Are you constantly stressed about having a chaotic workday? Do you often find yourself procrastinating or focusing on low-priority tasks? We have compiled 7 techniques you can implement in your routine. Pick a technique from the list and start implementing it. There is no magic here, just a matter of habit and preference.
Productivity Technique 1: Prioritize your work
Over time, prioritizing has proven to be one of the most effective productivity methods. This technique will help you if you tend to focus on small tasks. However, sometimes we procrastinate and miss out on high-priority jobs. The reason for this can be that the high-priority tasks are always more complex. Hence, you are unsure where to start and finish the rest of the petty tasks at hand.
According to this technique, you should set priorities on your to-do list ahead of time. For example, you might have heard of the saying “eat the frog.” The essence of the expression is strongly connected to productivity techniques: The “frog” is a difficult or complex task you don’t want to do. If it is your job to eat the frog and it is pretty tricky for you, do it first thing in the morning.
Why eat the frog first thing in the morning? Because:
- You will feel free and relieved.
- The anxiousness will pass away with the frog itself.
- You will feel happy and rewarded for the rest of the day.
To illustrate what tasks could be a “frog” at work, imagine you have a lengthy report to finish and submit to the manager. If you do it first thing in the week, you will have your emotional freedom. Moreover, all the rest of the tasks will seem easier compared to the “frog.” But how am I going to prioritize among my long list of tasks? I knew you had this question in mind. This is where the Eisenhower matrix comes in. The matrix is a tool to categorize and prioritize your tasks. Here you think about two categories: urgency and importance. So every time you feel anxious and lost in the pile of assignments, remember this technique.
Productivity Technique 2: Automate to the fullest
Technologies nowadays let us easily automate anything you can imagine. Simply starting to automate even sending the simplest email will save a lot of time. We cannot fully name this a productivity method, but it essentially leads to improvements.
Automation and the “delegate” box from the Eisenhower matrix tend to correspond with each other. So, while prioritizing, if you find tiny tasks that you can delegate, do it by automation.
You can also hire IT people who are knowledgeable in business process automation. They can help you go beyond expectations and help increase your productivity.
Productivity Technique 3: Timeboxing as a productivity improvement technique
Timeboxing is a productivity method that is relevant for you if you want to reduce your procrastination. In this case, you can simply pick your favorite digital calendar and divide it into blocks of time. Here you don’t binge on or procrastinate on a very unpleasant task before sunset. Instead, you can create a successful mix of tasks for the day and balance your efforts. For example, choose two contrasting tasks and make a sequence: hard, easy, hard, etc.
With this productivity method, you can ensure nobody interrupts you when you are in a single timebox. You can also create a box for those minor “distractions” like chatting with colleagues, sipping your coffee, or catching up on emails.
Moreover, you can also improve your work quality by avoiding perfectionism. You will not overfocus, as your timebox is limited, and you will not overdo nor overthink a task.
Productivity Technique 4: Create to-do lists
This productivity method is one of the widely known and used ones. If you have to-do lists or task lists, you automatically keep yourself accountable. Moreover, it helps you stay on track with what is yet to finish.
An important aspect to mention here is that the items on the to-do list should be specific. Avoid compiling a ton of small tasks under one item so that the item becomes an entire project. In this case, you will feel drained and lack the feeling of accomplishment. Instead, give yourself five minutes to jot down 5-8 small tasks on a piece of paper at the end of the day. Doing so will ease the beginning of the next day and you will see the benefits of to-do lists right the next day.
Productivity Technique 5: Refrain from opening your emails before midday
This productivity technique might sound redundant and irrelevant to you. However, checking your inbox is proven to take a lot of time. Therefore, if you are not waiting for an urgent email, postpone this activity till 12pm.
Your mailbox might be full of newsletters that will swallow your morning hours of productivity, or long emails that you’ve been CC’d in. For example, you come across an interesting newsletter about a blog article about productivity, like this one, and start reading… Before you know it, 30 mins are gone. It is helpful, of course, to read our article, but you have high-priority tasks to finish, too!
Productivity Technique 6: Split big tasks into smaller ones
Working on a small chunk of a bigger task is a productivity improvement technique that is here to last. This is based on our habit of wanting instant gratification. Our brains are wired to feel that burst of endorphins, so why not make it happy?
If you set a big task as a goal and split it into more manageable small ones, you will feel a sense of achievement. Every time you finish a small task related to the big goal, you feel closer to victory. Imagine the feeling of accomplishment every time you are one step closer to submitting that quarterly report.
Productivity Technique 7: The Pomodoro Technique®
If you ever feel like procrastinating too much, the Pomodoro Technique® is for you. This technique suggests you work 25 minutes and rest 5 minutes and then repeat. You can have an endless amount of similar circles until you are done with the day.
This productivity technique will help you stay motivated and focused for a defined period and not procrastinate. You are working with the anticipation of that 5-minute rest, the time is short enough that you can focus 100% on the task at hand, and you can usually manage to do the task within the timeframe.
You can pick one or two of these productivity techniques and start trying them out. Then, implement one by one to feel the benefits separately. Otherwise, you can mix and match them and find the techniques that help make you more productive and efficient at work.
About the author: Armen Baghdasaryan is an experienced digital marketing specialist who is always keen to keep up with the latest updates in the industry and come up with the best marketing solutions.