The productivity guide: Time management strategies that work
Love to get more done in your working day? Here are some time management strategies that really work.
What is productivity? Productivity, explained in purely economic terms, is defined as the ability of a production input to deliver a given output volume or level. In simple terms, it can be summarized as a ratio of what you do versus the results of what you do.
It’s important to dispel the notion that productivity is simply getting more results in a shorter timeframe. Quality is also a crucial factor to consider. Therefore, to improve productivity, one should focus more on how to achieve important objectives in a consistent, periodical manner, instead of reaching every target, big and small, at record speed.
Simple ways to be more productive every day
In this article, we’ll outline some methods by which you can increase your productivity. In the process, we’ll also address some preconceived assumptions related to this subject.
Manage your energy, not your time
Managing time, isolated from energy, can result in frustration and unaccomplished goals. Some people manage to perform certain activities better at specific times during the day.
Assess the amount of energy you usually have at those times and the tasks that you can spend that energy on. For example, during summer, there’s a good chance that you may fare better doing more strenuous activities in the morning than at noon, when you should focus on resting or doing less demanding routine work.
Prepare the night before
This cannot be stressed enough! You should prepare, both physically and mentally, for the tasks you’re supposed to do the next day. Take 10-15 minutes of your evening to elaborate a small to-do list or a little “blueprint” with all the goals you want to achieve the following day and the steps and times you’ll employ to attain them.
You also need to work on your biological clock to get the necessary rest. A correct and consistent sleep schedule (regardless of the timeframes) is always necessary to increase productivity.
Get rid of your phone
This is not a suggestion to throw your phone in the bin! However, in an office environment, there’s the ongoing temptation to check social media or text messages constantly whenever you have your phone at an arm’s reach.
As you arrive at your workplace, leave your phone in another room or turn it off entirely. If you feel the need to have the phone on for emergency calls, then try to at least keep it away from your immediate working space, ideally at a separate desk. This will help reduce distractions.
Fix your posture
Postural health is not only beneficial for your body, but it also helps enhance your productivity skills. A hunched posture while sitting will hinder your ability to breathe correctly, as your diaphragm presses against the bottom of your lungs. This, in turn, affects your brain activity, as it’s not receiving enough oxygen to do its work.
This situation ultimately results in less concentration, leading to severe productivity issues. You should develop the habit of sitting straight. Also, standing up every now and then helps mitigate anxiety and stress, all the while avoiding health issues related to sedentary work, which also indirectly affects your long-term output.
Use special tools
Nowadays, there are lots of resources available that boost your effectiveness by automating certain actions. For example, the use of transcription tools such as Audext.com can save you a lot of time in your professional transcription tasks by delivering fully transcribed audio with timestamps and speaker identification without much effort on your part.
Likewise, when you’re doing translation work, several translation tools are available online to make your task less time-consuming. These are just a few examples, but this method can apply to a myriad of other activities and crafts.
Acquire a ‘pre-game’ routine
Motivation is one of the main fuels of productivity. You can feel motivated even if you don’t like your job, but it requires certain “tricks”. Pre-game routines usually refer to the exercises or actions undertaken by athletes or players in preparation for a competition or “game”.
This same approach can be taken for other types of endeavors, such as an office or a physical job. You can take some minutes before work to do meditation, walk barefoot on cold water, jog, drink a specific beverage, or any other action that can help you narrow your focus, lessen distractions and overcome anxiety.