There are hundreds of legitimate tips for increasing productivity out there in books and on the internet. If you are struggling in the realm of personal productivity at work, it is worth it to research the topic and to select a few of the tips that speak to you. Don’t overdo it, however. No need to follow every tip out there. Be careful not to over-engineer your plan for increased productivity, as it’s tempting to do this—the point isn’t to have a perfect plan for productivity, it’s to become more productive. Focusing on and committing yourself to a few techniques should do it.
Three Techniques for Increased Productivity
Be realistic about time. Most of productivity comes down to good time management. An important first step in managing your time effectively, is having a realistic read on how you are currently spending your time. This includes having a realistic view of how long each of your regular tasks takes you from start to finish—realizing that you are an individual and you have your own process for accomplishing things. Let’s say you’re a graphic designer and you designate a certain number of hours to designing a piece for a client, but part of your design process includes milling about your apartment and washing the dishes while you dream up ideas and inspiration. If doing that is part of your process then it should be included in the number of hours you
estimate it will take you to complete that type of project. No sense in carving out two hours for a task if in actuality it takes you three. Being realistic about your time, as you currently spend it, will help you to create time management plans that will work for you.
Honoring your word. Let’s face it, many dreams and ambitions go to the wayside as motivation and focus wane. Sustained motivation and focus fuel the hundreds of action steps that add up to the successful achievement of a goal. There are again a plethora of tips on how to stay motivated . But the one I like most for its simplicity is the concept of honoring your word. It’s really simple to follow: do what you say, because you said it. Following this rule and putting your word above all is simple and it frees you from the time wasted in constantly re-thinking the merits of completing different tasks. Another plus, when you do what you say—and simply because you said you would do it—you feel great. It’s related to a greater sense of integrity, which can become a motivating force in and of itself.
Progress not perfectionism. While we each have our own standards, and we need to adhere to them, perfectionism is a common productivity killer. Perfectionism is in fact a procrastination technique. Your goal should be to move your project forward a little bit each day and to feel good about your progress. This will be more motivating then trying to perfect things. Try following these tips for letting go of perfectionism.