Productivity is the ultimate combination of efficiency and effectiveness. It is also something that we strive for, regardless of what we're doing. But like most good things, productivity doesn’t come easy. Here are 5 productivity habits you already know you should adopt but haven't. So get a friend, start now and make it a little easier on yourself!
1. Use a Planner or Calendar
Remembering your entire schedule is hard work. Especially in high stress situations, your memory tends to become unreliable - you find yourself forgetting due dates and meetings. The easiest way to conquer this is to use a planner! By recording your appointments down, you no longer have to be stressed over thinking what you have due that day, and that reduced burden on your mind will definitely make you a more productive individual!
Some tips to help you along:
SuperYR - this calendar will help you plan your whole year! Best of all, it works well with whiteboard markers, and can be easily re-used every year
Calendar Templates - you can find free calendar templates for you to download if you would rather have more choices of different calendar formats
Calendar Apps - if analogue is not the thing for you, there is a whole list of good calendar apps such as Cal and Google Calendars, all recommended here, that you can consider
2. Note down your aims for the day
Sometimes, you want to get started on your day, but you don’t even know where to begin. This lack of focus and direction can definitely take a toll on your productivity. One of the simplest, but most efficient ways to overcome this is by simply listing down everything you have to complete in the day. Regardless of how you do this, analogue or digital, being able to see what you have to do in front of you makes focussing on these tasks infinitely easier. If your list seems too daunting, improvements that you can make include either keeping your to do list to three main items, or split your items down into small, more easily achievable aims.
Some tools to help you along
Workflowy - Workflowy is a great way of making your lists online, and keeping track of them that way! If you prefer making long and detailed lists, then this would be good for you, as you can put in as many sub-points as you like without worrying about running out of space
Todoist - Available across multiple platforms and devices, Todoist is the most portable type of list making extension. This is another great option if you prefer digital
Panobook - If you are more of an analogue person, then the Panobook is the right book for you. It’s perfect for making lists, and will fit seamlessly and well on your desk!
Exercising seems hard, especially after you’re already so tired due to a long day at work or school. But exercising has a whole host of benefits for you, which include improving your immune system, keeping you more alert, and helping get more creative! It may take a while for you to cultivate the habit of exercising, but the benefits you get from doing so will be well worth the effort.
Some helpful tips
Get a workout buddy - When you have a workout buddy, you are accountable to that workout buddy, and you will naturally feel more inclined towards continuing to exercise.
Get a fitness app eg. Runtastic - There are now many fitness apps such as Runtastic, that will all help you towards your fitness goal!
Gamify your workout sessions with fitness with exercise equipment that will challenge you in a fun way like the Blaze Pods. Exercising is definitely much more fun and motivating when it's a game.
Use one of the many bike-sharing services around - With the various bike-sharing services popping up around the country, it is very simple to just grab one and head home! That way you’ll be able to work in your daily dose of exercise without too much extra hassle!
Establish a regular sleep cycle
This probably sound even more unattainable than exercising daily, as most people just aim to sleep as much as they can. But the benefits of establishing a regular sleep cycle is twofold! First, once you have an established sleep cycle, you’ll want to work harder and complete your daily tasks faster so that you won’t be messing with your sleep cycle. Second, you’ll have more energy to complete these tasks and keep your sleep cycle uninterrupted because your body would have adapted to the amount of sleep you get.
Some helpful ways to start cultivating your sleep cycle:
Sleep and wake up at the same time everyday - This consistency is key in establishing a sleep routine. If you want to sleep in on weekends, an hour or two more is alright, but not much more than that. This can be a difficult process, but the results are well worth your efforts. If you need help waking up, you can consider this nifty alarm clock!
Keep the nights dark - Our bodies’ internal rhythm are affected by light, and if there’s light in the room, your body will naturally be more reluctant to fully relax and allow you to sleep.
Don’t drink anything with caffeine in it after dinner - This is pretty self-explanatory. While its effects may differ from person to person, for most people it gets very difficult to sleep if they consume that much caffeine after dinner. So if you avoid this, you should be able to fall asleep faster, and be on your way to establishing a good sleep cycle!
5. Take breaks
Most of us know that taking breaks will help us improve our productivity, but most of us still don’t do so. That is most likely because regardless of what research says, sitting and continuously working on a task still feels more productive. But if you haven’t started taking regular breaks, there is no time better than the present to try something new! You’ll be amazed by the creative boosts and invigoration that you feel!
Here are some ideas for your breaks:
Take a walk to the washroom - This is very simple, but will definitely serve as a good pick-me-up!
Try some deskercises - This deskercises help to get your blood flowing and perk you right up! It will also help you stay fit and help your heart.
Just do nothing - This website forces you to take a break and just do nothing, not even touching your keyboard or mouse, for 2 whole minutes. While this may sound boring, it will at the least to take your mind of work for 2 minutes while you listen to the calming sounds that the website is playing.
There you have it, 5 habits that will help you boost your productivity! Hope you will practise these habits, and hope that these habits will help you.
Written by Kang Jia Rui
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This article first appeared on Grouphunt's Blog.
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