You are given the responsibility of an important project. The deadline is within the next two days. You spend the first few hours procrastinating the task, fearing the amount of effort and time it would require. However, just the night before the presentation, you stretch your limits, remain awake, and complete it somehow.
Instead of pulling an all-nighter, try out these simple steps to improve your productivity and get more work done:
Set achievable goals:
It often happens that we look at our goals for the day and become overwhelmed. Break up your big projects into smaller, doable tasks by noting them down and making short to-do lists. Track your daily progress. This will make your big projects seem less intimidating. Reward yourself every time you complete a task. It will motivate you to complete more tasks.
Social media can be a great distractor. To achieve full concentration, turn off all your phone notifications. Set a time limit for internet usage and stick to it. You can also switch off or put your phone in silent mode so that the continuous updates do not distract you. Also, make sure that your workspace is clutter-free. Too many physical objects near your workstation can also make you lose focus.
Finish the most difficult task first:
When you have too many important tasks to attend to, pick the most challenging task that would require more time and effort compared to the other tasks. Handle the big projects the first thing in the day. Once you are done with them, you would be able to focus better on the remaining simpler tasks.
Often multitaskers are praised for their ability to juggle among different tasks successfully. You might also feel tempted to complete many small and easy tasks simultaneously. However, multitasking reduces one’s productivity. So, when you are involved in a particular task, focus on it completely. In this way, you can complete the work faster.
Follow the “Two Minute Rule”:
David Allen, the author, and the productivity consultant introduced the ‘Two Minute Rule’ in his book “Getting Things Done”. The rule is that, when you have a pending task that can be finished in two minutes, you should get it done right away. This will prevent the piling up of all the pending tasks. This is also a great way to eliminate procrastination.
Take frequent breaks:
Long working hours can make you feel tired and burned out. Take regular breaks to improve your concentration power and uplift your mood. Follow the Pomodoro Technique. It will help you to get the required break so that you can relax and come back to work with a renewed spirit and more energy.
A sound sleep spanning at least over 8 hours is highly essential for your physical and psychological well-being. Sleep deprivation is commonly associated with reduced efficiency. A good rest eliminates tiredness, improves memory, and boosts creativity. It also improves your decision-making ability apart from sharpening your focus and concentration.