Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise
— Benjamin Franklin
As consultants, independents, it is essential to learn how to manage our time and productivity well!
That’s why we are here to help you to gain time, cut away from distractions, do more in less time. Follow our steps and advice, and it will change your career and life!
What is productivity
To start with, remember that every single one of your goals is achievable and can be achieved. You just have to master how to stay focused, productive. Indeed, there is no goal too big to make if you know how to deal with it, the way to go through it with your terms.
To do so, you have to learn how to break tasks down to measure and quantify your progression accurately. If you keep track of the results of small steps forward, a big goal is more under control, possible, reachable.
Productivity is being more productive, achieving as much work as possible, with quality and relevance, in a given, shorter amount of time. It is a long process but a virtuous circle: the more people become productive, the more they get other things done, and so on. Within these accomplishments, of course, time management skills are crucial.
We all have days when we feel less motivated, and when we are less productive, it is entirely typical, but what matters is how we take these days into account to learn and be more productive later. Eventually, your overall productivity has to increase from one day to the next. So how do we make sure it is the case? That we are in the right direction?
Productivity and Time Management
Productivity is close to time management. For a start, you have to know yourself. You need to think about your personality, at what times you do work better, how self-disciplined you are, how you organize your tasks. That will help you to schedule your work in time. Keep this in mind and follow our best tips to make the most out of your time, increase your productivity, and maximize your potential.
Analyze how you spend your current time. To do so, you can, for instance, create a time journal, a time log, a spreadsheet. You can try for one week to write down everything you do in one day and how much time you spend on each thing. Once you have it all written down, you can go back over it. Look at what you accomplished or not, what you needed to get done during these periods, and what you can delete from your day.
Analyze what to keep and what to eliminates from your day
Moreover, you can note several other valuable pieces of information, such as the time of the day in which you are the most productive. You can also think about what activities and tasks take you more time, which makes the most of your life, whether you are using enough time for each, in a balanced way. Then, you can determine your priorities! The urgent things, the important ones, and the ones that are, in fact, not that important.
Schedule your time to increase your productivity
We highly recommend you to put everything in your calendar, to block periods for your different tasks and things to do. Treat every time block as a deadline you have to meet. Indeed, you must schedule everything within the amount of time available. You have to know what you are doing, why you are doing it, and when you are doing it. It is like having everything in order. In the times of the day when you are the most productive, you have to get the most important tasks done.
Of course, a tricky part of increasing one’s productivity is to banish all (or most) distractions.
Turn off notifications from your smartphone and desktop. A recent study has shown that it takes about 30 minutes to the brain to get the focus back after it was distracted. It is a good reason not to stop in the middle of a meaningful task!
Also, you need to do something about distractions from your environment. It includes electronics, other people. When you decide to get into massive work mode, close your emails, make sure you are in a quiet room and don’t plan other things in between.
It is not easy, but the key to success and productivity is to do one thing at a time. Make sure your work environment is tidy, not cluttered with too many things, and comfortable, lightened enough. When you are in good condition and organized, you can give yourself the best opportunities to increase your productivity. Fourth step: set up yourself some rewards after realizing each critical task. Something to look forward to, to stay focus. For instance, good food, a walk.
Don’t do multitasking
Do one thing at a time. It has been scientifically proven that humans are not built mentally for multitasking. Focus on one thing only is going to make you more productive seriously!
As you may have understood, you have to be prepared. To schedule, arrange your time. Making plans is crucial. Indeed, preparing your schedule ahead of time each day, each week will help you to feel less stressed out, to manage your use of time better. Some people do this preparation on Sunday nights or at the end of each day.
Breaks and refreshing your brain
Of course, you can’t be 100% percent productive each day. That’s why you have to schedule breaks. Just taking a break will clear your mind, and when you come back to work, you will feel more focused, energized, ready. Just don’t take breaks too often. For instance, it is proven that the top 10% of performers take fifteen minutes break every hour. But it is personal. Maybe you want to work longer but then take longer breaks afterward. You have to learn what works best for you.
During these breaks, allow yourself to refresh your brain. Do things unrelated to your work or a To-do list. Go for a walk, cook, listen to some music.
Document your progress
Finally, an exciting part of productivity is in documenting your process and progress. Indeed, we recommend that you write down the steps and the methods of every significant thing that you do. By recording your operations, you will notice what is working or not. Besides, having these steps tracked down makes you more efficient, productive, and get things done more systematically.
We hope that as consultants or as in individuals and professionals in general, you will follow this guide to increase your productivity and get the success you deserve!