By David Joel Miller.
Ways to be more productive.
Would you like to get more done?
Do you feel like you are having difficulty being productive?
Here are some simple tips to improve your productivity and help you get more done each and every day. Try introducing some of these ideas, one by one and see if your productivity doesn’t increase.
Maintain a healthy blood sugar – energy level.
Your brain burns a lot of calories. By some estimates up to 25% of all the calories you will use every day are burned in your brain. Not having enough fuel on board reduces your ability to do work. Lack of blood sugar results in fuzzy headed thinking.
Kids who skip breakfast do more poorly in school. Adults who don’t eat something early will find that their will suffer. Start your day off with a healthy breakfast. Being productive requires energy for both your brain and your body.
Get enough sleep.
Most people become chronically sleep deprived. You may be able to get by on reduce sleep for a single night, or even a couple of nights. But if you continue to work with less than enough sleep, your productivity will decline. Chronically cutting your sleep short is not a way to improve your productivity.
Getting things done requires maintaining your body. It is not enough to simply taken in calories. Those calories need to include nutrients necessary to maintain health. Many people’s diets are high in sugar, fat and low nutrient ingredients.
Get exercise. Move around.
Make sure you get plenty of exercise. Take frequent breaks. Get up and move around. Staying in one position too long can wear you out. Today more and more people work at desks jobs, working with papers, computers and ideas. The result of this inactivity is a body that can’t support the brain that is doing so much of your work.
Eliminate what distracts you.
Distractions are the chief enemy of productivity. Try to eliminate the distractions in your environment. Close unneeded Internet windows. If possible, use music or white noise to eliminate the distraction of conversations or other noises in your environment. Cut down on the need to attend to things other than your main task at hand.
Focusing, paying attention, is a skill that needs to be practiced. Young children rarely have good attention skills. The way those attention paying skills develop is by practice. Work on improving your ability to pay attention. Notice when your mind is wondering and quickly bring it back to the thing you need to attend to.
Pursue your passions. What interests you?
The majority of all learning is emotional not intellectual. You learn things that interest you. Pursue your passions. Think about the things that interest you and incorporate those into your work. Think about learning a new skill, something that might excite you.
Take breaks. Chunk work.
Productivity declines the longer you stay on a given task. Break time-consuming projects up into smaller chunks. Take short breaks between each chunk. Early in the day you’re likely to be able to do longer periods of work on a particular project. As the day progresses you may need to take more frequent breaks or switch to other tasks.
Recharge your batteries. What fills you up mentally?
Productive people invest some time in recharging their batteries. Use your time off, your breaks and lunch to do good self-care. Read something for fun, listen to your favorite music, make time to talk to friends and coworkers.
For the big projects, plan, prioritize and break up.
Some projects can be overwhelming. Starting off not knowing where you’re going can result in poor productivity. For large projects start by developing a plan. What will need to be done first, second and so on. Break large elements down into smaller pieces. It helps to estimate how much time each part will take. Pay attention to things you need to complete before you can start the next phase.
Have a clear picture of the desired outcome.
A lot of effort can be wasted when you are not sure what you are trying to accomplish. Write out some goals for the project you are working on. It helps to run these goals by your boss or your customer. You have not accomplished much if you created something that doesn’t meet another’s needs. You will work a lot more efficiently if you have a clear definition of what you are trying to accomplish.
Get the help you need.
Rather than trying to do everything yourself, identify those things where you could use others expert help. Few people are skilled at everything. It is a lot more efficient to get help from people who have expertise in areas where you are less skilled.
Try these tips for improved productivity.
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books