Increasing productivity is the first step to becoming successful!
Imagine having a bow, hundreds of arrows and a very defined target in mind, yet you are only able to shoot one arrow per day. Seems quite maddening doesn’t it? Well this hypothetical scenario is a parallel example for many “unproductive” peoples day to day lives. You might have all the resources available to you, lots of knowledge, yet you just can’t execute consistently. If you are in this situation you lack productivity and you must learn how to increase productivity.
If you want to be successful, productivity is a skill you must master to achieve your long term goals. These are the 4 methods to increase productivity which I have found really helpful in my life and I hope you will find them helpful as well!
4 Very Easy Tips to Increase Productivity
1. Do NOT Multitask
Multitasking is kryptonite to productivity. People think that if they can do 2 or 3 things at one time they are actually doing things faster. WRONG.
Productivity is the amount of output per unit of input. So normally when you are focused on one task it’s pretty straightforward one unit in equals one unit out. But when you multitask it’s like putting 1 unit in and dividing the output by how many tasks you’re doing and giving that smaller output to each task, meaning instead of getting one thing done, you get nothing done.
So in the end you just build mental pressure but you end up getting no work done because instead of focusing on one thing to get it finished; you are doing many different things slowly and likely more poorly. This is a prime example of Quantity vs. Quality. When you multi-task you might feel like you got more work done because you have more “quantity” but unfortunately by splitting your focus on multiple things your quality will drop and long term you will get much less done.
2. Sleep is KING to Increase Productivity
Sleep is the most important function of life and it plays a key role in whatever we do. So if you are able to master your sleep, you can master your life. Try to sleep early and wake up even earlier. Also try to find that optimum amount of rest, where you don’t just experience quantity but quality of sleep.
Just like how you can’t run a car at 100 Km/H non-stop and must fuel-up to keep going, your brain also needs sleep. If you are using “bad fuel” by napping here and there and not getting deep REM sleep or waiting for your brain to “stall” and “stutter” by waiting until your eyes are literally closing you can NEVER be fully productive. Everything comes back to quality and quantity, you might get the work “done” by working sleep-deprived, but this quality of work will always be less than if you had done the work with a fresh, well-slept brain.
Another bonus of adjusting your sleep cycle is that you can easily add 3 to 4 hours to your day because you can wake up earlier and have more time to yourself. This additional time automatically makes you more productive as you have more time to get things done.
3. One Chunk at a Time
People feel that if they set big goals they will get more done. The actual reality is, they are just wasting their time. Big goals only make you feel burdened and stressed. They will not help you get more things done and rather in reverse will actually decease your productivity and might make you overwhelmed.
This is why you should always try to break your large projects or goals into smaller manageable chunks. These small chunks allow you to focus on one part of the large goal at a time and structurally get the job done. This also makes the large goal look less intimidating and makes the process stress free.
For example if I asked you, that I need you to setup a vegetarian banquet in Hawaii where all the food is sourced from Toronto, Canada, maybe the size of the task alone might make you want to “avoid” and simply put this off for a later date 🙂 . Human’s have a natural tendency to avoid pain, so your brain naturally tells you to procrastinate the moment you hear this. But what if you broke this big task down to smaller manageable chunks?
- Create a budget, and determine number of guests attending
- Find a reputable vegetable farmer in Toronto, Canada.
- Find a local freight forwarder to handle transportation of the vegetables and decide between sea or air freight.
- Coordinate with a trucking company in Hawaii to handle in-land freight
- Contact an event planner in Hawaii to coordinate the venue.
- Find a well-rated restaurant in Hawaii and advise you will provide all vegetables.
I think you get the point ;). These smaller tasks are mentally less taxing and will not get you as overwhelmed as the original large task. You can finish each task, step-by-step, with an added bonus that once you complete a step you will feel a sense of accomplishment and this positivity will help to fuel you and make you even more productive!
4. Stay Focused
This might seem cliché but I can not stress how important this point is to increasing productivity. We live in a digital age where we are all classically conditioned, much like Pavlov’s dogs, to respond to the hundred of “pings” from our smartphones and the thousands of notification bubbles in our email, slack groups, and social networks.
We might be the most “distracted” humans to ever exist!
That is why if you want to increase your productivity, you must “turn off” the world and focus. Turn off your smartphone, close your inbox, mute your slack group, don’t open social media and just FOCUS and DESTROY whatever you are working on. Imagine you are one of your ancestors on a hunt. Be in the moment, focus on your breathing, zero in on the task at hand and just give it your all. If your ancestors could focus and hunt a colossus woolly mammoth, you can surely type up your quarterly fiscal report 😉
As for you students out there, from my experience 10 minutes of concentrated studying is a billion times better than 5 hours of unfocused studying (you know what they say about statistics). So whenever you do work, simply make a commitment and stay focused. Put your head down and just nuke it out. This was the method which worked for me when I was in university and I’m confident it will work for you as well!
In conclusion, I hope and pray these tips help you to increase your productivity and that you may implement some of these tips in your life on the way to conquering your goals!