31 Aug 8 productivity tips to get you started for the new season!
The Summer holidays are coming to an end. The kids are back at school next week and Autumn has officially begun (sorry!).
Some people may take this opportunity for a fresh start, but if you’re not feeling quite as motivated, don’t panic! You are not alone!
If you’re feeling more meh, than yea, we’ve got some great tips to help you get you back on track!
1. Start your day with a to-do list
To-do lists might seem simple, but for some, they really do work. They provide structure and a plan for what to work on next, which can save you time and mental energy between tasks. Plus, ticking something off a list provides that instant feel-good factor. When humans experience even a small amount of success, the brain releases dopamine; a neurotransmitter related to feelings of pleasure, happiness and motivation.
All the better if you’re neurodivergent like me, and you live your life riding off the back of dopamine highs! There’s nothing like the satisfaction of crossing completed tasks off a to-do list. We’ve been known to write things down just so we can tick them off immediately!!
2. Stop multitasking!
Multitasking is a productivity killer. In fact, research shows that employees can lose up to 40% of their productivity if they multitask. Why? It takes more time to switch between numerous tasks than to stick with one until you finish it.
Instead, start time blocking. Block out a specific amount of time – whether that’s one hour, three or a whole afternoon – to work on a project or task and only that project or task. No checking emails, no ‘I’ll just do this one other thing…’ and no last-minute meetings, either.
If you need a bit of variety in your time-blocking, I advise taking regular breaks (as often as every 20 mins). If you have ADHD, it’s unlikely your brain will be able to focus on one task for longer than 20 minutes anyway, so there really isn’t any point staring at a blank screen just because you promised yourself 2 hours of content creation, for example. Being strict but gentle, is the key to efficient time blocking.
3. Do what works for you
Everyone works best at different times of the day. If you’re a night owl trying to get a creative project done at 9 a.m., it is likely to take you much longer to complete.
Likewise, if you’re an early bird with peak morning productivity, tackling your inbox first thing could be a bad use of your time.
By performing bigger tasks when you’re most alert and mindless tasks when you’re flagging a little, you can boost your productivity without relying on endless coffee to stay focused.
4. Make your workspace work for you
When it comes to productivity, it’s not just about how you work, but where you work, too. Here are a few simple things you can do to improve your work environment:
- Create a workspace: Working from the sofa can stifle anyone’s productivity, as the lines between working and relaxing become blurred. Set up a designated desk if you can.
- Clean & declutter: Clutter in your surroundings competes for your attention, so declutter your desk and keep the essentials only.
- Design for willpower: You’re much less likely to do things if you make them less convenient. If you’re prone to scrolling, put your phone in another room. Get an app to block productivity-killing sites and apps during work hours.
5. Block out time for emails
Emails, emails, emails – they’re essential for any business, but they can feel non-stop and seriously distracting. Instead of constantly checking your emails every few minutes, give yourself certain time blocks to check your inbox. The thing with emails, is no matter how much you’re on top of them, more will always come through so it’s important to remember they’re never ‘done’. Don’t see this as a demotivator though, but rather more a reality check to not become despondent when you’ve spent a few hours clearing a huge backlog only to have another batch coming through straight afterwards. The other thing with emails is, unlike phone calls, they can wait! No one expects a response to a professional email in less that 24 hours unless it’s an urgent matter (in which case, isn’t that what phones are for?!)
6. Have you tried the Pomodoro technique?
The Pomodoro technique sets rigorous times for highly focused chunks and short breaks to rest and recoup. Here’s how it works:
- Set your time to 25 minutes
- Work until that 25 minutes has finished
- Take a five-minute break
- Repeat the break and work cycle for four rounds
- After the fourth round, take a longer 15 or 30-minute break
7. Don’t discount AI
Whether we like it or not, AI is here – and it’s here to stay. The good news is that although AI has its limitations, it can seriously help to maximise your productivity if you learn to use it strategically. The way you use it will vary widely between job roles, but doing some research and learning to use AI in a way that complements and enhancesyour work could be a productivity game-changer.
Repetitive tasks can drain valuable time that could otherwise be spent on more strategic or creative projects. Automation is the process of completing essential, but repetitive, tasks through tools or software. Automating some of your tasks could free up time, supercharge productivity and reduce errors all at once, and can be
applied to almost every industry.
So what do you think? Fancy giving some of them a go? Or perhaps you already use some of these tools regularly to help you get on track? I’d love to know which ones you already use, or hope to, so drop me a message!