Increasing your productivity, even with a cluttered, demanding and stressful work schedule can be done, contrary to popular belief.
The trick is for to get into the habit of making small adjustments consistently, in order to increase your overall productivity over time.
1. Keep a clean working space. It helps, so just trust this. Clear work spaces mean clear thoughts, which equals execution.
2. Prioritize your work. Tackle and complete big tasks first! This is a very important habit for being and feeling consistently productive. After the big tasks are done, you may count it a productive day. The rest is just details.
3. Reward yourself upon task completion. We all like receiving rewards, no matter how big or small. Get into the habit of rewarding your accomplishments, and you’ll have incentive to continue to accomplish more goals.
4. Solidify unwavering meeting times. This one may be hard to pull off, but if you happen to have the juice, you may want to give it a try. Set your generally most productive times of day or days of the week as meeting-free zones and inform all necessary parties. Meetings are often the primary killers of productivity, especially when they drag on or don’t necessarily pertain to you. Draw a parameter. Everyone will benefit from your focused working time in the end.
5. Log off social media—completely. This means no tabs open, no acknowledgment of phone notifications, and no quick peeks. Thirty minutes feels like 10 in the land of social media. You will be sucked in, and your productivity will stand no chance. Just don’t—it’ll be there when you’re done.
6. Stop working, when need be. Yes, as odd as it may seem, stopping for a moment can work wonders at refreshing your start. Burnout is real. If your brain is fried, take it off the burner for a while, and allow it to cool off.
7. Scratch off items on your to-do list, prior to adding new ones. A mounting to-do list can be defeating and a huge productivity killer. Before you’re willing to take on new tasks, rid yourself of the ones currently on your plate. Scratching off tasks creates a sense of accomplishment, which will inspire you to scratch off even more. After you’ve scratched off enough to make an impact, then—and only then—may you add on new ones.
8. Report daily developments to an accountability partner. Having someone to answer to could be the fire you need under you, in order to get things done. Let your partner know your big tasks, along with what you’ll be doing in order to complete said tasks. Send a report at the end of the day.
9. Walk. Leave your cell phone at your desk, go outside alone, and take a walk. Having fresh air and time to yourself to get active, with no distractions, can work wonders for your focus, ideas, planning, and creativity. Make it a habit to take advantage of this daily recharge. Your productivity will thank you.
Safon Floyd is the Digital Editor at Black Enterprise. Follow her @accordingtofon.