12 steps to increase productivity
Many of us face a world that constantly requires more output with less input. In order to keep up with the constraints placed on you every day, productivity needs to be maximized and results need to be continuously increased. In this article, there are ways to impact your productivity on a daily basis. 12 steps to increase productivity.
- By failing to plan, you are planning to fail.
Invest in your future productivity by implementing a strict calendar system. Determine what works best for you, visual color schemes, detailed narratives or a combination. Start drawing your daily and weekly calendar accordingly. Plan as far in advance as possible and stick to the allotted days and hours. Minimize interruptions and handle unplanned events only if absolutely necessary or when your next unassigned time slot is available.
- Set intentions.
Sit down and identify what you are trying to achieve and why. The more personal the why, the more likely you are to succeed in the task. Look for ways to connect each task to the underlying mission of your life. If you are sure of the underlying reason you get up and go to work every day, your chances of success increase dramatically.
- Focus on results.
Apply the 80-20 rule consistently. The Pareto principle states that 80 percent of your results are a direct result of the first 20 percent of what you do. Focus on identifying the 20 percent of things you do on a daily basis that lead to the biggest results. Try to eliminate the other 80 percent of non-essential or unproductive activities and you will be well on your way to achieving fast results.
- Plan important tasks in advance.
Successful people schedule time for each of the critical tasks needed for success. Don’t leave your schedule open-ended and hope that the important things needed will be accomplished every day. Instead, look forward to each day. Plan in advance the most important items you want to accomplish during the week. This ensures that you always have time for the critical tasks that ultimately lead you to success.
- Adapt as needed.
Build time in your schedule for distractions, interruptions and unforeseen events. If you don’t allow for unplanned events in your daily schedule, you will eventually fall behind and potentially disrupt the entire system. Ideally, you should allocate 50 percent of your time directly to the most critical tasks of the day, and use the remaining time to deal with things that are unexpected to you.
- Know when you are most productive.
Understand when you are most productive and capitalize on it. Whether you’re a morning, noon or night person, plan your schedule accordingly and make sure you use these hours to work on the 20 percent of tasks that drive the biggest results. This will allow you to achieve maximum results with minimum effort on a consistent basis.
- Be effective and efficient.
First, determine what is the right thing to do in each situation. Find the right path through the options and follow it. By blending a combination of effectiveness and efficiency, you will always achieve maximum results.
- Reduce urgent tasks and replace them with long-term planning.
Urgent daily tasks, which are associated with most of the 80% of ineffective results produced, should be eliminated as soon as possible. Focus on eliminating urgent activities and start planning ahead in all areas. The further you go in each area, the less likely it is that urgent distractions will interfere with your daily time management system.
- Remove unnecessary tasks immediately.
Delegate or remove non-essential responsibilities and tasks immediately. Many times, you may be completing tasks out of habit on a daily basis without any real cause or effect being produced. Change the system and make sure that every activity you are involved in produces positive results on a daily basis.
- Stop trying to be perfect.
Consistent mediocrity is better than incomplete perfection. Stop trying to perfect everything and focus on getting consistent results quickly. Adjustments can be made after the first task is completed. It is more important to experience the results of consistent mediocrity than to keep waiting for the perfect opportunity at the perfect moment. You may have to wait your whole life for something that will never happen.
- Block out your day.
Instead of getting discouraged from working on difficult projects for long periods of time, break the project down into smaller tasks and take consistent breaks throughout the day. You’ll find that each break brings renewed focus and results show up much sooner.
- Just say “No”.
Understand what is most important to achieve the results you want and if someone asks you to do something that contradicts those results, just say “No”. Simplifying your daily tasks will do much more than continuing to let others consume your day.
Increase productivity with these 12 steps. I know that by applying them to your daily professional and personal life, your results will increase dramatically. Start by adopting one or two and as you master them, start adding other habits until all 12 become a daily part of your routine.