How To Increase Your Productivity (10 Simple But Effective Ways)

A woman showing how to increase her productivity with graphs on her computer.

Have you ever gotten to a point in your life when you felt like the wheels are spinning, but you aren’t going anywhere? You are working hard, but aren’t seeing any results? Many people find their lives to be filled with tasks, and duties, and jobs that keep them busy, but the busyness doesn’t take them anywhere. If you can relate, you need to find a way to increase your productivity.

While you might be working hard, you may not be working hard in the areas that are going to take you a step closer to your end goals. Simply put, productivity is getting done what you need to get done to improve yourself and your life. 

Whether your passion is writing, bodybuilding, creating a business, or more, being able to increase your productivity in what you are doing to accomplish your end goal is crucial. Without productivity, your life will become stagnant as you struggle to accomplish your goals.

Below are ten simple but effective ways to increase your productivity on a daily basis which will help enable you to accomplish your goals more effectively and efficiently. 

1. Set Achievable Goals And Always Work With Them In Mind

Everyone was told when they were young to make goals and work to achieve them. While this is true and you should always try to accomplish every goal you initiate, it is also important to set achievable goals that you can work towards and complete. 

With these achievable goals in mind, you have something to work towards on a realistic level. Once you have goals, both short term, and long term, you can envision what achieving them would look like.

Envisioning your goals become a reality is what provides you with the motivation to continue pushing until you accomplish them. 

For example, while your long-term goal may be to be a best-selling author, your short-term goal could be to complete your first chapter. With that first chapter in mind, you can work towards that then set a new goal once it is completed.

The accumulation of accomplishing many short-term and achievable goals will eventually amount to something substantial. The key is to set achievable goals, so you can recognize that you are making progress and stay motivated to keep being productive.

2. Find Passion In Your Work

One of the major rules of productivity is that you have to love what you are doing. If you are not passionate about what you are doing, you are never going to want to go that extra mile to increase your productivity.

When you dread what you do every day, putting time and effort into it will appear as if you are doing a chore. You will work to complete a task quickly, but you never give it your best effort or care much about the results of the end product.

On the other hand, when you have a passion for what you are doing, you are more likely to put time and energy into that task because you love doing it.

If you find yourself bored or burnt out with what you are doing, think about a career or lifestyle change. Consider focusing your efforts on something that you are passionate about and will enjoy working long hours on.

The average individual spends over 40 years working before they retire. You will live one miserable life if you spend 40 years working at something you don’t enjoy.

Don’t be afraid to sacrifice monetary gain in the short-term to experiment and find what it is that you are truly passionate about.

3. Focus On One Task At A Time

It can be hard to put all of your effort into what you are doing if you are trying to juggle a million things at once. Having too many things to do can result in you being extremely overwhelmed, burnt out, and spread too thin. 

You will never get anything done if you cannot properly manage everything that you have on your plate. Because of that, to be more productive and manage your time better, try to focus on just one task at a time. 

When you have just one thing to focus on, you can put all of your time into what you are working on and get a great result. As oppose to mediocre results on multiple different tasks because you couldn’t focus.

The human brain wasn’t built to multi-task. To increase productivity, narrow your scope to what is manageable in your life. As a result, you will be more efficient and effective in all aspects of your life.

4. Plan What You Want To Accomplish Tomorrow Before Heading To Bed (Use A Daily To-Do List)

Creating a to-do list at night can be a great way to stay organized, set goals, and be prepared for the next day. At the end of every day, you can recount what you got done that day, and set goals for what you want to accomplish tomorrow.

With this in mind, you can look at that list in the morning and physically cross off items as you get them finished.

The sense of accomplishment as you complete items on your to-do list is motivation in itself. However, writing a list every night also holds you accountable to get what you need to get done.

Creating a to-do list at the end of each day also helps you keep organized while the information is still fresh in your mind. Furthermore, no time is wasted in the morning while you try to determine what needs to be accomplished today.

Especially on Monday mornings when most people have had the weekend to forget about what they were working towards on Friday.

5. Minimize Distractions

One of the first things that hinder you from increasing your productivity is distractions. Whether you get distracted by your phone, your pets, that new series on the TV, or more, distractions can greatly minimize your productivity. 

When you minimize your distractions, you allow your mind to focus solely on the activity at hand. Rather than having your mind wander all over the place, you force yourself to put all of your energy into the important task you are focusing on. 

In order to minimize distractions, you can set aside a portion of time in your day where you put all of the things that distract you to the side.

