How To Become A Productivity Pro: 6 Tips That Actually Work

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligence, planning and focused effort.”- Paul J Meyer

Why do we spend hours on the internet to look for productivity tips and life hacks? Why do we keep testing recent products and ideas to produce more at optimum levels? Why is productivity so important for everybody?

The answer to it is very simple! To achieve more in less time.

Yes, that is the only reason why everybody is so obsessed with productivity. But what exactly does ‘being productive’ mean? Does it mean staying super busy throughout the day?

It is often believed that being productive means being busy. Sorry to burst your bubble but that’s a big misconception.

You can spend the entire day back and forth, attending meetings, replying to the emails, and yet by the end of the day, you would realize that nothing got ticked off of your to-do list. Your workload just keeps growing and growing.

Then what does being productive actually mean?

Productivity is mainly the amount of output generated by an individual, team, or organization as compared to the amount of input that went into it. So, if you are productive that means your output (the end result) is always greater than your input (time, efforts, or other resources).

It is vital for us to cultivate habits that make us productive. Like I mentioned, being productive does not mean doing more, it means doing less and still accomplish more.

Being the CEO at ProofHub, it took me a while to understand that my productivity affects more than just me. The output of my work directly influences the productivity of my team too. In order to have a productive team, I had to work on my productivity skills.

How did I manage to achieve that? Well, here’s how:

  1. Wake up early

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All of us want to accomplish maximum within the limited amount of time we get and that’s where we lack patience and focus. It’s pretty simple, if you wake up early, you have more time to prepare for your tasks and accomplish them.

To many, waking up early is by far the most difficult and dreaded part of going to work. But for me, rising early has been the ultimate key to be more productive.

I, for that matter, love working in the morning and that’s probably the time when I’m the most productive. I tend to be a bit more efficient in the morning so if I have something complex or important to work on, I prefer to start with it earlier in the day.

If you get up just an hour earlier than you usually wake up, you will gain two extra weeks in a year. Imagine the number of days we waste in our life just sleeping. I don’t know about you but I have too much to accomplish instead of just wasting my time like that.

If you think you are time deficient, sleep a little less, and you’ll understand how much extra time you actually have. We only need a maximum of seven hours to sleep, any more is just wasting of time and life.

2. Plan your day beforehand

Planning applies to not just my professional but my personal life as well. I have a regular routine, which I make sure does not get disrupted come what may. It includes doing some exercise, taking a shower, spending some quality time with my family, and checking the to-do lists for the tasks that I had planned to finish up in the day.

When you wish to plan your days ahead, it is important for you to look up for the tasks you need to do and understand what it takes to finish them up. Creating a to-do list works best for my team in that case.

We use ProofHub to-do lists to jot down our daily tasks and priorities for the coming days. That way, we spend less time planning and more time executing. After all, the whole point of creating a to-do list is to get things done on time and improve overall productivity.

3. Set a limit to your meetings and groups

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There is an old saying “Too many cooks spoil the broth.” If you look further for this phrase, you will find that most of the examples are related to business or project management. Any wonders why is that so?

Well, it’s simple. If a lot of people are involved in a meeting or a project there will be loads of varied opinions and ideas that will lead to unnecessary issues like confusion and frustration. Make sure that you set a limit to the number of people who have a similar thought process that would work for a specific project or attending a meeting.

This will help you in providing clarity of responsibility to the team members and assign specific roles to everyone. Clear responsibilities will help the workforce to understand who is accountable for what and would not hamper productivity.

4. One thing at a time

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Switching between different tasks can make us very tired. Our brain needs a lot of energy to switch and change on what it is currently focusing on.

You are definitely not being productive by doing that in fact you’re just skimming over the surface instead of digging in properly. That way, we cannot accomplish any task and end up being super unproductive by the end of the day.

Make sure that you limit down your tasks first because “quality over quantity” matters the most and then take one task at a time. You will realize that you are able to finish them up in less time and accomplish a lot more.

5. Utilize the right technology and apps

Be it any walk of life, technology is meant to make our lives easier. From assigning tasks online to delivering your projects with just a click, applications have a great potential to decrease the time spent on accomplishing your every day and increase overall productivity.

You might feel that you have no time to use technology for your everyday workflow, but once you find an application that works well for you, trust me, it can take your productivity to the next level.

With project management software like ProofHub, you can keep an eye on your productivity every day and make the required adjustments. You can easily monitor your tasks to track how much time you are spending on important as well as non-essential tasks and do the needful.

6. Take a break

You might be the person who eliminates all the distractions, stays chained to a cubicle, and works non-stop until the task is finally finished. Well, full marks for the discipline, but you might not be as productive as you could be. Sticking yourself to your desk without any breaks or refreshments can never be the recipe for success, it in fact is a recipe for disaster.

As per a recent study, taking frequent breaks helps in boosting your productivity as it refreshes your mind and allows you to focus better. It may sound counterproductive, but that is the reality.

So step away from your desk, go for a walk, listen to your favorite music or watch cute cuddly pictures of kittens and puppies. Yes, looking at cute pictures of animals actually works. Don’t believe me? There is an actual Japanese study behind it. Just try giving it a shot and thank me later.

Conclusion

How amazing it is to look at highly productive people and get inspired by them. But what if you can become the most productive person you know by bringing little changes to your lifestyle? Sounds so tempting, right?

There is no magic pill that you can buy for yourself and get things done without any effort. And it definitely is not just about looking for different practices to be more productive, it’s about actually applying them to your life as well.

I truly hope these 6 productivity tips help you boost your productivity levels.

All the best!

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Internet Entrepreneur, CEO of SDP Labs and Founder of ProofHub