Increase productivity in 11 steps

How come some people get everything done while you struggle to get through your workday? What is their secret? We all have 24 hours in a day and yet some people seem to get more done than others.

How to Increase productivity?

The truth is, being productive is a matter of adopting the right habits. Anyone can become ultra productive, including you. Regardless of how much you procrastinate, you can achieve a lot more but learning to work smarter. Soon you will be accomplishing a lot more than ever before and turn every day into an ultra-productive day.

Image credits: Keith Goldman / Flickr

Image credits: Keith Goldman / Flickr

This is how ultra-productive people get things done:

They have strong organizational skills

  • They deal with things right away. Follow this simple rule – if something takes less than two minutes to do, do it right now. Reading an email and deciding to write the answer later is a waste of time.
  • They make plans for the next day. End your workday by going over everything you accomplished and plan your work for the next day. This only takes a few minutes and you will feel great when you realize everything you accomplished during the day.
  • They take care of the most difficult tasks first. If you dread doing something, plan on taking care of it first thing in the morning so you can focus on other things instead of letting the dreaded task stress you out.
  • They know how to prioritize what is important. Do you find yourself constantly distracted by small things that seem urgent but do not really matter? Set some time aside to focus on your important tasks and do not let anything else distract you.
  • They know how to get the most out of a meeting by following talking points and a schedule. Meetings can be a waste of time if you are not prepared and organized.

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Image credits: Legozilla / Flickr

They have discipline

  • They know when to say no. A University of California in San Francisco study showed that individuals who never say no are more likely to feel stressed. Learn to say no to commitments you do not have time for.
  • They check emails at designated times. Checking your mailbox every time you receive a new message is counter-productive. Set some alerts for important emails and set a designated time to check the rest of your emails.
  • They never multitask. A study conducted at Stanford University showed that multitasking is not productive since it makes it difficult to focus and recall information. Focusing on one thing at a time will help you feel less stressed besides boosting your performance.
  • They know when to take a break. Going off the grid so you can focus on a high-priority project is the best way to get things done. Give your number to someone you trust and make arrangements to avoid being disturbed.
  • They know how to delegate work. You can avoid getting stressed and overwhelmed by delegating the work you cannot handle. Remember that you are not the only talented and efficient person around.
  • They know how to use technology to be more productive. Use apps to set alerts so that you do not miss important messages and prioritize tasks as you receive them. Test different tools, sites and apps designed to boost productivity to find something that works for you.

How to become ultra productive really depends on the kind of work you do and on your work environment. These eleven habits of ultra productive people will help you make a few changes but you will probably have to adapt them in function of the unique challenges you face in your job. Becoming more productive requires time and efforts but there is no better feeling than to get things done and to lower your stress levels.

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