How to Gain Productivity?. PixelsHow to Gain Productivity?. Pixels

Productivity is something that everyone wants to get. You reach the end of your workday and glance down at your (now coffee-stained) to-do list.

You’re immediately overcome with frustration as you realize that barely half the tasks are checked off. Seriously, what happened? You’ve been at your desk for the better part of eight hours. Why didn’t you get more accomplished?

Maintainin a high level of productivity is not intuitive or easy – but you don’t have to resign yourself to feeling discouraged and depleted at the end of every workday. We rounded up ten top-notch, rock-solid tips you can put into play to channel your focus, and defeat your to-do list – plus a quiz to help get you started.

Manage your energy, not just your time to get productivity

“People naturally have ebbs and flows in their work processes or in how well they can focus,” explains Dr. Melissa Gratias, a workplace productivity coach and speaker. These peaks and valleys in your focus and motivation are naturally occurring in your body, driven by your ultradian rhythms.

You can’t compete with science. So rather than doubling down on your caffeine intake, the smarter move is to pay close attention to the times of day when you feel most energized.

Manage your energy, not just your time. Pixels
Manage your energy, not just your time. Pixels

Keep a journal for at least a week or two (one day isn’t long enough to identify trends) and note how you feel. You’ll have an easier time spotting your biological prime time – the times you’re most “in the zone.”

With that information, you can allocate your work more effectively. Plan your deep, complex, or creative work for your golden hours (you can even block off your calendar) and save menial tasks for the times when you feel a little more drained.

Streamline your space

Before you do anything else, take a few moments at the start of each day to organize and declutter your workspace. A clutter-free environment helps you think more clearly and produce better results, said Kristoph Matthews, head of engineering at NewtonX and founder of on-demand storage company Boxbee. By cleaning up and organizing your space, you can greatly increase your productivity and limit the time you spend searching for items.

Streamline your space. Pixels
Streamline your space. Pixels

Add pops of color or live plants

Color can have a major effect on your mood and productivity throughout the day, said Jenny Gauld, interior designer for office furniture and accessory retailer Turnstone. Blue can impart a calming feeling and help you focus, while red may be great for work requiring accuracy and attention to detail. Plants can also help people focus: A study by the American Society for Horticultural Science found that workers who were exposed to plants in their workspace reported feeling less stressed and more productive.

Add pops of color or live plants. Pixels
Add pops of color or live plants. Pixels

Plan Ahead

We all know the stress that can come with a busy work week. Especially when you’re laying bed on a Sunday night thinking of everything you’ve got on in the coming week.

However, if you were to plan ahead…whether it be daily, weekly or monthly – you’d feel more in control of your day-to-day life. Planning ahead has lots of benefits as you’ll spend less time worrying about what will happen and more time in the moment, not to mention how missed meetings and forgetting to send emails will become a thing of the past. This is because when you create an effective plan, you’ll be able to stay accountable.

Plan Ahead. Pixels
Plan Ahead. Pixels

If you have no clarity regarding what you need to get done in a given day, you’ll probably feel busy…but you won’t be productive. Start planning your days in advance, even the night before and you’ll see how you’ll not only get more done in less time, you’ll also experience an easier flow to life full of useful work that adds value to your life. So, make sure you start scheduling your day at least the night before to get the most out of it.

Track and Limit

Have you ever thought about how much time you spend on specific tasks while at work? How long each task takes to complete and how much time you may be wasting?

Some of us think we’re pretty good at gauging how much time we spend on tasks, however, research shows that only around 17% of us are actually able to estimate the time we spend doing specific things, accurately.

Track and Limit. Pixels
Track and Limit. Pixels

By implementing a tracking system that can help you monitor your tasks and the time they take to complete you’ll be able to better understand if you are using your time effectively and productively or if certain tasks are taking up too much of your time unnecessarily.

How so? Well, to begin with tracking your time will help you understand where you’re getting distracted. It will help you spot the things at work that repeatedly throw you off track such as meetings, interruptions or unplanned tasks. Tracking your time will also be able to help you with spotting bottlenecks and workflows that may need to be automated instead of you spending hours on them.

Maybe you’re the type of person who is ready and raring to go as soon as you’ve drunk your morning coffee, or maybe you’re more productive in the afternoons. By implementing a time tracking system to your working day, you’ll be able to find your productivity golden hours easier. This will enable you to manage your tasks and energy levels accordingly. For example, work that requires deeper focus can be reserved for when you know you’re most productive, and other tasks that take up less energy you can complete at a

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