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Getting from busy to productive in 3 easy steps!

 

Do you have a to-do list that you can’t seem to get done? A project that you’ve started but never finished?

Relax, It happens to everybody. We all know who is to blame for this lack of productivity. But before we start pointing fingers, we’ll show you how to get over the hump and speed up the efficiency and quality of your work.

How to get started?

So, let’s start by looking at what science tells us. Studies show that the biggest obstacle to complete a project or a task is actually getting started. Before you start a task, most of us are programmed to think of the challenges you are about to overcome rather than the reward. This will convince us to postpone our work due to the fear of adversity or failure.

However, the key is getting over these thoughts. Once you get over the fears lingering in your head and jump into the task, it becomes harder to stop. Why?

You’ve created positive momentum. This momentum is key to your success because you know that if you get disrupted before the task is completed, you are likely to experience anxiety and disappointment. This is called the Zeigarnik effect.

How to manage your time?

We know that getting started should help you move towards your objective. However, that doesn’t solve productivity completely. Nope, people can still lack productivity even after diving into their work.

This one is obvious. We need to be able to efficiently manage our time once we’re working too. What do you think will happen if you try to work on a report at irregular times during the day or work for excessive hours without taking breaks?

This will result in unproductive habits. So instead of repeating the same mistakes, let’s start creating better time-management habits to boost your productivity at work!

First, identify a time and place where you are more productive. Then, you should take small breaks every once and a while to recalibrate your thoughts.

Compare this to a person’s workout routine. This is repeated at a specific time of the day, at the same gym or park where they are most comfortable and they are encouraged to rest between exercises to let your body recover.

How to keep the momentum going?

While we are on the subject of working out. Let’s use this same example for the next productivity hack.

We’ve all had a new year’s resolution at one point that failed only months into the new year. This could be a new workout routine. So why do you think so many people give up early? It’s usually caused by a lack of accountability and direction.

Studies have shown that setting a deadline for a task will create a sense of urgency that will help you complete a task on time. You are holding yourself accountable and doing what it takes to accomplish your end goal. So write down a realistic date or time on your calendar or tell your boss when he can expect the project on his desk. This will ensure that you work efficiently to deliver it on time.

Also, studies have shown that people who keep records of their progress have a better completion rate. For example, write down your tasks for a specific project on a list and check off these actions as you accomplish them. This will help you keep track of your progress and will motivate you until the list has been completed.

One last piece of advice

Finally, stop multitasking! Studies show that multitaskers are less productive. Don’t work on multiple assignments at once or let social media distract you. Remember, once you’ve created momentum, you want to keep focusing on your work until you’ve reached your objective.

If you feel like you’re more productive with the tv on, it is most likely false. You are only keeping yourself from jumping into your work and delivering quality results.

Let’s recap

Here is what we just learned to boost productivity:

  • First, start the task!
  • Second, manage your time! Identify a time & place and take small breaks.
  • Third, discipline yourself! Make a deadline and keep a record of your progress
  • Fourth, don’t multitask! At all.

So hide your cell phone and turn off that tv, we have work to do!

Rejean Martin

Rejean is the Marketing Manager at PurelyHR but some people also know him as the guy who lived in a bus in the prairies. As a world traveller and nature lover, Rejean can strongly attest to the power of time off in the workplace.