How to be more effective? A day has only 24 hours, and the expectations of today’s world are growing. At work, at university or at school, we have to be more productive, do more, do faster and better. In personal life, there is a lot of tasks and responsibilities that need to be contained in a stuffed schedule. Sometimes we get discouraged, lose motivation and delay action, even though we subconsciously know that we should focus on our work. How to deal with all this?
Here are 40 ways to be more effective and use your time more efficiently:
1. Just start
Often the beginnings are the most difficult. Once you’ve started, there’s a good chance you’ll get a rhythm that can last up to several hours. You will see the first effects of your work and you will feel like doing more.
2. Specify the time of day when you are most productive
Each of us has a specific time of day when we work better and more efficiently. For many people this time of day is in the morning, but there are also people who prefer to work in the evening. Find out by doing different tasks at different times, when you are working most efficiently, and plan your schedule with this in mind.
3. Make a list of tasks to do the day before
Instead of thinking about what you should do during the day, determine the day in advance what you have to do tomorrow and what you will spend your time on. So you can start doing the most important tasks right after you wake up. This simple way to plan your day in advance can really increase your productivity. In this way, your day will be more structured and better planned, and you will be able to achieve more.
4. Take a break
Work without any breaks does not bring optimal results. Your productivity decreases if you don’t rest for a while. To increase your productivity you can work in cycles e.g. (10+2)*5 – work for 10 minutes, interrupt for 2 minutes, repeat this scheme 5 times.
Another way is to use the “pomodoro technique”. One “pomodoro” is 25 minutes of work, 5 minutes of break time. If the task is more time consuming you can do some “pomodoro” suborder. After four pomodoro, take a longer break 20-30 minutes. To be more productive, remember to take breaks.
5. Eliminate the distractors
Get rid of anything in your environment that affects your concentration and distract you from your work. This includes your phone, email notifications, and opening multiple bookmarks in your web browser or computer applications. Phone calls, SMS and all the notifications you receive when your phone is on will lead to serious disruptions and lower productivity. Also, disconnect from social media while you work.
6. Specify the time limit for each task
If you have a predetermined time to complete a task, you will be more focused on its completion. As people, we tend to do the job as long as we have time. Always specify the time and date by which the task is to be completed.
7. Assign priorities to tasks
This simple procedure of prioritizing the task will allow you to be more productive. This way, you know which tasks you should take care of first and which you can wait for.
8. Do similar tasks at the same time
Group similar tasks, such as phone calls, e-mail checking, and other similar tasks into one batch. See, for example, which of your tasks require you to leave home and which do not, and group them together accordingly. Save time by performing comparable tasks in one session.
9. First complete the most demanding task
Brian Tracy described this way of increasing productivity well in his book “Eat That Frog”. The huge “frog waiting to be eaten” is your biggest and most important task, which you will probably delay if you don’t take care of right away.
10. Gain momentum by completing simple tasks
This advice is a reversal of the principle of doing the most difficult things first. Sometimes it is very difficult for us to start working at all, and that’s when simpler tasks can help. If you can’t “eat your frog” in the morning, start and finish a simpler task from your task list. These first successes will make you feel good and can positively influence your productivity and willingness to continue working efficiently.
11. Keep your environment clean for clarity of mind
Take care of the cleanliness and order of your environment in which you work. This applies to the room you are in, your desk and your computer desktop. Get rid of distractions that will cause your mind to wander around and think about things other than the ones you’re working on. Cleanliness and order also saves you time, because you won’t waste it on searching for the things you need. Everything in place and space for everything is a good way to increase productivity.
12. Find a new and inspiring work environment
To boost your creativity and productivity from time to time, work in a different place than usual. This can be a very stimulating experience. Go to a café, park, library or some other place you don’t usually visit. Replace the old environment with a new one for a pleasant and stimulating refreshment.
13. Keep a notebook at hand at all times
Make a habit of writing down your thoughts, ideas, tasks to be done. Use an electronic or even better paper notebook and write down your thoughts. It is important that when an idea comes up in your head you can write it down immediately. Then specify in your schedule the time to review and analyze these ideas.
