Need a productivity boost? Try one of these 20 easy ways to increase productivity today. Whether you need to get better at scheduling, organizing, delegating, being creative or making time for you, there’s sure to be a way here to increase productivity—and reduce your stress level.
- Set aside dedicated blocks of time for working on a project. Shut down everything else and focus on the project. Learn more about Time Blocking in this post.
- Use your calendar and a task or project list. When you know in advance what your priorities are, and how long a project will take, you can plan accordingly and complete the tasks that will move you forward instead of getting lost in the minutiae.
- Make sure you have a comfortable workspace. When you are uncomfortable it is hard to focus on your work. A comfortable chair, good lighting and a well-ventilated space.
- Schedule regular breaks. Get up from what you are doing and make it a real break. Do some stretches, take a walk, get a drink or a healthy snack. Sitting at a desk all day isn’t healthy.
- Keep a notebook handy to jot down ideas that come while you are working. Jotting them down as they come will allow you to keep working without interruption and without worrying about forgetting them. You can refer back to them and evaluate them during your planning time.
- Clean up your desk or work space at the end of each day. This not only gives you a fresh workspace when you start work the next morning, but it reinforces in your mind that the workday is over and reduces the temptation to do just “one more thing.” This is especially important if you work from home.
- Set up an automated cloud backup for your data. Not having to worry about your data will free up your mind for other tasks, and knowing your data is secure is worth its weight in gold. Check out Carbonite and BackBlaze, two of the most well-known cloud backup companies.
- Make sure you have all the supplies you need to complete a project before you begin. Having everything you need close at hand reduces distractions and interruptions.
- Keep a non-spill water bottle on your desk. This reduces the need to get up for a drink (and the temptation to grab a snack while you’re there). And a non-spill water bottle protects your work and your workspace from accidents.
- Limit your email and social media time to pre-scheduled blocks of time to avoid getting sucked in. Close those windows until their designated time.
- Recognize that urgencies and emergencies happen. Handle them and move on instead of letting it derail your entire day.
- Learn to schedule jobs that require more concentration for periods of the day when you are most alert. If you are a morning person, schedule brain-intensive tasks in the morning. If you’re better in the afternoon, plan to focus on them then.
- Break up your day by alternating intensive work and less-focused tasks. This keeps you from tiring as quickly and allows you to recharge yourself between big jobs.
- Don’t skip lunch. Hangry isn’t productive and it will catch up with you eventually.
- Bookmark or create shortcuts for the websites you visit most often.
- Use a password management program like KeePass or LastPass to keep your passwords secure while avoiding wasting time having to constantly look up passwords.
- Get dressed before beginning work. Yes, pajamas are great, but they don’t put our brains into work mode. Getting dressed into “day clothes” tells our minds we’re going to work and be productive. It also means we’re prepared should we need to hop on a video call or run an unexpected errand(yoga pants are your call).
- Set aside time for creativity and thinking. Allow yourself time to ponder, to explore new ideas, and to try creative endeavors. This helps boost productivity and growth in your business and in your personal life.
- Stop trying to be perfect. Perfection is the enemy of productivity. Good enough often is, and your best is all you need to do. Trying to make things perfect will stall your progress and increase your frustration.
- Make a commitment to start and end your workday on time. Knowing that you have a set amount of time each day will actually make you more productive not less. When I made a commitment to myself—and to my family—that I would limit my working hours, I found myself less stressed because I knew my workday was not endless. In addition, not working late into the night helped me sleep better and made me less tired. This applies whether you are working in an office or working at home.
What’s your biggest productivity challenge?
What’s your best tip for increasing productivity? Leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you.