How to Increase Productivity with 4 Unique Techniques
Are you feeling overwhelmed with too much to do and too little time?
It’s the 21st century, and many of us are operating at a break-neck pace!
Many of us are looking for ways to boost our productivity so that we can get more done in less time.
I know I still do, even today. I want to be the most productive I can be so I don’t waste years of my life spinning my wheels.
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about productivity and what makes me get the most out of myself each day.
I’ve found that learning how to increase productivity isn’t about working more hours.
Productivity is all about becoming more effective with the hours that you do work.
Today, I want to share 4 unique techniques that will help you learn how to increase productivity in your work and personal life.
These techniques are simple, practical, and require no resources other than your mind.
These 4 techniques are also actionable, so you can apply them to your life right away.
That way, you can drive more clients to your business, get promoted faster, earn more money, or just spend more time with your family.
Whatever your goals are, learning to become more productive will help you achieve them more efficiently.
The first technique in learning how to increase productivity is called batching.
As a professional, you probably get several email notifications on your phone or laptop each day.
Often, we jump at those notifications immediately as they come, without thinking too much.
We end up spending time and attention on each one (not good!)
This causes us to suffer a striking distance as we switch back to our original task.
Don’t worry though, there’s a much better way to handle micro-tasks like email.
The best way to handle similar micro-tasks is to batch them together.
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For example, try setting aside 30 minutes to 1 hour during each day where you respond to all your emails at once.
Try to set aside another chunk of time where you do all your chores or errands in a row.
You may not realize it, but spreading out similar micro-tasks throughout the day wastes a lot of time and energy.
This is because when your brain works on similar tasks, it begins to enter the psychological state of “flow”.
“Flow” allows you to process similar information faster.
That’s because the group of neurons in your brain responsibility for that task are getting used to firing together.
Every time you switch to a task that isn’t in the same group, you break concentration.
That means that your brain has to work hard to focus again on the new task.
This is why batching can same you a lot of time and energy if you want to learn how to increase productivity. Give it a shot!
The second technique in learning how to increase productivity is all about reducing your striking distance between tasks.
Striking distance is simply the amount of time it takes you to start a new task when you’ve finish your current task.
Put simply, striking distance is a way to measure how much self-discipline you have as you’re working towards your goals.
Goals that could be broken down into tasks include things like going to the gym 3 days a week, or reading for one hour per day.
All goal-driven tasks require self-discipline to get started. Funny thing is, getting started is usually the hardest part of any task.
Therefore, you should measure your striking distance and work on making it smaller.
For example, if you just your task to read for an hour, and your next task is to go to the gym, striking distance is in effect.
If you procrastinate to motivate yourself to go to the gym, your striking distance might be 30 minutes or even an hour.
If you are aware of striking distance and work to shorten it, you can move on to the gym in 5–10 minutes without delay.
The longer you take to start the next task on your to-do list, the more time you’ll waste throughout the day and the less you’ll get done.
Why should you work to shorten your striking distance?
It’s so you can have big blocks of time to relax or do whatever you want at the end of the day, instead of little chunks of time-wastage throughout the day.
How to Shorten Your Striking Distance
Now that you know what striking distance is and how to measure it, let me teach you how to shorten your striking distance.
Remember, the shorter your striking distance, the faster you’ll move on to your next task.
The faster you move on to your next task, the sooner you’ll be done with your responsibilities for the day.
The best way to shorten your striking distance is simply to be aware of it and bring it to the front of your attention.
Most people aren’t aware of how much time they are losing between tasks.
This causes immense stress and frustration when nothing gets done, and these people are left wondering why.
The answer they are looking for is that their striking distance is simply too long. It needs to be shortened and reduced as much as possible.
We have to train ourselves to be aware of how long we are taking to start the next task, and we should always watch the clock.
Find a nice mental mantra to tell yourself so you can get started. Some of my favorites include “time to go back to work!”, or “time to strike!”.
Keep saying these mantras over and over to yourself in your head whenever you find that your striking distance is too long.
Eventually, your subconscious mind will accept the messages and you’ll actually start to shorten your striking distance.
When you consistently do this over a long period of time, you’ll get into the habit of striking quickly.
When you’re really good, you’ll do twice the amount of work in half the time!
You’ll be less stressed and have more free time, all while getting better and better results in everything you do.
Now isn’t that amazing?
The third technique in learning how to increase productivity is called single-tasking.
Many of us think we’re more productive while multi-tasking.
We think that if we do multiple things at once, we will get them all done faster.
The logic goes that if we do things in the same time frame, that means we are saving time, right?
For example, you would think that working on your computer while talking to your boss on the phone is twice as productive.
After all, you’re doing two things in the same time frame so it must be more productive, right?
Reality says that everything we think about multi-tasking and productivity is wrong.
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While you may be one of the lucky few who actually can multi-task effectively, it is usually much better to focus on one thing at a time.
The process of consciously choosing one activity to focus on, and doing no
thing else until that activity is complete is called single-tasking.
A lot of energy is expended trying to focus again when you switch tasks or get distracted, so it’s best to stick to one task and see it through to the end.
While learning how to increase productivity, singletasking is a very useful technique indeed.
The last technique in learning how to increase productivity is elimination.
Elimination is one of the easiest techniques to implement, but it requires personal reflection.
Firstly, what really need to do is take a look at everything you want to do that day.
Make sure that everything on that list is actually important to you and your life.
For example, maybe you’ve gotten into the habit of watching a particular show on Netflix for a while each day.
You might still enjoy watching this show, in which case you should keep watching it in your free time.
On the other hand, you might just continue watching it out of habit.
Habits tend to continue even if you don’t get much enjoyment out of them.
If it’s the latter case, you’ll want to eliminate watching that particular show on Netflix from your life.
It’s really easy as human beings to go on “autopilot”.
Often we don’t realize that we aren’t getting the same value out of activities that we used to.
This is normal and natural. With a little self-reflection, the time-wasters in our life can be eliminated easily.
Eliminating less valuable tasks from your life frees up time for more valuable tasks that can really make a difference.
How to Increase Productivity: Conclusion
I hope this post helped you learn my strategy for learning how to improve productivity.
Remember, developing your productivity is about maximizing the time that you do work, not working more hours.
If you follow the 4 unique techniques I outlined in this guide, eventually you’ll see incredible results.
Did you like this story? I would love to hear what you think about focus and concentration. Please leave a comment below, I respond to every comment.
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Originally published at www.innerconqueror.com on September 14, 2017.