How To Be More Productive: 20 Habits To Help You |

How To Be More Productive: 20 Habits To Help You

Posted by Aisha Samake

In the age of remote work, it’s important to figure out what your personal productivity is. Everyone has their own way to work and what makes more sense to them. When working on a team, everyone must be individually productive which will improve the productivity of the team as a whole.

It’s important to figure out how you can have a productive day, week, or month. You may ask yourself: “How can I make my time more productive?” 

Luckily, we have the answer you’re looking for.

How Can I Make My Time Productive?

To answer the above question, it is important to make a distinction. Productivity and getting more work done are not the same thing. We want to spend our time doing things that matter.

“How can I get more done?” is the wrong question. It focuses on the result, not the process. 

When our focus is solely on the results, we neglect the productivity systems that can make it happen. The result (the thing) we are focused on is only a by-product of the process (the way) we perform the action. If you’re focused on the result, you’ll be distracted by unnecessary things. You’ll spend your time on the wrong tasks, and you’ll miss out on all the little things that lead up to the big thing. If you’re focused on the process, you’ll notice the little things. You’ll see the opportunities to improve the process, and you’ll be able to appreciate the beauty in the process. When we focus on the process, we are constantly learning. 

We can never have enough skills, knowledge, or wisdom. We can never be too productive. The process is the ultimate productivity enhancer.

It all starts with a single question: “How can I be more effective?” When you focus on the process, you aren’t asking how to be more efficient. Effective means “to achieve a desired or intended result.” You want to achieve your desired result, so, of course, you want to be effective. But how can you achieve your desired result? If you want to be productive, your first priority is to be effective. You need to master the process. 

Productivity is a process, not an outcome.

When you focus on the process, you can better appreciate the little things. You can see the opportunities to improve the process. You can focus on mastery, not just results. The secret to productivity isn’t about doing more. It’s about doing things better. Doing more things is a waste of time. Don’t worry about getting more done. Focus on being more effective. Learn to be more effective with everything you do. You’ll get more done, and you’ll get more done with less effort. Remember, you want to spend your time doing things that matter.

If you don’t master the process, you won’t spend your time on the right tasks. You won’t be effective, and you won’t get the results you want.

How Can I Be More Productive This Year?

1. Become more focused on tasks by blocking off your time.

Instead of doing work at random times in your day, blocking off certain hours for work can help you stay focused and motivated. Burnout can occur if you overwork yourself, so set times where you work and times when you rest. These tools can help you do it.

2. Eliminate inefficient communication (spend less time on email)

According to a Mckinsey study, workers spend about 28% of their work week checking and responding to emails. That can use up valuable time that could be used on getting work done. Find informal communication apps for quick chats that can save time and get you working faster.

3. Set small goals for the tasks.

Incentivize your tasks by creating small goals that you can tick off your to-do list. Every time you complete your goals, you’re one step closer to finishing the overall task. It’ll be much more enjoyable and manageable.

4. Prioritize your to-do list

It’s important to organize your tasks you need to accomplish during work. Break things down into short-term and long-term projects. Indicate the due date for each task and start with the most important ones. By not prioritizing your work, things can quickly become overwhelming.

5. Focus on one goal at a time.

It’s very easy to fall into the trap of trying to be overly ambitious when you get a new project or task. Tackling it all in one go is not the smartest approach. Focus on only one part at a time to ensure you complete the overall task to the best of your ability.

6. Work efficiency involves prioritizing rather than multitasking.

If you have multiple different tasks you may want to try diving into them all. While it’s great to get a head start on them, you might benefit from focusing on them one at a time. See the different deadlines of your tasks and try to block time to work on them. If you want to work on different tasks, set different times within the day to focus on that task.

7. Keep a distraction list to stay focused

According to Owl Labs, around 57% of workers struggle with staying focused when it comes to working from home. Make a list of websites and apps that can be a distraction during work. Try to limit the amount of time spent on these sites. You can even install a Chrome extension that can block out websites directly from your computer.

8. Manage your energy (not just time)

You need to make sure that your mental and physical energy is optimized. Make sure you eat lunch and take breaks when necessary. Rest your mind and body from time-to-time. Step away from the computer and stretch or even take a walk to clear your mind.

9. Cultivate deep work

Use focus time apps to block away distractions so you can stay focused. Some people even prefer listening to focus music in the background that can help ground your mind. By having a game plan when working, you can accomplish deep work.

10. Use the Eisenhower Matrix to identify long-term priorities

The Eisenhower Matrix is an effective visual aid that can help you understand your priorities within a given timeframe.

11. Use the 80/20 rule

The 80/20 rule or Parento principle is basically saying to maximize your efficiency by concentrating your efforts. We should give our energy and resources to prioritize work items that have a bigger impact on our desired results.   

12. Break tasks into smaller pieces

It can be daunting to tackle a large, long-term project or task. If you try doing it all at once, it probably won’t turn out the way you intended it to be. Break things down into smaller, more manageable sections. By doing this you’ll be more efficient in the long run.

13. Take breaks

A break can be defined as any time you step away from your work to do something completely different. It can be anything from a walk around the block to a call with a friend.

14. Find repeatable shortcuts to automate tasks

Spend less time creating tasks and more time working on them. By using different shortcuts you’ll be able to automate your tasks and save time doing things that matter. For example, with Zapier you no longer need to build your own integrations with your commonly used apps. Zapier does all that for you.

15. Learn from successes as well as mistakes

No one is perfect. At some point you’re going to complete a task that you won’t be proud of. It can be discouraging, but it’s important to know that you’re constantly learning. Identify what went wrong and what you can improve next time.

16. Get better at saying “no”

Practice saying no; it's a very important skill that can be easily learned and it will help you to focus your attention on the tasks at hand. Don’t try to do everything all at once. As stated by Asana over 71% of workers felt burnout in 2020. Only do what you think you can do the best work for and work your way up.

17. Don’t multitask

Many people believe that multitasking will help them get more done; however, it is not true. Multitasking simply leads to a decrease in productivity. Learn to focus on one task at a time and you will be amazed at how much you can get done in a day.

18. Throw stuff away and declutter

Keep things organized, whether it’s your physical workspace or on your work device. Organize your documents so you can reference them easily. Remove objects that might get in your way, and only keep things that are important to you.

19. Ask for help if you don't understand

There will be times when you don’t know a certain task. Don’t be afraid to ask questions for clarification or for anything you seem unsure about. By not asking you could end up wasting your and your coworkers’ time.

20. Don’t change all your habits at once!

It’s important to remove your bad work habits and try to implement good work habits. However, changing things abruptly can cause more harm than good. Change is gradual. See what works for you and what doesn’t. You may even come up with a better habit that will benefit you.

How To Use Friday To Make Your Day More Productive

Friday is a great tool you can use to stay on track of your days. For productivity, use the daily planner.

Here are some features the planner includes:

  • See your meetings next to your tasks to stay organized
  • Integrate personal and work tasks from the task management apps you already use
  • Receive a daily agenda email that summarizes the day ahead
  • Block distracting websites with the Chrome extension & free up more time to focus
  • You can use it for work journaling or bullet journaling

Want to try our #1 recommended Daily Planner?

Free forever. No credit card required.