Writing them down also relieves your mind from remembering certain things, and by writing them down you can be sure that they will not be forgotten. If you suddenly remember something important at work, just write it down so you don’t forget it and keep working.
14. Plan your meals in advance
When you don’t have to think about what and when you will eat, you can save a lot of time and make your life easier. By planning your meals in advance, you can also plan your grocery shopping, get healthier, and reduce situations where you eat anything just because you’re hungry. When you’re full, you also work more productively because your brain needs energy to function effectively.
15. Work offline
Technology, laptops, smartphones and the Internet have become an integral part of our lives, but to increase your productivity, try to do as much of your work as possible in offline mode. Often such a simple disconnection from your computer and technology, handwriting with a regular card and pen, can affect your efficiency and stimulate your imagination.
16. Surround yourself with busy people
Working with others who work hard can also be a good way to increase productivity. When you see how others are making an effort and trying to do something useful, you subconsciously get down to work without wanting to be worse than them. Sometimes for it to work, you don’t even need to know what all these people in your environment are doing, it’s enough that they look very busy and busy, which can also stimulate you to act.
17. Use music to help you
While music may seem like a distraction at work, it can, despite appearances, create a more efficient work environment. Create a list of your favorite songs to make you more productive. Music can stimulate and make you more focused and productive.
18. Use ongoing self-control
During the day, repeatedly ask yourself: “Am I doing what I should be doing right now and using my time effectively? This simple question can be a good step towards greater productivity. It allows you to keep track of whether what we do brings you closer to achieving your goals or the other way around.
19. Physical activity
Various studies have shown that exercise and physical activity have a positive effect on our energy levels, making us more productive at work. Sometimes it is enough to take a short walk, move around a bit, take a breath of fresh air to increase your productivity at work, and thus take on our responsibilities with new strength.
20. Get a good night’s sleep
A day has only 24 hours and sometimes we want to maximize our working time at the expense of the length of sleep. Breaking one or two nights may not be a problem, but in the long run, our productivity and productivity will suffer. Sleep deprivation will reduce our concentration, make us less productive and have a negative impact on our performance. To be more productive, sleep the right number of hours. If necessary, take a nap during the day to help you get back to work.
21. Check your email box at specific times
Continuous emails in your inbox can be a productivity killer. Reacting immediately to every incoming email can be a big distraction. Many people feel more productive when they immediately check and reply to emails, however, it often happens that at the end of the day it turns out that they did not manage to do much from their list of tasks to be done, because most of the day they took care of their mailbox.
During the day, specify the times at which you check and handle your emails. One method is to check your mail 3 times a day – in the morning, in the middle of the day at lunchtime and in the evening at the end of the day. Experiment and choose the right time for you.
22. Post and outsource
To make things much simpler, outsourcing means outsourcing tasks that were previously performed by us, by someone else. It is a solution that will entail expenses, but thanks to the fact that someone will do something for us, we will have time for other, more important from our perspective, activities.
Instead of cleaning yourself, hire someone to do it for you, you don’t want to spend time preparing meals, order diet catering, there are many opportunities in different areas of your life. Think about how valuable your time is and whether this apparent saving by doing the task yourself is the most effective solution. Delegating tasks to others is a proven way to increase productivity.
23. Get rid of your TV
Various studies show that, on average, people watch from 4 to 5 hours of television a day. Turn off the TV and you will certainly have more time for more productive activities and get more out of your life.
24. Listen to valuable audiobooks
When you go to work, clean the house, cook, work out in the gym, listen to books. By listening to educational books you will learn a lot of interesting things. Your mind will thank you for that. In addition, you use your time even more effectively.
25. Use standing orders and direct debit
Managing current payments can be time-consuming. Accommodation, electricity, telephone, Internet, etc. bills can be time-consuming. Use the solutions offered by banks and service providers, such as direct debit and standing orders, so that your bills will be paid on their own, you will save time and avoid stress and potential interest on overdue payments. You only need to focus on productive work and regular funding of your account.
