Five Effective Ways to Increase Productivity

Whether you’re working from home, building your business or planning your next big launch, one of the biggest challenges to accomplishing goals is managing productivity.

No amount of innovative thinking, marketing, effort or outside help can make up for a productivity problem. These five tips will help you identify and resolve productivity problems that are hindering your work and help you to achieve your goals with improved efficiency and ease.

Tip #1: Prioritize Your Goals

While it is important to finish a project to achieve results, not all projects are equal.

By prioritizing your projects and goals, you’ll focus on the goals that bring results and find a greater sense of progress. This creates momentum to help you continue improving.

While there is no magic formula for prioritizing your goals, start by considering the importance of each goal in relation to the big picture. From there, you can tweak your choices further until you know exactly which order is best for your specific projects.

Tip #2: Break Down Goals into Smaller Tasks

Easily track progress, adapt your plan and start getting things done one step at a time.

With your projects prioritized, you can now start taking a deeper look at what you need to do to meet your goals. Often, you’ll the sheer scale goals on your to-do list make them intimidating and frustrating. This will lead to delays and a loss of productivity. Even worse, it can cause you to freeze or panic and get nothing done at all!

This tip is particularly powerful when coupled with the previous tip. It further boosts a sense of momentum as you quickly check items off your list. After utilizing both of these tips, you will have a detailed road-map of any project from start to finish.

No more figuring out where you left off, just glance at your list and you’re ready to start!

Tip #3: Apply Timetables

Keep the big picture in view and streamline your work with deadlines and time tables.

If you’re the type that thrives under pressure, setting deadlines can increase productivity while allow you to better estimate the time that you have available. Even if you’re working on a personal project, having deadlines in place and tracking your productive time provides a tangible way to realize your goals and motivate yourself throughout the project.

Of course, you will occasionally run into problems or miss deadlines. When this happens, communicate with your team, clients or boss quickly. Great communication and a commitment to complete the job can smooth over the occasional slip up.

If you’re unsure of how much time to set aside for a task, Toggl is a great option.

It’s free for basic use, interacts with most popular to-do list and communication services. Best of all, it allows you to get as specific as you want in your time tracking efforts.

Tip #4: Eliminate Distractions

In our increasingly connected world, distractions are everywhere.

What derails your productivity might be different from the distractions that me, your co-workers or your best friends face. This makes them a little harder to deal and one of the biggest productivity leeches around.

Even worse, sometimes productivity tools are distractions in disguise.

Whether your personal weaknesses are email, co-workers, life events or just a lack of focus, eliminating or minimizing these distractions will provide an immediate productivity boost.

Unfortunately, eliminating many distractions comes down to pure willpower. Each time you find yourself distracted, make an effort to stop the distracting activity. If you cannot end a distraction, try to reduce the effects of the distraction.

Set timers, track your time or only check emails at specified times or make accessing your distraction difficult.

By setting schedules, analyzing your work patterns and taking a more mindful approach to dealing with distractions, you not only are more prone to noticing them, but you can ease your way back into a productive routine quickly.

Tip #5: Plan Ahead

Even the best plans fall apart from time to time.

No matter how much planning you do or how many tools you use to wrangle your routines, workflows, schedules or projects, you will always run into obstacles or unplanned difficulties.

By planning for emergencies, keeping your to-do lists and projects well maintained and being mindful of how you work, you are always ready when faced with a challenge.

If you have implemented the previous tips, you should have a good idea of how things will go throughout your project. All that is left is figuring out the most likely obstacles to get in your way. If you already have a plan in place, you avoid having to debate the best options, making hasty choices or, even worse, failing to respond at all.

Simply shift gears, keep working and get more done!

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