily arrange them into priority order.
6. Give yourself a break (and some rest!)
Whilst being productive 100% is the ultimate goal, it isn’t always achievable. We all have good and bad days, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you are really struggling for motivation. If you haven’t managed to finish all of the tasks on your to-do list, that’s ok. Look back at what you have achieved throughout the day and be proud of what you have accomplished. Move the tasks you haven’t finished onto your list for tomorrow and try to forget about them.
Getting enough sleep is also the key to productivity. Too many people get up earlier in the morning so they arrive at the office a few hours before their colleagues in order to get work done. Whilst you will be achieving more, you will be losing these hours from somewhere else in your life – sleep, rushed meal times, less family time etc. You need to make sure you get enough sleep in order to prevent burnout.
If you are struggling to fit everything into your day, have you considered outsourcing some of these tasks? Some of our virtual office packages include call answering and mail forwarding. Saving you precious time that you can allocate to more important tasks. Get in touch today if you would like any further information on this.