12 Ways to Stay Productive and Win Your Days

01 Mar

by: Remie Longbrake | published: March 1, 2021

‏If you want to be highly productive and smash your goals, there are certain practices you should adopt. All the top leaders and high-achievers have reached maximum efficiency through forming and sticking to these ‘habits of success.’ ‏‏Are you looking to boost your productivity, gain better time management skills, and increase your work performance? If so, here are 12 changes you can make today.‏

1. Set small but meaningful daily goals

Setting big goals can lead to overwhelm and procrastination. However, choosing to set small, meaningful goals every morning will help you stay focused and motivated throughout the day, leading to a greater chance of success. Knowing what you are working towards each day can reduce procrastination, too, as you hold yourself accountable to something. ‏‏While your daily objectives may not feel like big things in the moment, they will add up to something much greater over time. And remember, even with small goals, the more you set, the less likely you will achieve them. Therefore, be careful not to create too many daily targets. Ideally, choose one per day.‏

2. ‏Exercise in the morning

‏The way you spend your mornings is essential to success. Taking some form of physical exercise before you start work will increase your energy, mood, and mental sharpness. Moreover, you don’t have to force yourself to exercise strenuously to get the benefits. A gentle walk or yoga session is enough to leave you feeling ready to take on the day.‏

3. ‏Tackle the largest and most difficult tasks first 

Whatever your line of work, I’m sure you have those complex tasks that you feel anxious about doing before you’ve even started your workday. Perhaps it’s calling a challenging customer, chasing up payments, or holding a meeting with an underachieving employee. Whatever it is you want to avoid, perform this job before any other tasks on your to-do list that day. This doesn’t only eradicate the anxiety but also majorly reduces procrastination, which is a major productivity killer. ‏

4. ‏Create an environment conducive to success

‏All successful people know the importance of having a good environment around them. It’s vital to have a quiet setting where you will not be disturbed. Moreover, it’s equally as essential to ensure you have a distance from any toxic colleagues you may be unfortunate enough to share an office with. If this is the case, you may need to consider moving desks.

5. Minimize distractions

Distractions do not only come from other people. Our phones are the biggest source of distraction for most people. Do you frequently find yourself stopping your work to check your phone? If so, try putting your phone on airplane mode or keeping it off your desk and see the effect it has on your productivity. ‏

6. ‏Reduce multitasking

Multitasking is essentially a myth as our brains can only focus on one thing at a time. Therefore, the more things you try to do at once, the less likely you will do any of them well. ‏‏Multitasking may seem like the best (or only) thing to do when you have a busy schedule. However, it will actually increase your likelihood of making mistakes, reduce your efficiency and performance, and lead to higher stress levels. Multitasking is a bad time management strategy for everyone. Still, if you have a job that requires high accuracy, multitasking could be very costly for you.

7. ‏Delegate

 ‏‏If you’re struggling to stay on top of your workload, the smartest thing to do is delegate jobs to others. Determine the smaller, less critical tasks that your teammates could easily do instead, then assign them. ‏‏One of the best qualities of a leader is the ability to delegate well. Without learning this skill, you will always struggle with time management. Delegating tasks not only helps you get more done, but it can help your colleagues learn new things. It’s also an essential part of teamwork, as it ensures an equal spread of work throughout the company. ‏

8. ‏Use technology resourcefully

Technology can help you work smarter and more efficiently if you know how to use it resourcefully. One way to do this is to have an effective email management system in place. Many great tools are available that can ‘filter’ all your emails and move them to the correct folder. This makes it easier to prioritize your important and urgent emails. You can also link your inbox to your calendar and set reminders on emails that require a follow-up.‏‏There is also software available to use within your team to send messages, assign tasks, track the progress of jobs, and organize meetings. Doing everything via one application will reduce the need to talk to or email your colleagues and, therefore, is a brilliant time management tool. ‏

9. Reward yourself for small wins

‏We live in a culture where as soon as we achieve one thing, we move straight on to the next task on our to-do list without even acknowledging the progress we have made. Working in this way often leads to stress and burnout, which is why it’s essential to pause and celebrate a job well done. ‏‏Moreover, by rewarding yourself for small achievements, you will stay motivated and focused on your big goal. This hack is so effective for success. By celebrating your daily victories, you program yourself for long-term achievement and fulfillment in your work. 

10.Take regular breaks to recover and refocus

‏Just as important as celebrating wins is taking breaks. When you have what feels like a constantly busy schedule, it can be tempting to work through the weekends or push back a planned vacation until things settle down. This is not a recommended strategy as our attention span significantly drops after a long time of focusing on a single task. Therefore, ‘pushing through’ decreases your ability to focus and lowers your performance.‏‏Taking periodic breaks during the day will help to restore your energy and mental capacity. Allowing for at least one whole day off from work each week will magnify these benefits too. By pausing regularly, you can access your deadlines and workloads with a clearer head and think more strategically. ‏

11. ‏Stay optimistic even in stressful periods

‏Mindset is everything. Although we cannot always control the challenges that life throws at us, we can choose how we respond to them. When we’re feeling negative, we can’t make level-headed decisions, and our emotions may overwhelm us. However, positive thinking increases mental productivity and the ability to analyze things efficiently. If you struggle to remain optimistic when things get tough, focus on everything you have to be grateful for. This simple practice will help you switch your perspective. ‏

12. ‏Get enough sleep

‏Lastly, it may seem obvious but getting enough sleep is a vital contributor to success. Without feeling well-rested, everything will feel harder and take longer to complete, seriously hindering your productivity and performance. While experts recommend 8 hours of sleep each night, you may find your ideal number to be more or less.

‏Final Thoughts

‏Changing your work habits may at first feel overwhelming. However, by consistently following these tips, you’ll be in a much better position to achieve your goals and win your days. Remember, we all have the power to create the life we want, but we first have to take action.  

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