Productivity is defined as getting important things done consistently and doing them at a nice steady pace.
Usually, to achieve your task there are only a few important things that must be done. It is not about getting more stuff done at great speed. Productivity is important for any task you want to accomplish and is important to starting a business.
How to increase productivity
“Do the most important thing first each day”.
This is a simple idea but hard to do. Mostly we don’t do that important task first. Instead, we want to get the little things out of the way first like responding to emails or returning a phone call, or anything that others need us to do. By working on these things first, we use up our energy and leave the essential items to the end when we are low on time and stamina.
Below, we’ll explore ways to set your priorities and manage your time.
Techniques to be more productive
There are several popular strategies to increase your productivity. We’ll introduce three below.
1- The Eisenhower Matrix.
The Eisenhower Matrix is a task management tool to help organize and prioritize tasks so you can better determine what tasks are urgent and important.
It divides your tasks into four boxes.
- Box 1-Urgent and important: Do. These are tasks that have deadlines and consequences and need your skills, knowledge, and attention.
- Box 2-Urgent, but not important: Delegate. Items that must get done but you don’t need to do them.
- Box 3-Not urgent, but important: Schedule. Tasks with unclear deadlines that are important to long-term success
- Box 4-Not urgent and not important: Delete Distractions and unnecessary.
Now that you identify the tasks in their proper category, you can put them on your to-do list, delegate them to someone else, schedule them for later, or delete them.
You can read more details here. The Eisenhower Matrix: How to prioritize your to-do list. and The Eisenhower Matrix template.
2- The Ivy Lee Method.
The Ivy Lee method is described as the most powerful productivity secret. And it’s simple. to do.
At the end of each day, write a list of the six most important things to do for the next day and order them from one to six. In the morning start with number one. Keep working on it until completed, then move to number two. Keep working on this one until completed, and then move to the next item on the list. Continue this way until completing all the priority items on the list.
This method is effective because it keeps you focused on one task at a time, specifically the items you identified as your priority. It avoids distractions and multi-tasking which are productivity killers. Lastly, when you follow the method and complete one task and move to the next on your list, it prevents you from procrastinating.
Read this article for background on this strategy. The Ivy Lee Method: The Single Most Powerful Productivity Secret.
3- The Pomodoro Technique.
The Pomodoro Technique is designed for focus and productivity.
Having used this myself, I am fond of this popular method. The technique was developed by Fracesco Crillio in the late 1980s. Even though a pomodoro is Italian for tomato, it refers to short focused work sessions.
Here’s how to do it in 5 easy steps.
Step 1- Pick a task. Select an item from the list of the six most important things you identified from the methods above.
Step 2- Set a timer for 25 minutes.
Step. 3- Work on that task until the timer rings.
Step 4- Take a 5 minute break. Ideally walk away from the project.
Step 5- Repeat and every 4 work sessions (pomodoros) take a 15-30 minute break.
Continuing this process to you complete your task. But, don’t do more than 16 pomodoros in a day. That’s an 8-hour work day.
There are three rules to get the most out of it.
- If a task is larger than four work sessions, it must be divided into smaller pieces.
- A task that takes less than 25 minutes should be combined with other tasks to take up the whole session.
- Once the timer is set, it must ring. In other words, you must work the whole time, with no emails, texting, or phone calls. This is the most important rule to insure productivity.
Here’s why it’s effective.
These short 25-minute sessions make it easy to get started. Even big projects seem doable.
The requirements to keep working until the timer rings reduce the pull of distractions that interrupt your focus.
It keeps you focused on the task you’re doing rather than getting overwhelmed by the whole project.
You are aware of where you spend your time.
For greater detail read, The Pomodoro Technique.
Productivity and time management come down to taking action in a focused and pre-planned way that will save you time and energy so you can accomplish your goal.
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