8 tricks to be more productive in 2018

If you have decided that 2018 is the year you will get rid of procrastination and become more productive in your life and at work, then read on! Here are our 8 tricks to become the King or Queen of productivity:


PLAN YOUR WEEK ON FRIDAY

Every Friday, block one hour in your diary and plan all your activities for the following week or fortnight. Here are some simple steps to follow:

  • Did I finish everything I was supposed to do this week? No? Then reschedule these tasks and assign an appropriate priority level. Tag the task that you think you just procrastinate on and choose your procrastination day for next week. This is when you will close at least 3 or 4 of these tasks. You will see how good you feel at the end of that day!
  • Block times for meetings and meeting preparation.
  • Allocate time for your top 3 tasks for the week.
  • Allocate time for all your tasks. Estimate how much time you can afford to spend on a task as opposed to how much you need to make it perfect (don’t let the perfect in the way of good).
  • Only schedule 6 hours of work every day. The rest will likely be consumed by unplanned meetings, phone calls, emails, admin, etc.

PREPARE YOURSELF EVERY MORNING BEFORE YOU START WORKING

Professional sports players have their habit before a match: listen to music, relax, get their coach to motivate them etc. Start your day the same way. Think about what you want to achieve, motivate yourself to achieve as much as you can in 6 hours.

 

6 HOURS OF WORK

Our research show that while most people stay between 8 and 10 hours at the office every day, the average hours of productivity are only between 5 and 6 hours. Essentially, the rest of the time is consumed by unplanned work, emails, phone calls, etc. Our key advise is to plan for 6 hours of work with a goal of getting these tasks done.

 

CLASSIFY YOUR TASKS

You need to do something? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is it urgent and important -> Do it now.
  • Is it important but not urgent -> Schedule it.
  • It is urgent but not important -> Delegate or schedule.
  • It is not important and not urgent -> Don’t do it.

MAXIMISE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY DURING THE DAY

To maximise your productivity during the day, follow this simple technic:

  • 20 to 30 minutes of hard work. Then 5 minutes break (read / walk, etc.).
  • Repeat this process 2 or 3 times. Then 15 minutes break (no work allowed).

For most people, short bursts of hard work are more effective than long sessions.

 

ALTERNATE TASKS

Do not work more than 2 hours in a row on a task. You will likely become ineffective. Coming back on a task also gives you a different perspective on your work and perhaps new ideas.

 

WORK ON CHALLENGING TASKS IN THE MORNING

Always plan your challenging work in the morning. Your brain is usually more active in the morning and will have a better ability to focus for longer periods of time.  Keep the afternoon for light work, emails, admins and phone calls.

 

MAKE SURE YOU GET ENOUGH SLEEP

A well-rested brain is a lot more efficient than a sleep deprived brain. Ask a new mum what happens during her day when she does not get enough sleep: she will forget things, her brain will start playing tricks (e.g. putting clothes in the fridge…), her concentration and patience drop, etc. The same goes with your work. If you do not get enough sleep, you will likely be less effective at work.

Try to identify how many hours of sleep you need to be well rested. For must of us, it will be 8 to 9 hours.

 

Share our simple tricks with your friends and colleagues. It will change your life!