I know you want to do many things in life. But are you unable to do most of it because something holds you back, every time you want to get started?
You don’t need to tell me how annoying and helpless feeling it is that constantly keeps pestering you. All of it, not because you didn’t do your work but because you couldn’t do it.
This is especially true when the reason for your helplessness is your inability to stay focused.
I have also been a victim of such a situation. And trust me, it’s not just you and me. Almost all human beings face this problem unless they realize with some special powers.
I, however, tried to overcome these obstacles that continued to clog my productivity over and again.
And in doing so, I found 6 Habits that changed my way of doing this. It has brought about a tremendous boost in my concentration, which in return has enhanced my productivity to a great extent.
And when this happens can there be a better reason to feel stress-free and contented?
In today’s article, I will share with you those 6 Super Powerful Hacks that will Massively Boost Your Productivity.
So let’s get started.
How to Boost Your Productivity?
01. Have a Healthy and Distraction-Free Morning
Henry Ward Beecher once said, “The first hour is the rudder of the day.” The way you start your mornings have a huge impact on the hours that follow. So make sure your mornings are calm and distraction-free.
Doing that is not rocket science. You just need to implement something that you learned in your kindergarten days. Let me remind you what it was – Sleep off early at night and wake up early in the mornings.
To maintain that, you need a proper night’s sleep. Go to bed on time, maintain the same timing so that you fall asleep easily.
And to make sure that you get good sleep, avoid anything that can keep you active late in the night. Make sure you don’t drink coffee too late or at least try decaf.
This will help you start your day earlier and work for longer. Try to ditch your natural tendency to curl up in your comforter and going back to sleep once you are awake.
Start your day with a warm cup of tea/coffee. Jam up with your favorite music, meditate, do your favorite yoga, running and other exercises, read the newspaper or just relax and enjoy the soothing early morning silence. This will soothe your mind and make you feel energized for the day.
Listening to my favorite music has always saved me from a bad start. You can try it too. It works!
02. Hot and Cold Hydrotherapy
Hot and Cold Hydrotherapy is a great way to relief depression, improve concentration, blood circulation and stabilize your mental and emotional well-being.
All you need to do is take an alternate hot and cold shower, first by turning the nozzle of the shower to cold and then to hot water that is tolerable to your body.
Complete 5-7 hot and cold cycles by starting with hot water for about one-two minutes and alternating with cold bursts for 30 seconds.
This will surely help you have a great start by thoroughly cleansing your body and leaving you to feel revitalized and healthy.
Do this for a week continuously, and you will start feeling the difference.
03. Make a to-do list
This is one of the most common pieces of advice that almost anyone will give you if you seek help with time management. And you must trust me on this: its outcome is great.
Once you get into the habit of these lists, you will just not be able to do without them. You know why? Because….
- It will bring order to your life.
- You will start feeling productive.
- It is rewarding.
So spare five mins of your day to remember and jot down all the things you need to do.
To-do-lists helps you get rid of all the burden that overloads your mind, just at the thought that you have so many things to do in the day. Once your list is ready, you can exactly know how many tasks you have to complete before you hit the pillow.
Now go through your list and prioritize which task you want to get done before your actual hectic schedule kicks off. This can probably be the one that you think will take the most time.
Sometimes it can be a simpler one too, which might not be as urgent but is important to get done with. For example: answering an email.
Another good thing about a to-do-list is that it helps you coordinate tasks. For example, if you need to pick up your laundry on your way back home, you can finish it off on your way home rather than driving back all the way to the laundry shop once you are home after a tiring day.
This way sometimes you will realize that completing one task from your list makes another job simpler. Sometimes a task that you complete or an action you take will make everything else on your list easier to complete or even unnecessary.
Your list will also make you realize that you can now manage your time more effectively by rescheduling your time as per your convenience.
How to create a to-do-list
I see many people making their to-do-list in their electronic gadgets. But however handy these gadgets might seem to you, we can not deny the charming appeal of our old pen and paper that it has always carried.
- I have always preferred the pen and paper over any smart electronic gadget. Nothing can be easier than quickly and effortlessly scribbling down something onto a piece of paper.
- It not only helps you memorize what you have just written but also
- Saves you all the time and effort you need to press those extra buttons to delete, edit and save your note.
- And if your auto-save mode is not turned on, there is no way you can escape the entire episode of retyping it all the way from the beginning again.