For example, if you want to carve out an hour every day to write your new book, minimize the effect that distractions can have on you during this period of time.

Put your phone on silent mode and place it in a drawer, close the door to your office or workspace to reduce interruptions, exit out of the email application on your laptop, and focus on your writing.

At the end of a productive hour of work, you can revisit your phone, check your emails, and reopen your door to show those around you that you are now available if needed.

When you remove frequent distractions from your workspace, you minimize the chances of breaking your focus and increase your ability to be productive. 

6. Exercise Frequently

While exercise may not seem connected to the goal you are trying to achieve, it can greatly affect your energy and productivity levels. Research has found that when you exercise daily, you are exercising your mind along with your body. 

When you exercise, your body releases endorphins that increase your energy levels for hours on end. With this added energy, you can laser in your focus on the tasks you are struggling to be productive with.

Furthermore, if you begin to notice you are becoming unproductive while working on a specific task, take a break to exercise. You will come back feeling refreshed, and ready to get back to your work with a clear mind.

It doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise. In fact, going on daily walks can even make a difference, and exercising in itself is being productive. Exercising gets you up and moving about which promotes a healthy lifestyle and increases your energy output.

7. Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep is crucial to be able to focus. When your body is tired, your mind is also tired, and you struggle to focus on what you are working on. Getting the proper amount of sleep every night can make you more alert, aware, and focused. 

You will find that if you are too tired, you will begin to zone out and not be fully engaged in what you are doing. This does not help to increase your productivity because your mind will not be alert enough to complete the task to the best of your abilities.

As a result, you will take longer to accomplish a task and produce mediocre results.

Therefore, be strict with the amount of sleep you get each night. Adequate sleep is one of the most important factors to maintain consistent productivity on a daily basis.

8. Find Ways To Motivate Yourself

There is nothing wrong with finding ways to give yourself a little motivation to keep going. The extra boost created by yourself, or an external source, can significantly increase your productivity.

Your mind works well when there are things to work towards and reach, and if intangible goals aren’t enough, you can use physical motivations as well. 

For example, say you are working hard to lose weight by eating healthy and exercising a number of times a week per the schedule you created.

You might reward yourself with one cheat day a week where you treat yourself to your favorite dessert after dinner. You are only rewarded with the dessert if you met all your diet and exercise goals for the week.

Other examples of motivation could include watching motivational videos about the obstacles a successful individual had to overcome before achieving their goals. Or sitting down with someone you look up to, or who holds a position or job title that you are working towards achieving.

This sense of motivation can be done in a variety of ways and applied to various different scenarios. However, it is an effective method to increase your productivity to keep pushing until you reach your end goal.

9. Reward Yourself After Reaching A Milestone

It is important to reward yourself after reaching a milestone or accomplishing a goal. Take a step back, recognize what you have achieved, and treat yourself to something that you otherwise would not.

The size of the reward will depend on your personal preference, and the size of the milestone you have achieved.

When you reward yourself after achieving something notable, you improve your focus and productivity as you work to accomplish the goals you have set for yourself.

Furthermore, as you reward yourself for finishing a task, it gives you an opportunity to take a break from the work you are doing, relax, and have some fun.

10. Schedule In Breaks

For students and adults alike, breaks are necessary for your brain. Research shows that your brain needs breaks in order to refocus on the work.

In schools, these breaks are known as ‘brain breaks,’ and they are when the students get to step away from the work, move their bodies, and take a break before they have to get back to what they were doing. 

These breaks not only help to get you up and moving with exercise, but they also allow you to take a break which is necessary in order to increase your productivity.

When you work for too long on one single project, your mind will begin to wander. Furthermore, the work won’t be as well done because your mind isn’t fully charged to work.

Other examples of breaks can include taking five minutes to walk to the kitchen and get coffee, having a quick conversation with your co-worker about their plans for the weekend, or getting up-to-date by reading the breaking news story.

Scheduled breaks are important because you are subconsciously aware of them and you work more efficiently to complete tasks before taking them.

For example, you are less likely to be distracted as you work to finish a specific task if you know you will be taking a break in 30 minutes. Why get distracted now? You have 30 minutes to finish what you are working on and then be rewarded with a break.

As a result, a scheduled break increases your productivity as you work hard to complete your task before starting your break.

The realization that there are 86,400 seconds each day. What are you doing today, so that tomorrow you are a step closer to where you want to be? If not now, then when?

eightysixfourhundred, make them count

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Hi, I'm James! I want to help you make the most of your day by providing helpful tips and informative articles on motivation, time management, productivity, and happiness.

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