You are not considering yourself a very productive person? Would you like to be able to do more with your time? First of all, you should know that there is nothing wrong with you, even if you don’t manage to complete all tasks in a designated time interval. You see, our brains are different and they work in their own way, so not all people are born with the ability to organize their time efficiently and check every task on the list without having any troubles. Fortunately, our brain can be trained and you can learn the needed skills to make it more organized and efficient, which will lead to a significant increase of your productivity. Of course, this process has both neurological and psychological implications, besides just focusing and exercising some skills.
As mentioned earlier, our brains are different and work at different productivity levels. This can be seen even since elementary school, some children having the native ability to do more in a certain time interval than other children of the same age. So, what does neurology has to do with this? Well, it is the core of such improvements, because the mental productivity of an individual can be increased without even practicing time management methods, if the faculties of the brain are improved. This means that through performing various mental exercises, like accumulating information, reading, memorizing poems, and continuously learning something new, even if it is something small and apparently insignificant, we manage to exercise our brain and keep it in a great shape. We should not allow our brain to sit and do nothing, because making it work constantly will help it become more efficient in time, as it will learn to process information much faster.
But, of course, we can also control a part of this process as well, if we are to look at the matter from psychology’s point of view. The way we look at the work that needs to be done and how we decide to manage it also influences our productivity. This can also be connected with our native intelligence, which can be as well trained and improved in time. Psychology tells us that if we look at work as something impossible to manage, the productivity level will definitely have to suffer as we will become underproductive. But if we see it as something manageable and we have the will to tackle it no matter what, we will find efficient solutions for time and task management.
Still, there are 5 steps we can all use, to double our productivity at work, besides the previously mentioned aspects, as follows:
- Split your time and task in smaller sections
When you have a task in front of you that it is estimated to last for about 8 hours, it is no wonder you are feeling overwhelmed and have no idea how to manage your time and productivity. But, whatever you do, don’t even try multitasking, because it won’t work. A better approach would be to split your time and task in smaller sections that are easier to manage. Why will this method work? Well, it is scientifically proven that our brain can focus best about 25 minutes on a single task only, so you’d better use this piece of information in your favor. These 25 minutes of intense focus should be followed by 5 minutes of break, to allow your brain to unwind before passing to the next task. Don’t forget to stay calm, relaxed, and to be well rested.
- It is important to know when to say no
No matter how ambitious you are, it is impossible to handle everything and be productive at the same time. Learning how to say no is probably one of the most difficult lessons for everybody, but it is a healthy lesson that will help you improve your productivity as well, because getting buried by work is not going to help you at all in this direction. Find a diplomatic and kind way to refuse things, according to how your schedule is planned, so you can work efficiently on the tasks that you already have.
- The environment can help a lot
Believe it or not, but the surrounding conditions can be of help as well, or not. If you want to be more productive, you need to make sure that the environment will stimulate your desire to work. How to make sure that the conditions are favorable? Find a quiet area where you can work, with natural lights or even dim lights, according to your preferences. The main idea is for you to feel calm and comfortable in that environment, without being distracted so you can focus on what you have to do.
- You need to be alone
The most productive time is certainly the one when you are alone with your mind and tasks. No distractions are allowed, so put away your phone, turn off anything that is producing noise, and shut down social media networks and anything else that may take your mind off work. Still, if it works in your case, you can turn on music that is suitable for work and focus, with the condition to be on a low volume. Use headphones if you don’t have your own office and need to work in a crowded area. At the end of this time spent alone, you will see a significant improvement of your productivity.
- Take advantage of the existing tools to become more productive
There are so many tools out there that can be used for increased productivity, so you should definitely take advantage of them. If used right, these tools can help you a lot with your work. For instance, Evernote can hold your ideas as they come, being a sort of electronic agenda. Google Docs will help you write documents that will be saved in the cloud, so they will be accessible from anywhere, at any time. Pomodoro.me is a tool that will help you split your time in small, 25 minutes sessions, as mentioned earlier. Sqwiggle helps teams of maximum 3 people to collaborate and communicate easier, while Yammer works for groups of 10 or more people. These are just a few tools you can use to make time be spent more efficiently and work done faster, but don’t be afraid to look for other tools as well, according to your needs.