Written By Mikkie Mills / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
It can be difficult to stay productive no matter what you are doing. It seems like distractions are always running rampant when you are trying to get work done.
Your electronics, friends, family members, and other obligations tend to disrupt your work at the worst times. All it takes is a few seconds of distraction, and the next thing you know, you have wasted hours of potential work time.
Some people need strategies that will keep them productive through these disruptions, so here are 10 tips to keep you productive and working at all times.
1. Use Online Resources To Boost Productivity
If you are a student and you are working full or part-time, you likely do not have much extra time on your hands. Between the immense amount of homework your classes pile on you and the physical exhaustion you likely feel after a long shift, staying productive can feel impossible.
If you need extra time, you might want to consider moving your schooling online. For example, if you are enrolled in an online master of public policy class, you will likely not have lectures at a set time and instead, use prerecorded lectures or videos that you can watch when you have time.
2. Make Lists To Boost Productivity
Some people rely on to-do lists to keep themselves motivated in their daily lives. If you list out all of the tasks you have to accomplish every day, you can visualize your goals, and those goals become easier to attain.
Try carrying around a pen and paper with you at all times in case you come up with a new item for your list or something you need to take note of. Making a list will help keep your thoughts and actions organized, which can directly lead to increased productivity in every area of your life.
3. Set Goals To Boost Productivity
Setting goals is a natural extension of making a to-do list. Think of your goals as the final item on a long and difficult list.
Your goals should be something that you need to work to achieve. Do not make your long-term goals attainable in a few hours or days.
Your goals should be clearly defined and forward your career, hobby, or social life in some way. Your goals should be promoting meaningful progress instead of being superficial or cosmetic changes that will have little impact on your life. Take a while to think about what kind of goals you should set for yourself, then write them down and start working.
4. Incentivize Yourself To Boost Productivity
If making lists and setting goals is not enough motivation to make yourself productive, you can try giving yourself a physical incentive when you do well. When you achieve one of your long-term goals, or even when you have been consistently completing the items on your lists for a while, you can allow yourself to buy a gift or experience as a reward for yourself.
Make sure you do not give yourself incentives too often, or they will lose their impact. Incentives only work if you are stingy with them and save them for special circumstances.
5. Auditory Stimulation To Boost Productivity
If you find yourself getting distracted even when there are no distractions present, you might need to think counterintuitively. Sometimes, something that seems like a distraction will help keep you focused.
Many people listen to music while they work to keep themselves focused. If you choose to use music, it will suit your needs better to use instrumental music because music with lyrics takes more of your attention span.
Some people enjoy listening to podcasts as they work, but they do not always work well as they take up even more of your attention span than songs with lyrics.
6. Turn Off Electronics To Boost Productivity
Cell phones are more distracting than almost anything else. Your apps send you notifications constantly, and your screen turns on automatically when those notifications come in.
Once you see those notifications, it is already over. You have grabbed your phone, and you are now scrolling through social media.
To avoid this, turn your phone off for a set amount of time, or set a timer and do not allow yourself to touch your phone while that timer is going. Alternatively, there are apps that will lock your phone while you are working to reduce distractions.
7. Sleep Well To Boost Productivity
Sleep is one of the most important elements for success in any area of life. There are two main variables to consider when you are trying to get sufficient sleep, and those are when you go to sleep and when you wake up.
As the saying goes, "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." While it might seem hackneyed, there is some truth to it.
Waking up early feels like you are adding several extra hours to your day, even though you are not, and getting sufficient sleep will make you more energetic and productive overall.
8. Learn Efficient Skills To Boost Productivity
Learning skills that speed up your work is helpful in any profession. The skills that are most useful to you vary widely depending on what your profession is, so find one aspect of your job that you think you are slow at and work to increase your speed.
For example, some people are slow typers, and in an office setting, typing is generally an important skill. Luckily, there are several free online services that help people increase their typing speeds. If typing does not apply to your job, find something else to speed up and work towards that.
9. Exercise Regularly To Boost Productivity
Here is another tip that might seem counterproductive at first. Upon first consideration, it seems like exercise would exhaust you and make you less motivated to work.
To an extent this is true, you likely will not be motivated to work immediately after working out. However, once exercise becomes a regular part of your routine, you will find that your energy level increases significantly.
Increased energy leads to higher productivity because you are more motivated to work, you have the capacity to work longer, and you will generally feel better about yourself.
10. Delegate When Possible To Boost Productivity
It is not always possible to do everything expected of you, especially if you hold a position of power within your company. If you are in a higher position, delegating some of your work is always an option.
Pick an employee who you trust to perform well and finish in a timely fashion. Delegating less-important tasks allows you to expend more energy on more important tasks that require more precision and dedication.
However, you can also avoid delegating at all if you learn to say no to optional work. You might feel bad saying no so often, but you have to remember that you cannot do everything. Keep your workload reasonable.
No single strategy works to make everyone more productive. People work better and harder in a variety of different scenarios, so if none of these tips work for you, trial and error until you find something effective might be your best option.
With more people working from home every year, distractions are likely to become more prevalent in the average workplace, so do your best to keep yourself focused on your work so you can become successful at whatever you do.
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Mikkie Mills is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on interior design, budgeting hacks and DIY. When she's not writing, she's chasing the little ones around, walking her dog, or can be found rock climbing at the local climbing gym.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.