Productivity doesn’t happen by chance. Getting everything you need and want to do requires forward thinking and planning, along with a constant supply of inspiration and focus.
Have you ever wondered how great it would be to do whatever you plan to do every day, so that you can relax and know that you have achieved your daily goals? However, we often face a mountain of work and feel overwhelmed and unproductive. By the end of the day, we throw in the towel feeling defeated by our to-do list.
Take charge of your time and energy, and know what to focus on and what to skip. These 18 proven tools will help you stay focused and increase your productivity so you can get away with it every day.
1. Set daily goals.
Stay organized by dividing your day into goals, each with a clear goal. Think of it as a detailed to-do list of priority daily tasks. Keeping a to-do list is one of the simplest and easiest proven tools to help you stay focused and increase your productivity. Set reasonable goals for each day. All you need is a pen and paper, or even just an app on your smartphone, to get organized.
2. Set time limits and stick to them.
Time limits can be a great way to control procrastination, but research has found that self-imposed deadlines don’t work for true beginners. Instead, strict, evenly distributed deadlines are more effective. So, if you’re struggling to find your magic for a project, set firm deadlines with your boss or client, and make sure they’re reasonable and well-spaced to get the job done.
3. Make tasks manageable.
Sometimes less is more. To increase your productivity, you need to break large projects into manageable parts. Think about it this way: You don’t eat a three-course meal in one go, do you? Like many times we eat meals, try to break down tasks into smaller and smaller portions, so that you can focus on one area or topic at a time. You will stay motivated and avoid distractions.
4. Divide your time.
Maximize your tasks by giving yourself some “do not disturb” time. Let the people you work with know that you will not be available for meetings or appointments during this time. Focusing on the time reduces the blockages so that you can engage in deeper work.
Dividing your time allows your mind to isolate a task, so that you can focus fully on that thing without constantly breaking your focus on something else.
5. Know your body clock.
Timeline gives the structure of our days and the timeline around it. However, not everyone works on the same schedule. We all have natural rhythms that affect our ability to focus and be productive.
The key is to match your top priority work with your most productive hours of the day. Pay attention to your body clock. Most people are more alert in the morning and in the afternoon our attention often starts to wander.
6. Declutter your workspace.
A clean and tidy space provides a way to calm your mind and increase your ability to focus and complete your day to the fullest. A cluttered desk will make your mind feel as cluttered and overflowing as your inbox.
Researchers have found that when too many things happen in your field of vision (like a cluttered desk), they have a measurable effect on productivity. They found that too much clutter leads to people losing the mental strength they need to focus.