- Saves you every time your gadget runs out of charge (you can never gain access to your note unless you have either shared or saved it online or get your battery recharged).
- You can skip the need to open it (especially if it is a laptop which takes longer than flipping pages) whenever you urgently need to look at it.
P.S: Always make two to-do-lists. One for your long term (things that you want to do over a period like an exercise) and another for the day.
Where to start from?
Many experts would suggest you start with the hardest of all tasks. I would rather recommend you to start with something that you would enjoy doing. I know you will ask me why you should follow my advice over that of an expert’s.
I have a very simple reason. People are more efficient at doing things that come naturally.
Something that feels like a struggle is more likely to impede progress. If you can, delegate the duties that feel like an effort, and instead focus on “high-value activities.”
As Hillary Rettig says”High-Value Activities are within your mission, leverage your strengths, and create impact or change. They also create clarity and open your schedule.”
It is, therefore, better to start off with something milder. Instead of starting with the toughest you can also start with the one that you think is important.
For example, notifying your colleagues about a meeting that has been rescheduled.
04. Get rid of distractions
A very significant step to work towards a productive schedule is to get rid of all the things that frequently cloud your concentration. And the only way to do that is first to find out what your distractions are.
Let’s find out.
a. Electronic gadgets
In today’s world, the word distraction can be used as a synonym for many modern day inventions like the mobile phone, laptops, tablets and the like. Make sure you a turn them off for all the work that can be done without them.
b. The Internet
The Internet is a sure thing. There’s no doubt that our life will seem to freeze without the internet. But we also cannot deny the fact that it is one of the biggest distraction that kills a lot of your time. Of all other sites in the web, social networking sites, are the biggest contributors to a distracted mind.
So try to keep yourself free from such sites.
One easy way to do is to add the extension called Strict Workflow to your browser.
Clicking on the extension button will block all social networking sites while you work. You can set up your time interval after which it will get automatically unblocked.
c. A messy environment
By environment, I mean your workplace. The workplace does not necessarily mean your office table. It can be any other place where your work mostly centers around.
It can be your office table, your study room, your craft studio or anything alike.
A messy environment always blocks the positivity and makes you feel lazy. So try to clear the mess around you before you start off.
d. A cluttered mind
This one is the most important thing to consider. Things like silly fights with your partner, what to wear for the party in the evening, or the tune of a song you heard on our way to work that you can’t get out of your head, can create a lot of distraction.
Eliminate all such things from your mind.
I know it’s not going to be an easy thing to do in the beginning. But with a little practice, you will surely master it. You can start this by trying to focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale.
05. Say No to Multitasking
To many of you, multi-tasking might seem like a genius thing to do. The reality, however, says just the opposite. Studies have proved that the human mind can handle only two complicated tasks at a time.
If a third task is added, it can overwhelm the frontal cortex and increase the number of errors you make.
Even a task as simple and automatic as driving will take more time if you do it while chatting over your cell phone.
So when you think you are multitasking, you are wasting your time, because instead of completing multiple tasks together you are slowing yourself down making yourself comparatively less productive.
Besides it also deteriorates your work quality and triggers a lot of stress. And yes.
If you are trying your hand at something creative, then you better keep it aside. Because multi-tasking will only cause a major dent in your creative side.
Having said all these, I would suggest you say a strict NO to multi-tasking.
06. Be Part of The 20%
Sometimes no matter how hard you try, you are just unable to do anything. One or the other distraction follows and you end up getting yourself entangled in it so much so that it gets too late before you realize how much time you have wasted on it.
This is especially true when you start talking to someone on your phone, or flip through a fashion magazine, or watch a 2-minute clip on YouTube which then continues with another clip, etc., etc..
Such a thing usually starts with the pretext of taking a break to freshen up your distracted mind. But unfortunately, we get lured into extending the break more and more.
By the end of the day, you realize you have not even completed half of what you planned to. Well, this is a common thing. But here is a remedy for that.
Try to carve out and ruthlessly protect just 90 minutes—20% of an eight-hour day—for the most important tasks.
By this, you will at least be using those 90 minutes for something more fruitful. As we all know something is better than nothing at all.
Over to you
These are a few points that will help you boost your concentration and enhance your productivity.
It has helped me to stay focused, and I am sure it’s going to help you too. Do try them out and let us know in your comments if it worked for you.
If you know about any other technique to enhance your focus, don’t hesitate to share it with us.
We would love to extend our list. Until then stay focused and keep working hard.