Have you ever wondered why people never seem to accomplish most of the things they wish to do?

How many times have you set out to perform certain tasks but found yourself leaving out a sizeable chunk of those tasks?

If this happens to you frequently, you would agree that it could be physically and emotionally draining.

But instead of blaming it on some external factors or just resigning to fate, you should try to find out the root causes. This will assist you to turn the situation around.

From experience, one of the chief causes of this ugly situation is “low productivity.”

Low productivity, in simple terms, is when you exert much effort on certain tasks but you achieve little or no results at the end.

It is also when you spend more time than expected on tasks which ordinarily should not take long to complete.

For us to increase our level of productivity, we must shun uncoordinated actions (which reduce productivity) and focus more on actions that lead to improved productivity. It’s that simple.

In specific terms, below are a few simple and doable exercises that will improve your productivity.

If you pay attention to them, these simple exercises will double, if not triple, your productivity without experiencing burnout.

Define Your Goals Clearly

Goals are what guide our actions and what help us to stay within the ambit of expected results. Goals help us to focus on the important matters that are demanding our attention. They also prevent us from straying.

However, these goals must be clear enough and it must not be ambiguous as to confuse the executioner.

For example, if you set a goal of reading two books (to completion) before the end of the month, your goal is specific because it has a time frame and it is measurable.

Have a Plan

While defining your goals gives you clarity, having a detailed plan helps you to achieve your goals. If your goals are clear but you lack a decisive plan, you may end up achieving less.

A plan is like a roadmap to your destination which is your goal. Basically, it helps you to determine where to start your task from and where it should end.

Your schedule should be time-bound or arranged based on order of priority.

Identify Your Peak Productive Period

Everybody has a peak ‘productive’ period. This is the period where you tend to achieve more when you perform a task.

During this period, your productivity is higher, and you perform tasks effortlessly.

If you’re a writer, the early morning period may be your peak period. The reason is that your head is clear and there are fewer distractions. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, your peak period could be late at night when your kids are fast asleep or during the day when you’re the only one at home.

However, you have to realize that this period is different for every individual and it could sometimes take a while to determine your peak period. All you need do is to perform similar tasks at different periods during the day. Measure your results and study the trend.

Take Breaks

For many people, the singular reason for their low productivity level is that they don’t take enough rest.

They work for long hours without taking breaks in between. This habit impacts negatively on the health and it ultimately affects your productivity.

Apart from the fact that a normal human being should have at least 7 hours of sleep during the night, observing siestas too go a long way.

Having lunch breaks and taking power naps have the ability to improve memory, increase concentration, and reduces stress. And these are the main factors necessary for productivity.

Don’t Multitask Unless It’s Necessary

Multitasking is when we work on different unrelated things at the same time. You’re eating, watching the TV, chatting with a friend and reading a novel at the same time.

And at the end of the day, you’re like wow, look at the amount of work I’ve done within a short period.

Contrary to popular belief, multitasking doesn’t lead to increased productivity. In fact, it inhibits it.

A recent study shows that although we get a sense of fulfillment when we perform lots of unrelated tasks at the same time, multitasking produces worse results.

This is because students who engaged heavily in multitasking activities felt great, but their results were much worse than that of people who didn’t multitask.”

So, what should you do instead?

Focus on one thing at a time, and if you must get different things done at the same time, just delegate such tasks. You will achieve better results this way.

Avoid Distractions

Distractions are the biggest enemies of productivity. They keep you far from being focused and make you consistent with fewer achievements.

Imagine that you have to meet a deadline but your time is divided between doing our job and checking emails, making frequent phone calls, peeping on social media notifications, and checking SMS alerts.

To achieve great results, you must shut out distractions completely. However, the aforementioned distractions may not be seen as such if they don’t coincide with productive work or when they’re done outside the period designated for work.

Here are a few things to do to reduce distractions: set the timer, disconnect the internet, have time to socialize, set your goals and reward yourself when you beat deadlines.

Follow these 6 smart tips and watch your productivity double.