Wondering why some workers are able to churn out gargantuan amount of work, day after day, without ever feeling tired, while you can’t stop complaining about the workload? There might have been times when you felt a certain urge to ask them what is the key to almost miraculous abilities. Almost every time, you probably, stopped short of doing it considering the peer to peer competition that most workplaces have.
However, if you follow the example of successful entrepreneurs and influencers in the world, and be a little attentive to achieving success in your profession, these secrets can be all yours. This post discusses some points that will help you achieve the same level of performance, expertise and productivity that you always wished you had.
No matter which part of world you are in, or which country you belong to, if you are on job, there is one thing common that you share with all other professionals: the number of hours in a day. Whether you are working in billion dollar enterprise or bootstrapping a startup, it’s all about how you use your time that has the maximum effect on productivity.
In order to remain ultra motivated and productive, you will have to develop the right habits. You will have to manage tasks, set the right goals, and handle distractions in a better manner. Although the process might be painstakingly slow as old habits die hard, in the end when you are heaped with all the praise and attention of your boss or the industry, all your efforts will be totally worth it. So, here are the productivity hacks that will put you on top of your work.
1. Take one task at a time
Although it sounds contradictory, most people would give their best only if they were focused on one task instead of multitasking. Especially during a meeting, we are tempted to do a mail check, or complete our pending tasks which do not require much mental application. Although you might be thinking that you are making good use of time, this split focus makes these meetings less productive. Even if you’re only doing mindless stuff, still you are distracted, which makes you less productive. Most psychologists will tell you that there is no such thing as multitasking. In fact, multitasking stands against everything that requires focus and concentration.
2. Make a to-do list
Creating a to-do list of all the tasks that require your attention a day in advance. That can be of great help for those who constantly keep forgetting their schedule. However, to ensure this activity is really helpful, there are two minor improvements that you can include. The first one is to prioritize your tasks in the order of their importance. The second one is to keep your list as realistic as possible. Along with tasks also write the estimated time that each task would take so that you do not clutter your table with more than what you can handle. In reality, assigning realistic times to tasks will automatically force you to prioritize.
3. Declutter your mailbox
Technology definitely makes a lot of tasks easier to accomplish and communication is one of them. Mails are the lifeblood of communication in most organizations. It must not take more than a couple of minutes to go through a communication mail and if it’s taking more than that the first thing that you need to set right is your mailbox. Keep your emails to the point and write only when necessary. Make necessary folders and organize your mails in them.
4. Meetings should be minimum
Meetings are the necessary evil that corporate organizations are still finding hard to get over. Mark Cuban, the billionaire CEO of HDNet and owner of Dallas Mavericks thinks “meetings are a waste of time unless you are closing a deal”. Renault and Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn says that keeping the length and number of meetings definite is the perfect solution. During his talk with Fortune he said, “The maximum is one hour and 30 minutes. Fifty percent of the time is for the presentation, 50 percent is for discussion.” Most subjects can be handled well within this time frame. There are other topics which require only 15 minutes. Your meeting time shouldn’t be a slave to predefined calendar.
5. David Allen’s Two Minute rule
By now you must have guessed where this is heading. David Allen, the multi-millionaire productivity guru, has come up with this very unique approach of working. The simple conclusion of this two minute rule is that if there is a task that can be done within two minutes, do it now and get it out of the way. Millions of professionals swear by the effectiveness of this hack. It definitely lessens your procrastination time, so that you can dedicate it for greater purposes.
6. Short breaks
Although not exactly a secret, it still needs to be told. Short 15-minutes breaks can help you realign your mind to the task’s requirements in case you have reached a threshold. Taking a break will recharge your senses, and you would be able to look at things with a completely different perspective. This helps moreover when you are stuck at a problem. Work sessions of short lengths (about 90 minutes) followed by a 10-15 minutes break, are more productive than a continuous 8-hour work cycle.
7. Self-confidence is the primary key
Confidence is an essential ingredient of a successful professional. Anyone who needs to make decisions, take risks and set priorities should be a confident individual. Productivity will automatically follow a confident mindset. Multiple researches have come up with evidences that speak in favor of confidence as a central factor in achieving tough goals. One’s perception of their abilities is a major motivation to persist in a hostile situation. One such highly cited test is that of mental rotation.
Scientists and psychologists have been trying to figure out the reasons behind the difference in performance between male and female gender on 3-D mental rotation task. Recent researches suggest that more than any actual difference in abilities it is the perception of these abilities that causes this performance mismatch. Since long people have assumed that females have less aptitude at math and spatial skills than men. Around half of the females also endorse this assumption. This awareness came in their way of performing as good as their male counterparts. When asked to perform the same test while assuming that they were men, females performed much better on the mental rotation task. Thus what we believe does affect our performance.
Saurabh Tyagi is a blogger and a professional career author with proven expertise in writing for topics related to job search, job trends, different job opportunities, various workplace and industry information, tips and strategies for job seekers. You can follow him on LinkedIn or Twitter.