10 tips to stay productive

Feeling like you spend too many hours working and don’t get all the job done?

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Struggling with productivity is a main problem in modern societies and the popularity of remote work arrangements came to exacerbate this issue even more. This can bring stress, anxiety, or more serious conditions, like burnout, mining your professional and personal livesTo avoid these situations, it must be a balance within your daily habits. It’s not easy!

That’s why we summarize in 10 tips some features that can help you to achieve a more healthy relationship with productivity at work:

1- Make a to-do list and start with the most difficult ones

As the day goes on, tiredness becomes evident and your willingness to carry out more labored tasks gradually vanishes. Take some time in the morning to plan your work. Make a list of all the tasks you want to accomplish during the day and rate all of them according to their difficulty. Then, start with the difficult ones. This way you will apply your energy more efficiently and the day get lighter. 

2- Get around procrastination by timing your time

There are some methods you can use to get around procrastination. One of them is the Pomodoro Technique. “Pomodoro” is Italian for “tomato” and suggests that, once your tasks are listed, focus on a single task for 25 minutes. Then, have a five-minute break. Each work session is equivalent to one “pomodoro” and after four “pomodoros”, you can take longer breaks, between 15 and 30 minutes. Have a try!

3- Take breaks

If Pomodoro Technique doesn’t fit you, you have many other similar methods to annihilate your procrastination. All of them have in common the need to take breaks. It’s essential to pause in order to listen to your body’s needs. It may be asking for a snack to restore energy or going outside for a while to take sunbathe. Or just stretch your legs and think about what you’ve already done if you have to change the method or what’s the next step.

4- Use technology to save time

Technology can be a great ally to automate some tasks and free your time to concentrate on what matters. Nowadays we have (free) apps for loads of purposes. So you can analyze what tasks you do every day that can easily be accomplished by installing an app. Also, some of them can help organize work (Trello is one example). Others can be a great ally to ask for suggestions from colleagues in some difficult task you have on your hands or simply to share some information that can make your day easier and stimulate the “team sense” (Slack is one example).

5- Don’t multitask

“Multitasking doesn’t work”, said Bill Gates once. And it’s great advice. Multitasking can represent a lot of stress, much more working hours and, in the end, each task can not be addressed the best way or not done at all. It’s important to understand that step by step you go further, saving a lot of time and putting your full potential into work.

6- Have a routine

Set the time to exercise your body or meditate and be sure you’re eating healthy. A poor diet or body dehydration affects your productivity, making it difficult for you to concentrate. Moving your body is good for your mental health as well. It will benefit your creativity and your capacity to solve problems. On the other hand, your muscles will be more relaxed during the day, so you don’t feel pain when you’re sitting in front of the computer for too many hours. There have many options: gym, basketball games with friends, meditation, etc.

7- Organize workspace

Our workspace reflects our state of mind and vice versa. A simple step such as organizing the desk or the computer can bring more clarity to our daily life. This way, you will always know where the items/information you need for work are (for leisure as well), as soon as you need it, and don’t waste time searching for things, diverting your focus.

8- Have alternative workspaces

In the era of remote work, it’s more and more difficult to separate profession from personal life, as we’re making everything in the same space: our houses. Sometimes, it can let us feel trapped in the same space and weaken our vitality. In that sense, having alternative workspaces, inside or outside the house (co-work spaces are a good alternative), can uplift our productivity and general happiness.

9- Plan leisure activities

Living just for work is not healthy at all and we all recognize the leisure prerogative. So, take time to distract yourself from all work problems. What do you like to do aside from your job? What are your favorite hobbies? Is it being with friends? Cinema? Music concerts? Read a book in a public garden or beach? Make sure you’re planning your leisure times the same way you plan your workday. 

10- Assess your actions and needs

Finally, take time to rethink everything you do. We, as humans, are in constant growth, so sometimes you must leave behind some habits that don’t fit anymore. Recalculate your path assessing your actions and needs.

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