Productivity is a quality that is often paired with success. When you think of a successful day, it’s often one where you’ve been productive – you’ve achieved a number of objectives and you’ve filled your time with valuable activity. It’s a good feeling, no?
It is, however, all about balance. An extreme approach to productivity will leave you feeling overworked, exhausted and all together less capable. Being overworked is indeed, counter-productive.
So what is the right approach to being productive? Here are 3 life hacks to maximise your productivity the right way.
The virtues of exercise are so heavily touted that it’s forgivable to regard exercise as simply one big benevolent blur. Let’s be more specific: exercise will make you more productive.
Firstly, getting your heart beating releases serotonin, a complex neurotransmitter in your brain that stimulates mood and emotion. Research suggests that when serotonin is released through exercise, it improves your state of mind and wellbeing.
There is also evidence that serotonin, amongst other endorphins released during exercise, improves an individual’s capacity to deal with stress. Those who work in a fast-paced work environment will know that the ability to manage stress is crucial to remaining productive!
On top of the mental wellbeing that it boosts, exercise will improve your immune system as well as improve your physical endurance. This means less sick days and more stamina to work efficiently.
Many will deem themselves unable to exercise through lack of time, however most will find that excuse wanting. If you’re able to, try to consolidate exercise with an activity that you already do, that way your routine doesn’t even need to change and you’re still getting the benefits. Walk the dog each evening? Jog the dog! Take a ten minute bus journey to work? Invest in a bike. There are always opportunities to exercise if you’re creative.
It’s all well and good to ‘be organised’, but where do you begin in your effort to coordinate your activities? Lists!
Start by making a list of all your long term (let’s say, the next quarter) objectives, followed by breaking down all the steps it takes to achieve those objectives into further lists. The key is to make your tasks easy-to-manage and bite sized; there’s no point trying to tackle a task on your list that simply says “improve ROI” - break it down into manageable activities!
By employing lists, you can keep your productivity levels at a constant high as you’ll remain aware of all your tasks throughout your working hours.
If your day-to-day is varied, or your quarterly objectives demand a diverse range of activities to achieve, create a to-do list in the evening outlining your tasks for the next day. This way you’ll be set from the moment you wake up.
Keep Some Time Free
We’re only human, and no matter what duties we have to do, we’ll always do them better with a bit of inspiration and innovation. Free time gives your mind time to lubricate and contemplate ideas that would have been shut out whilst you were in the thick of things at work.
Allowing your mind to explore ideas will lead to inspiration that can absolutely lend itself to your work. Inspiration is the catalyst to passion (and at times, vice versa), and there is no greater work rate than that propelled by passion.
Alternatively, if in your free time your mind wanders to things that are unrelated to your work, that’s great too. Even if your passions and inspiration lead you to different pursuits to what your productive time is spent doing, it’s important to keep that part of mind active to maintain a balance between work and leisure.
Productivity is an ongoing pursuit and the extent to which you’re achieving a productive mind set should be examined regularly. Be productive the right way with these three life hacks.