Staying productive is easier said than done. People don’t plan to procrastinate, but it happens. You may have created a long list of resolutions this year but by close of the year, you would have accomplished a few of them.
Sometimes it’s just difficult to get things done in the midst of all the social and digital distractions we face as humans. But the good news is that, if you put your mind to it, you can achieve what you purpose in your heart.
These are a few productivity tweaks, tips and hacks to get you going this year. What are you doing to get better at what you do in 2014? This is just a guide to get you started on working better, faster and smarter (not harder) this year.
1. Make goals you can actually achieve. Regardless of whether it is something you want to accomplish today, next month, or in five years, it is important to write them down. Don’t try to make 20 changes in a week; it simply just won’t happen.
2. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Take a few minutes break: Get up, go for a walk or do something completely different to recharge. Work in possibly 90 minute blocks with 10 minute intervals to recover and refuel.
3. Stop multi-tasking. No, seriously—stop. Switching from task to task quickly does not work. Concentrate and focus on getting one thing done efficiently.
4. Whatever you have planned to do in 2014, prioritize your tasks and assess the progress of your goals by the day, week, month. This allows you to rethink the effort, value and efficiency of your approach.
5. Take a less-is-more approach to your to-do list by focusing on accomplishing things that really matter this week, or this month.
6. Knock out your most challenging tasks before lunch when your brain is refreshed. Don’t set things aside hoping you’ll have time to deal with them later.
7. Don’t fall into an email distraction. Check your mails at specific times you deem appropriate.
8. Find productivity apps that can fit your communication and work style. You will do more in less time with the right tools.
9. Stay dedicated to your vision day in and day out. Get stuck with it until you accomplish it.
10. Test your business ideas first to better understand what the user wants before launching.
11. Get a grip on your own emotions and those of the people around you and know how to better manage it for your success.
12. Steve Jobs said that what made Apple Apple was not so much what they chose to build but all the projects they chose to ignore. Make a separate list for “to-ignore”.
13. It pays to get lost sometimes. Don’t be so available to everyone. Make time for zero interruptions. Pure focus. Massive results.
14. What gets written down, gets done. Commit to writing your tasks down. Record your daily and weekly action items and use a calendar to set reminders before you start your new day.
15. Every time you start completing a task, ask yourself ‘Is this task the best thing I can do right now to achieve my goal?’.
16. Stay disciplined. If you find yourself losing focus, try to figure out why, and quickly. Are your objectives unclear? Get back to winning ways quickly.
17. Capture every thought that comes into your mind, whether it’s an idea for a project you’d like to do, an appointment you need to make.
18. Don’t plan out everything you need to do to finish a project, just focus on the very next thing you need to do to move it forward.
19. Do all your similar tasks together. That way could achieve more faster and better. Do it now, don’t postpone until tomorrow. Fight procrastination by adopting “do it now!” attitude.
20. Schedule a time with yourself every week to look over what you’ve done that week and what you want to do the next week.
21. Lock your door, put a sign up, turn off your phone, texts, email, and instant messaging and stay productive.
22. Celebrate your success every week. even if it’s just 70% of what you wanted to achieve. Stay motivated to do more.
23. Take the last 25 minutes of Friday getting organized for the week ahead. Set an objective for Monday
24. Instead of having multiples of post-it notes littering your desk with separate tasks, make one master list–keep all your responsibilities in one easy-to-digest format and get started on getting them done.
25. Finally, don’t think under pressure. Make time for yourself and work. Live a balanced life.