There’s nothing better than ending the day knowing that you’ve been productive all day and are on track with all your projects, and there’s nothing worse than ending the day with a mountain of work left, wondering where the hours went and worrying about tomorrow. Increasing productivity can be as simple as changing your habits, implementing new routines, and using tools like project management software to stay organized. Once you make some changes and implement new strategies to increase your productivity, you’ll notice how much more you get done, and feel like you can handle so much more on a day-to-day basis.
How Can You Increase Your Productivity?
1. Make To-Do Lists
Making to-do lists is an easy way to visualize your tasks and help you decide what order to tackle them in. Develop a strategy for increasing productivity by making to-do lists. You can break up large tasks into multiple smaller tasks, and tackle them one-by-one to knock things off your list.
It’s also a good idea to spend a few minutes each day creating a list of the tasks you have for the next day to prepare ahead of time; so you know exactly what you have to get started on the next morning. Figure out your own style of to-do list that works best for you. You’ll not only be more productive, but you’ll have the satisfaction of checking things off the list when they are done.
2. Say No to Unnecessary Meetings
Let’s be honest, we’ve all been in meetings where we spend the whole time thinking about how many more productive things we could be doing during that meeting. If someone requests a meeting about something that you can take care of via phone or email, say no. If you have a schedule meeting, but nothing vital to discuss, cancel it.
Of course, some meetings will be unavoidable, or absolutely necessary, but make sure to evaluate the worth of every meeting and make sure it will be a productive use of your time. If you have something important to do at the same time as a meeting that you think might be important, ask someone to send you meeting notes so you don’t lose valuable time, but still receive any important updates.
3. Delegate Tasks to Split up Large Projects
Knowing when to delegate tasks to divide up the work for large projects is vital to increasing your productivity. Delegating is also one of the most important personal skills to develop as a project manager to stay organized and manage teams. You need to learn how to delegate tasks to the right people, and how to provide them with all the resources they need to get the work done.
Once you get comfortable with asking people to help you on tasks, you will noticeably increase your productivity. Trying to do everything on your own to get a project done can actually be counterproductive. Trust your team and empower them to help you get things done.
4. Focus on One Task at a Time
Stop trying to multitask all the time. Contrary to what you may believe, it has been shown that trying to do multiple tasks at once can actually decrease productivity and waste time. Instead, focus on getting one task done at a time before you move on to the next one. This is where those to-do lists come in handy!
5. Minimize Distractions
Try to cut down on as many distractions as possible while you work. Make a habit of avoiding social media as you work, set a designated time to check emails instead of at random, and turn off the TV if you work from home. If you really have trouble avoiding social media or spending time on certain apps that are detracting from your productivity, then uninstall the apps to avoid the temptation. Turning off non-vital notifications on your phone and desktop can also exponentially decrease the amount of distractions you have throughout the day. Saving all the cumulative time you spend on distractions will greatly increase your productivity.
6. Take Regular Breaks
Give yourself regular breaks, ether after a certain amount of time being productive, or every time you get done with a specific task. Get up and walk around, breathe some fresh air, have some water, do whatever helps you reset a little bit before you tackle the next task. Breaks will help you refocus, concentrate better on the next task, and increase your productivity. Working for a long time on a single task with no breaks will decrease your productivity and the quality of your work.
7. Get Enough Sleep and Get up Early
You know that feeling in the morning, when you’re somewhere between awake and asleep, and not being very productive. Make a habit of getting to bed early enough to get the right amount of sleep (7-9 hours for adults). Instead of lying in bed hitting snooze in the morning, get up 15 minutes earlier and see how much it increases your productivity for the day.
8. Include Exercise in Your Routine
Exercise is proven to increase your productivity, alertness, and overall wellness. Incorporate regular exercise in your daily routine, whether it’s just a walk at lunch time or a daily trip to the gym. Getting your blood pumping will help you focus and be more productive throughout the day. Exercise in the morning can even wake you up better than coffee!
9. Reward Yourself for Productivity
Give yourself things to look forward to at the end of a productive day, week, or month. They can be as simple as a nice dinner at the end of the day, a Friday night out with friends, or an end-of-the-month vacation. Either way, having a reward system for yourself will help you feel the fruits of your labors and increase your productivity.
10. Use Project Management Software
Project management software can help you organize better and be more productive. You can even use it to create those to-do lists and delegate tasks to split up larger pieces of work. Whether you are a project management professional, or you just want a tool to increase your productivity, project management software is sure to help.
With project management software, you can not only create easy to-do lists, but choose from other methodologies like Gantt charts to increase your productivity by visually representing complex information about projects. Using project management software is proven to increase productivity and improve your project success rate!