The name of the game is “work smarter not harder”, so that means making small changes that will reap big rewards. If you read no other productivity tips, you should certainly read these, they are simple and they work.
1. Rework your to-do list.
Prioritise, from most important to least and focus only on today.
2. Measure your results, not your time.
One way to do this is to adjust the way you measure productivity. If you evaluate yourself by what you actually get done rather than the time it takes to get something done, you’ll start to notice a difference in how you work.
3. Build habits to help you start working.
If you don’t have a plan for what to work on first, you will tend to procrastinate and waste time in the mornings. Other ways to get into a working mindset can include sitting down at your desk or workspace, you could even have an album or playlist that gets you in the mood to work and listen to that as part of your routine.
4. Track where you waste time.
If you’re struggling to be productive, it’s tempting to change your routine or try new solutions before you uncover the real problem. The first step in becoming more productive is to identify your regular time-sucks. Start by tracking what you do every morning to get ready for work.
5. Build habits to help you stop working.
This one might seem a bit strange, but it really works. Some of us struggle to stop working, rather than (or as well as) start working. Learn to quit while you’re ahead and set a firm cut-off time. Stopping in the middle of a project can work well as you will know what you’ve done, you know exactly what you’ll do next, and you’ll be excited to get started again.
Finally, create a wind-down routine. Having a routine to help you wind down from work can be helpful if you often struggle to switch off. Light exercise works well, including going for a short walk after work. Journaling can be really relaxing, as can talking through your day with a partner or friend.