The key to success with any form of business, industry or personal goal is productivity. It is therefore no wonder that the world is flooded with apps, tools and workflows that promise to turn even the laziest of people into productivity gods.
Unfortunately, it isn’t quite as simple as that. Productivity apps, for example, only tell one part of the story and play a relatively minor role within the many constituent elements that make up the ability to be productive.
You can have every productivity app and tool under the sun, but if you don’t develop and maintain good habits, you’ll never get anywhere or complete any project to the best of your ability.
In this post, we’re going to list the ways you can build brilliant productivity habits that will benefit everything you do.
Remember that ‘good’ is usually good enough
If you’re a perfectionist, this one will be a little hard to bear, but it’s incredibly important. To be productive, you need to stop striving for perfection. Why? Because perfection doesn’t exist. If you think something is ‘good’, it’s usually good enough.
Stop trying to push for that extra 10% in everything you do and you’ll be more satisfied, things will get done and you’ll never let anyone down.
Stop doing things you’ve always done
Bear with us on this. If you’ve got a hobby you absolutely adore, we’re not suggesting you drop it for the sake of getting other stuff done, but if you’re always doing something else and you often question why, it’s time to take a step back.
Perhaps you continue to play that Tetris-like multiplayer game with friends but have ceased to enjoy it. Why not just stop? No one is forcing you to, after all, and the ability to eliminate ‘me time’ commitments you no longer need or want is a valuable lesson in freeing up dead time that could be better spent doing something else.
Set strict time limits
Fancy going for a run? Set yourself a time limit for doing so. Fancy a spot of Fifa on the Playstation? Again, set yourself a specific time limit. It may sound rather draconian, but limiting the time you spend on activities is a key productivity tactic and the more you do it in life, the more that mindset will permeate through your working day.
Rise and fall at the same times every day
If you wake and go to bed at varying times each day, you’ll rarely be at your best when it comes to work. Start going to bed at the same time every night and set an alarm that chimes on the same hour no matter the day of the week.
It may feel painful at first, but your body will become accustomed to this new way of living and the consistency with which you wake and rest will tune your body clock perfectly so that you can be at your best throughout the day.
Start noting things down
Those odd thoughts, ideas, needs or wishes will be lost forever if you don’t write them down. We all have digital notebooks in our pockets these days, so whenever you think of something you don’t want to forget (even if it is to simply try that new brand of cereal you spotted on TV), make a note on your smartphone.
To-do lists and the effective management of them are two of the most important aspects of being productive and your notebook will quickly become your bible the more you use it throughout daily life. Make note taking a constant habit.
If you’re forever juggling what feels like a million tasks (for example, cooking while watching TV, talking to your other half and mentally planning Friday’s night out), stop trying to multitask. Most of us are pretty poor at it and the more jobs you try and take on at once, the worse the outcome will be for all of them.
Work on one thing at a time and only start on the next once you’re happy you’ve reached your goal.
Productivity isn’t an exact science, nor is there any magic involved – it simply requires common sense and the ability to introduce some consistency and order into one’s life. Do this in every area of your life and you’ll quickly build habits that will help you go on to achieve fantastic things both at work and with those you love.