1. Use To-Do Lists Effectively
While to-do lists are becoming more digital, a to-do list should be visual at all times so you don’t miss something important or you should check it regularly. If you keep your to-do lists on your phone, keep them organized in categories and make a habit of checking them regularly. A quick 5 second glance can prevent you from missing something important.
2. Get Enough Sleep
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the average amount of sleep required for adults is 7.5 but can vary from 5-9 hours. It’s okay to experiment with different sleep times. Try 7.5 hours and if you feel awake in the morning and you feel awake during the time you’re usually awake, you’ve found the amount of sleep that you need.
3. Take More Breaks, But Make Them Shorter
The average adult attention span is 20 minutes, which doesn’t seem like a whole lot of time. To keep yourself at your most productive, take frequent breaks. Get up to get some water, breaks to the bathroom work as well, and give yourself a bit of time to break attention from what you’re doing. It’s a surprising how efficient and productive someone can be with just small breaks during the day.
4. If You Get Stuck, Move On To New Tasks
Switch tasks when you’re stuck to allow your mind to work on the problem in the background while you tackle something new. Sleeping and then coming back to something is also helpful. When you sleep, you achieve what’s known as REM sleep in which the tasks and thoughts of your day are processed, and in this cycle the solution might become clear.
5. Don’t Multitask
There have been numerous studies on driving and talking on a cell phone. While these studies are to show how a person can handle driving and another task, they also show that humans are not as good as handling multiple tasks simultaneously. With any task, there are so many senses involved and everything needs to be processed by the brain. The brain begins to slow down and can’t process everything, which actually reduces productivity. Do one thing at a time and you’ll do it well.
6. Eliminate Low Value Activities
If there’s something that isn’t worth doing, then there’s no point in giving it the time and energy to complete it. There are lots of these little things in daily life or at work. Ceasing to do them isn’t going to have a long-term effect except that you’ll have more time to do things that actually matter.
7. Stop Waiting On Others
There’s always something that can be done. It may require doing things out of the established order, but this will prevent doing nothing. In work, this means moving on to tasks that may not be a priority. Take time to organize your day or work on a new task. At home, there are lots of things that can be done while waiting for someone. Do something that can be stopped at any time such as reading a book or some chores.
8. Utilize The 80/20 Rule
You achieve 80% of your results with 20% of what you do during a day. Figuring out what fills the rest of your day is as easy as breaking the next project you get down into just the necessary components and working on it in chunks and then identify what causes you to move away from the project. Remove any unnecessary tasks or reallocate them into a portion of your day in which they make the most sense.