5 Ways to Increase Productivity

New Illustration 11Attention business owners, it’s February! Need another nudge to get going and conquer 2017? Here are 5 tips to maximize your productivity.

A compilation of the best advice from successful professionals.

1. Wake up earlier.

Waking up early allows you to get a jump start on the day and allows more time for your busy schedule. This isn’t the easiest thing to do, but if done regularly, can have impactful results.

“You can work with fewer distractions from family and coworkers. You have time to exercise before appointments get in the way.” If you’re having trouble waking up earlier, try waking up 5 or 10 minutes earlier every day until you reach your goal. There are other tricks to help waking up earlier like setting a bedtime alarm, setting aside electronics within an hour from sleeping, or signing up for an early morning commitment.

2. Keep your phone on ‘silent’ and stay organized.

Answering texts or checking your ‘likes’ on Facebook isn’t the only thing that’s distracting; all the sounds and alerts could have a strong impact on your brain.

Think of how you may unintentionally write “fries” instead of “files” when you’re thinking about what to get for dinner. In the same way, your brain is distracted and has the divide its power to focus on an important task while keeping up with your phone’s notifications. Being unorganized restricts your ability to focus and hurts your brain’s ability to process information compared to a clean and organized environment.

Related: Prevent Lost Employee Productivity with Backups

3. Take a mid-morning coffee break.

Research shows that a break in the middle of the morning is important for your productivity.

A study led by Emily Hunter, Ph.D., and Cindy Wu, Ph.D., at Baylor University, found that “the more time that had passed since the beginning of the workday, the less useful a break was.” This is because our energy and focus levels are highest in the morning. So it’s easier to regain energy a few hours into the day than it would be later because you have the most energy and concentration in the morning.

4. Get rid of pointless meetings.

How can you get work done if you’re in meetings all day? You can’t.

That’s why co-founder and CEO of Warby Parker, Neil Blumenthal, who averages 15 meetings per 11-hour workday, came up with a few rules to make his meetings as productive as possible.

  1. Get rid of meetings for updates, only engaged in decision meetings.
  2. Make sure to share important information with everyone before the meeting.
  3. All attendees must do their homework before entering the meeting.
  4. No devices.

“Spend time actually engaging [your] brains rather than ‘getting on the same page’ — which, after all, should be a prerequisite of any meeting, and not a result,” says Blumenthal.

Related: Network Design for Better Productivity

5. Make accomplishing your task a necessity.

Think of your every goal as something you must custom manufacture to achieve. Custom manufacture, as in deliberately and creatively putting yourself in situations that make you urgently feel like it’s necessary.

“Here’s my favorite example: After failing time and time again to stick with his good intention to exercise daily, Joe custom manufactured a situation that changed everything. He simply agreed to, from now on, own only one stick of underarm deodorant and keep that one stick of deodorant in his locker at the gym. So the only way he could spare himself from the mortifying embarrassment of stinking all day was to go to the gym. Once he was there, he would feel too foolish about just using his deodorant and leaving, so he would stay and exercise. Joe essentially tricked himself into doing what he intended to do, and eventually exercising daily became a self-sustaining habit.” – Steve Levinson, clinical psychologist and author.



I would love to hear how helpful you think these are. Are there other tips that work for you? Share in the comments below.

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