Pave Your Way to Productivity
With the holidays behind us, the new year is the perfect time to start working on your self improvement goals. No matter how productive you were last year, there’s always room for improvement! Here are five ways to pave your way to productivity this year.
Focus on One Step at a Time
When you think about all of your tasks at hand, you can easily become overwhelmed. Instead, make this the year you work toward being able to hyper-focus on one task. Start with the most important at the beginning of the day, then work down to the tasks of least importance.
Miller, a Picower professor of neuroscience at MIT, says that for the most part, we simply can't focus on more than one thing at a time. What we can do, he said, is simply shift our focus from one thing to the next.
"You cannot focus on one while doing the other. That's because of what's called interference between the two tasks," Miller said. By focusing on one task, you will complete it in a more efficient manner.
Put Distractions on the Back Burner
Even if you only have one task on your plate, distractions will still make themselves well-known and hinder productivity all day long. Maybe your co-worker won’t quit chatting, someone just posted something interesting on social media, or you frankly just don’t feel like working. Whatever the reason, we all face distractions. How to face them head on is what’s important.
To begin minimizing daily distractions, put your emails on hold, turn off your cell phone and disconnect from the workplace by working in a quiet room away from others.
Use New Technology
Technology is at your fingertips for a reason—it’s helpful! If you can automate parts of your daily life, take advantage as it will help increase productivity tenfold.
Research new apps that can help you in your day-to-day life, whether it’s work related or personal
- ATracker allows you to define your daily tasks, and a simple tap will track how long you spend on each one of them.
- BreakFree will give you a deeper understanding of how much time you’re spending on specific apps on your phone such as social media apps.
- Zapier connects over 750 apps to help automate repetitive tasks. This way, you can spend more time doing important tasks.
- HelloAlfred is an app will take care of any tasks you need to get done, but don’t have time to do. Someone will make your bed, pick up your dry cleaning, do your laundry—you name it!
- InstaCart allows you to order your groceries online and someone from the Instacart team will deliver them right to your door.
These are just a few of the thousands of apps available. Research them more to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Get Your Priorities Straight
Before starting each day, take time to make a list of everything you need to get done. Even if you’re not keen on the idea of making lists, it really does go a long way in increasing productivity and organization.
The goal you want to try to achieve is getting all of your more important tasks done at the beginning of the day. You will be more creative and awake at the start of the day, allowing you to put in one hundred percent. As you begin to tire throughout the day, the easier tasks will be waiting for you to tackle with ease.
Change Up Your Scenery
Going to the same desk at work every day can begin to feel mundane after a while. If you feel stuck in your day-to-day, a change of scenery may help get you back on track.
Take your laptop to a library or a local coffee shop for a change of pace. If it’s nice outside, head to a park for some fresh air. This will help to stimulate your mind and get you on the path to productivity.