Introduction: Productivity Strategies
We all want to become more productive with our time and spend less on what we don’t enjoy and more time on what we do enjoy and being productive is particularly important if you have deadlines for exams coming up or if you are submitting applications for training contracts or vacation schemes. Improving your productivity and coming up with productivity strategies can seem like a challenge when there are lots of conflicting deadlines. However, if you can make improvements, it can help you to become more efficient and achieve more academically and/or professionally.
How Do I Improve My Productivity?
With the huge growth in mobile apps and online scheduling software, improving your productivity has become a lot easier and if you enjoy using technology, you can take advantage of some very good apps. However, whether it’s a traditional diary and notepad or an app that can be used on different devices and synced, there are lots of ways to improve your productivity.
Our Top Productivity Strategies
Here are our top tips:
- Prioritise – it will often be the case that you will be given lots of tasks all at once by your university or employer. It is your job to prioritise the tasks so that you can allocate your time appropriately. A useful strategy is to take a step back and first work out how long each task is going to take before actually commencing the work.
- Have a to-do list – you can keep a notebook so that you can record your to-do list and prioritise important tasks and allocate your time accordingly. The danger with writing on scraps of paper is that the paper tends to get lost and you will not be able to then refer back to it. There are also useful apps such as Wunderlist and Any.do that allow you to add and then view tasks on your devices.
- Set reminders – most mobiles phones have a reminder function built into them and this can be used to insert important deadlines so that you don’t forget them. If you have an essay deadline or job application closing date, you might want to set reminders in your diary at certain intervals so that you don’t panic at the last minute. Panicking is likely to reduce your productivity, lead to stress and reduce the quality of your work.
- Factor in extra time – ideally, you will allocate your time to a task and then as soon as that task is finished, you can focus your efforts on something else. In reality, tasks sometimes take longer than we have factored for so it’s important to allow a bit of extra time in your schedule.
- Take a break – it sounds obvious but if you are starting to become less productive, it might be wise to take a break and then revisit a task later. Going out to get some fresh air, seeing friends or doing some exercise are great ways to improve your alertness.