You are going to spend most of your life time working, so make your workday as productive as possible.
People often say, work on things that you love and find the passion in your work. Simply because we understand that our work is going to fill a large part of our lives.
Most people will start to work from age 21 until about age 55. And that’s 35 long years. You spend more than a quarter of your life working.
So you better find a way to make your work meaningful or else you will be wasting most of your life.
And when we talk about making our life meaningful and involving in a fulfilling work that we truly enjoy, we cannot get away from the topic of being productive in our workday.
You see, you are going to spend so much time working, so why don’t just learn to be more productive, get more things done, create more satisfaction and be extremely fulfilled about it, right?
So here are the 13 easy tips to make your workday more productive…
1. The Uniform
This could be one of the most controversial tips here. Some people say that the attire doesn’t matter; some say that the outlook is important because it affects how you feel.
Well, it depends on your own beliefs. If you believe that your attire and how you dress can affect your feeling, then it will be. And if think that your attire and your outlook don’t matter, so they don’t.
All that matter is that you need to prepare for your clothes the night before. You can wear as simple as a shirt and a jean to get to work comfortable, depending on your work requirement.
You don’t want to spend too much time thinking about which clothes to wear. This is why you need to prepare and know what to wear preferably the night before.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, says that he doesn’t want to spend his energy and use up his willpower in deciding what to wear. Instead, he will just wear a shirt and a jean. Almost every day.
You have to apply the same principle. Don’t spend too much time and energy to think about what to wear. If you need to wear as professional as possible, make sure you prepare your clothes the night before.
Recommended reading: 7 Keys To Creating A Positive Mental Attitude
2. Plan Your Day
When you have a plan in your mind, it is easier for you to wake up and go through your day smoothly.
This is one of the most common tips to be productive here. Everyone knows that they need to plan their day, but most of them don’t do it.
When you know what needs to get done, you can better prepare for it and get it done in time.
3. Schedule for Coffee
Coffee may not be your favorite beverage, but it helps to kick start your day with more energy and alertness.
Do you know that coffee is the second largest commodity in the US, right after oil?
If you can’t stand coffee, drink tea instead. Tea has less caffeine and is healthier too.
I’m not going to talk about health on drinking coffee here. All I know is that coffee can make you physically active, boost your adrenaline level, and get you out of depression.
In other words, drinking coffee can motivates you. I do drink at least a cup of coffee a day. You don’t have to drink a lot of coffee; just a cup in the morning would be good enough.
4. Set Timer for Tasks
Sometimes people will just spend too much time working on something and they end up don’t have enough time for other tasks.
Don’t let this happen to you. Set a timer for your tasks.
It is going to be extremely unproductive if you spend too much time working on something that doesn’t give you too much result.
For example, if you are selling insurance, your most important task is to prospect for potential clients. Spending time filling and reading book to improve your sales skills or get you motivated are not tasks that will give you the result.
Task such as reading books and improving your skills are important, but they are not going to give you direct result. This is why you need a timer for all these tasks.
Learn the Pareto 80/20 principle and don’t overspend your time on tasks that give you minor result.
You want to use most of your time for work that will generate you most of the result. This is what successful people do and why they succeed.
5. Adopt the “Finisher” Mindset
When you have 10 projects to get done today, it is better to get 5 projects completely done than to have 10 half-done projects.
Stop creating more tasks for yourself when you still got a long list of tasks to go through.
Adopt the “finisher” mindset and get things done.
Most people are good in starting a project. They have a brilliant idea about building a business, they work on it for a while, but they never finish it.
The same goes for goal setting. If you are setting the same goal for years, then probably you have this problem.
So finish all the projects, tasks and goals that you started.
6. Time Block
This is my favorite technique to get things done and be more productive. Time block simply means creating a block of time to do a certain work and nothing else.
As an example, you can time block from 10am to 11am to write an article. And you will use this time to write the article, period.
You will never surf the internet, you will never check email, and you will never accept your colleagues’ breakfast invitation.
When you time block, it means 100% focus in doing the task during that duration. It is a power technique to get things done.
You purposely block your time for your work. Make sure there will be no distraction and in case your friends or colleagues come to you, just say “NO”.
7. Work in Batches
Do you know that you can batch up certain works and get them all done in the same time before you move on to the next task?
Instead of checking and replying email once you receive it, you can do this task in batches. You can schedule time for checking and replying email a few times a day.
Say if you need to write 10 of articles, it is better for you to brainstorm and get all the article ideas and titles done, and only then you proceed to write them. It is more productive and time saving than to do it one by one.
What you need to do now is to find out what work can be done in batches and do them before you move on to the next stage.
