“You have the same number of hours in a day as Beyoncé.” — Yes, but are you using them as efficiently? We might be wasting hours of our days in distractions and procrastinations which negatively impact our efficiency and productivity.
But it is possible to get the work done, better and faster, and gain back hours of our life to spend on the things we love the most.
Here are 8 tips you can do every day to boost your productivity and increase your efficiency:
1) The earlier, the better
Tackle the hardest tasks of the day in the morning. When you finish the dreaded work first, you’ll feel much better about your day and not fear what is left to come.
2) Eliminate distractions
We probably spend more time than we realize on the Internet, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And checking your phone every two minutes doesn’t help much either.
So when you're trying to get something done and do it well, put your phone away. Let the people close to you know that you won’t be answering your phone for a limited amount of time.
Try to use an application that limits your social media and Internet-browsing time on your computer.
3) Find your golden hour
Everyone has a different time of day when they feel the most productive. It might be right after you have your cup of joe, around 2 p.m. after your gym session, or at 9 p.m. after you put the kids to sleep.
Figure out what time works best for you, schedule your day around it, and let everyone know that that’s the “me” time you are setting aside to be productive!
4) Carry a notepad with you at all times
We are all human and we forget things! Keep a notepad and pen handy to jot down whatever you want to remember later on.
These can be to-do lists, reminders, tasks, ideas or inspirations. This way you won’t have to worry about remembering things, and can actually focus on what matters in that moment.
5) Use a calendar
Prioritizing your goals and tasks is very important to make the most of your time. Learn to say “no” and always put what matters to you first.
Using a calendar will help you stay on track, and using an electronic or online one will actually help you stay on top of your schedule by sending your reminders.
6) Take short breaks
As soon as you start feeling distracted, go for a short walk to clear your head and get your blood flowing. It is even better if you can go outside and get some fresh air.
A quick change of scenery will help you feel rejuvenated and ready to pick up where you left off.
7) Get enough sleep
According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, lack of sleep takes a toll on your perception and judgement, reducing your efficiency and productivity, causing errors and accidents.
Not only that, insufficient sleep can lead to serious health problems in the long run, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even death.
So make sure you practice good sleep hygiene and get your 7.5-8 hours every night. Stop watching TV two hours before going to bed —”no screen time before bed time!” — and wake up at the same time every day.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods for at least a few hours before going to sleep. Use dark sheets and blinds — and no “snoozing” in the morning!
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, practicing meditation can rest your mind in silence and space, and allow it time recover and rejuvenate.
Recent research done at the University of Wisconsin has shown differences between the brains of meditators and non-meditators.
People who meditate had higher activity in their left prefrontal cortex, the brain region associated with positivity and happiness, compared to the region that is associated with depression, anxiety and anger.
Big companies like Target, Google, and Ford are taking this research seriously. They now teach their employees mindfulness meditation to boost their productivity.
So try it for yourself. Take 10 minutes a day to meditate, calm your mind, and feel EmpowHered to take on the world!
Consequences of Insufficient Sleep. The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Retrieved March 28, 2015
10 Ways to Boost Your Productivity. U.S. News. Retrieved March 28, 2015
Lutz A., McFarling D. R., Perlman D. M., Salomons T. V., Davidson R. J. (2013). Altered anterior insula activation during anticipation and experience of painful stimuli in expert meditators. NeuroImage. 64 (1): 538–546.
Corporations' Newest Productivity Hack: Meditation. The Atlantic. Retrieved March 28, 2015
8 Scary Side Effects Of Sleep Deprivation. Huffington Post. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
Reviewed March 30, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith