It seems productivity is on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days. How is it people like Elon Musk can run 3 multi-million dollar companies simultaneously, when I can barely find time to hit the gym twice a week! It just doesn’t add up…
Well, I’m here to say being productive is so much simpler than you think, and you don’t need the latest time-management app or more hours in the office to do it. Honestly, I wish I would have found this years ago…
I dare you to try these 5 productivity tricks proven by science to unleash the true potential of your mind.
1. Get Started
Yeah, it seems simple, but studies have shown getting started is the biggest blocker to productivity. The mind visualizes the hardest tasks it needs to accomplish, then tries avoiding them by simulating smaller mindless tasks to do (like checking your email and facebook).
Luckily, there’s this thing called the Zeigarnik Effect, which compels you to finish these more difficult tasks. This effect is what gives you discomfort for unfinished tasks and constantly reminds you about it until you give in.
Trust me you’ll feel much better about it after you just get started. What are you waiting for?
2. Deliberate Work Habits
We’ve all experienced that feeling of never ending to-do lists. You spend all day working, but feel exhausted and unaccomplished by the end of the day. It turns out more work doesn’t actually break down into productivity.
Try dividing up your day in 90-minute segments, focusing on the hardest tasks first. Be sure to leave room for 15 to 20-minute breaks in between, so you don’t get burnt out too quick. You’ll find that your time will be much more productive with a disciplined schedule.
3. Make Deadlines
How can you get organized if you don’t prioritize your tasks? Try writing down what needs to be done and mark it in your calendar. Visualizing your important tasks on a timeline will help you plan accordingly and keep you from falling too far out of line.
4. Accountability Chart
“Similar to those on a diet who document their food intake, writing down your progress allows you to realistically evaluate your work, as opposed to inaccurately assuming what you’ve done.”
This simple productivity tool will leave you with a real sense of accomplishment at the end of the day, and also limit your small mindless activities.
Try spending 5 minutes before you go to bed jotting down each activity you need to accomplish for tomorrow. Then hit the ground running in the morning. Trust me, the task of planning your schedule is much less stressful when you can still put it off for another day.
Add this to your to-do list:
Try a few or all of these tactics this week and see how they affect your productivity. Evaluate your progress and spend that extra time with family, or relaxing with a book.