26. Concentrate on activities that add value
Remember about Pareto’s rule that 80% of the results result from 20% of the investment. This means that 20% of our activities give 80% of the results. You need to find the 20% that creates 80% of your desired results and focus only on them.
27. Tell the other one about your goals
It’s a way that works on some people. Sharing your goals with others makes us more responsible and accountable for achieving them. In this way, there is some kind of positive pressure to act, not wanting to disappoint, we try harder.
28. Learn to say “No”
If you want to be more productive you should learn to refuse at the request of others. It’s not about being selfish and refusing to help people in need, it’s about making informed decisions about what we do with our time.
We are not able to do everything, so we should have priorities that allow us to better decide what we do and what we don’t do. Remember that by agreeing to a particular thing at a given time, you usually give up another thing.
29. Find a mentor
If you want to achieve something in the first place, look for people who have already achieved it. Establishing contact and relationships with such people, knowing their way, will save you a lot of time and energy in achieving your own goals and desires.
30. Limit the consumption of information
In one day, as humanity, we create a huge amount of information and data. There are a lot of Internet portals, newspapers and news services in the world. Due to a multitude of often worthless information, it is increasingly difficult to focus on valuable work.
If you spend your time every day absorbing all this information, your productivity will suffer a lot. Just focus on the information you can do something with and use it effectively. Don’t be afraid you’ll miss something important if it’s really critical information and you hear about it from others anyway.
31. Use teleworking
If you have your own company you can choose when and where you want to work. However, if you have a full-time job you usually have to appear in the office. Commuting to and from work takes valuable time. If your company allows you to work from home, take advantage of this opportunity. If teleworking is not yet practiced in your work, talk to your boss about the benefits, determine what you will be doing working remotely and try to get permission for this form of work.
Of course, not every type of work can be done remotely, but if the nature of the work does not interfere with it, why not take advantage of this option.
32. Use the sleep mode on your computer
To save time on booting up your computer, running all the programs you need, instead of turning off your computer, use the Windows “Sleep” option. This way you will be able to start your computer much faster and start working.
33. Master the speed reading technique
Mastering your reading skills will allow you to be more productive. You will be able to read and learn more in less time.
34. Control your keyboard
Just like with speed reading, a useful skill that can improve your productivity is fast, non-visual typing. When you type blindly, you don’t have to look at the text you’re typing all the time, so you’ll be much more productive.
More even use of fingers and no need to move your arms will protect you from fatigue and strain. In addition, many programs allow you to run various functions using keyboard shortcuts. Mastering these shortcuts will save you time and make you more productive.
35. Set ambitious goals
There is nothing more encouraging than setting yourself an ambitious goal. Setting the bar high enough will stimulate us to be more productive. Without exciting goals, you will never be motivated to act effectively.
36. Get up early
The habit of getting up in the morning can have a positive effect on your productivity. Quiet and calm in the morning will allow you to concentrate more.
37. Do one thing at a time
Research conducted in recent years has shown that multitasking is not conducive to being productive. Switching from one task to another results in dispersion and lower efficiency of work. For optimal performance, focus on one thing at a time.
38. Shop online
Nowadays, the possibilities of shopping online are very big. You can buy food products as well as other items, clothes, cosmetics, home appliances, electronics, etc… To have more time for more productive activities, take advantage of these opportunities. Buy online instead of wasting time in shops and queues.
39. Reward yourself for success
The perspective of an award waiting for us after completing a task may stimulate us and encourage us to work hard. When you start a task, determine what your reward will be when you complete it. These may be bigger or smaller prizes depending on the task or goal you are aiming at, e.g. watching a movie, lunch in a restaurant, some kind of purchase, a dream trip, etc.
40. Do what you love
Of course, one of the best ways to be more productive is to do things that are close to our heart and passion. Such work is practically not tiring, and even if we feel tired, it gives us such fun and pleasure that it is an effort that we gladly accept. Our productivity is also high if we do something that gives us authentic joy and happiness.
Choose one or more of these ways and try them out in practice to improve your productivity.
Thank you for reading this article about how to be more effective and I really hope that you take action my advice. I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.