8. Create Distraction-Free Environment
Again, this is a very powerful and common tip to be productive, but the question is, are you doing it?
There are times especially when I’m writing articles like this one, I got distracted from phone calls. I do receive messages from Whatsapp and so, but I don’t bother to reply until when I finish my line.
If you want to be truly productive and be in the flow, you cannot afford to have distractions. Create the environment where it supports you and put you in the flow.
It is difficult to pick up again when you got distracted while you are in the mood of doing. So don’t let this happen to you.
Creating a distraction-free environment is easy to understand and easy to do, but most people don’t do it. I feel guilty about this too at times.
9. Schedule for Breaks
You are not machines, you need rest. In fact, even machines need to stop and maintain from time to time.
If I faced my laptop screen for long hours, I usually feel tired and my eyesight becomes a little blurry. I know then I need breaks and rest.
This is especially true for those who are working in front of the computer the whole day. The same goes for other kind of work as well.
Remember, success is not something that you can create in an instant. It takes time. It is a marathon, so don’t use up all your stamina in the beginning. You need rest and breaks to replenish your energy to go further.
In Chinese, there’s a proverb that says, “We rest because we want to go further.”
It’s alright to take rest and break. You just can’t force the result. Everything that we do in life, comes with a gestation period.
You just need to do the necessary work and believe that the result will come.
10. Create the Comfortable Working Environment
When the weather is too hot, you can’t concentrate. And when it is too cold, you can’t focus for long.
There are times when I will just bring my laptop and head over to Starbucks and work there. Some outlets are extremely cold, it’s freezing cold and I usually can’t take it for long. I will stop after an hour or so.
You need a comfortable environment so support your productivity. Do you have a comfortable chair that supports your back? Is your table height good enough? Is it noisy and with a lot of distractions?
It depends on what kind of working environment you will be in; you have to make it comfortable so that you will want to work there.
11. Never Skip Your Breakfast
I will never skip my breakfast. I can’t concentrate when I’m hungry. There are tons and tons of reasons why you can’t skip breakfast.
Actually, the word itself has suggests that you should ‘break the fasting’. Breakfast is important because if you sleep for 7 hours, your stomach will go empty for 7 hours.
And in the morning, you should eat to replenish and refill your energy. When you have healthy breakfast, you will find that you have more energy and more productive.
So don’t skip your breakfast. No matter how busy I am, I will at least make some drinks and eat some biscuits or bread.
12. Get Enough Sleep
This is the most underrated and most-ignored productivity tip of all. We always say that if you want to be successful, you need to be an early riser. Wake up early. However, we never emphasize about having enough sleep.
So how many hours should you sleep? This is a subjective question. Some people sleep for only 5 hours and they feel extremely energetic, while some people sleep 7 hours and still feel sleepy.
It depends on your age and your body’s functionality. For me, I need around 6 hours of sleep. Therefore, if I wake up at 6am each day, I will go to be around 12am midnight.
When you don’t have enough sleep, your whole day will be gone. You will feel sleepy the whole day and you just don’t have the productive energy to work on your stuff.
Thus, if you want to wake up early, try to sleep early. Slowly adjust your sleep time until it becomes a habit that you have no problem of sleeping less and waking up early.
13. Make Your Day Great
How do you make your day great? There are many ways to do so. For instance, you can listen to your favorite songs, enjoy the big breakfast in your favorite restaurant, read your favorite book, wear your favorite clothes, etc.
The key is to do something that you love or do something that will lift your energy and make you driven.
When you stuck in the jam, listen to your favorite song and sing along. When you’re not in a good mood, smile at strangers and let them smile back at you. When you feel like you can’t cope with life, take a break and have a KitKat.
Yes, you don’t have to be serious all the time. You just need to learn to make your day great.
Like what Zig Ziglar has to say, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”
It all starts from you. It starts from you making the conscious decision to listen to your favorite song. It starts you being proactive and smile while you look at the mirror at yourself and say to yourself, “YES, I CAN DO IT!”
Recommended reading: 8 Ways How To Start Your Day Great
So what do you need to do now? How do you make your workday productive?
Everyone’s hot button is different. And you don’t have to apply all the techniques or tips mentioned here.
All you need to do is to find out what works for you and do it every single day until it becomes your habit.
There will be times that you don’t feel like working and just wanted to do nothing. There will also be times where you are full of energy and wanted to take on the whole world. This is normal. We are human beings.
Zig Ziglar said that motivation doesn’t later, neither does bathing, that’s why you have to do it every day.
Successful people seem to be able to get more things done because they have made it their habit. They have turned ‘motivation’ into their habit and that’s why they are able to accomplish more.
And you can be the same.