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10 tips to boost productivity

Imagine doubling your productivity. Getting more done but within the same time. Imagine how much time you would save. You can make this dream a reality by adopting these ten simple life-changing habits. 

When our personal and work lives merge, time is scarce and our performance level suffers. This is due to our inability to get organised, be efficient and deal with our daily tasks.

Making good use of time is difficult and we end up procrastinating and putting things off until the eleventh hour when we are exhausted, leaving us with the feeling that we haven’t got anything done. It is far better to focus entirely on one task and improve each routine to save time.

According to the dictionary produced by the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE), productivity relates what is produced to the means used to produce it. In everyday life, this usually translates into time.

The time you spend carrying on your life is essential to growing in your personal life and your career.

"Productivity does not mean working until you drop, but making wise use of your time. "

1. Be an early riser

Although many people find getting up early difficult, truth be told, it is easier to get things done in the morning when our powers of concentration are at their peak. Getting enough sleep gives you the energy you need to get things done.  What’s more, the earlier you rise, the more hours of the day you have available to you.

Many studies show that the brain performs best in the morning and it’s a good idea to do something to get it ready for action as soon as you wake up. Before you start tackling your tasks you can do something simple like taking exercise, meditating, reading a book, or similar.


2. Make lists

Do you know how good it feels to tick the last task off your check-list at the end of the day? Making a list with priorities and jobs allows you to relax your memory function because you don't have to keep all the things you need to do in your head.

It is great to have a physical source of reference to go to that will guide you through the day. Make lists of goals and objectives and follow them up daily, weekly and monthly. Divide them into columns according to whether they are for work, family or leisure.

It is advisable to spend 20-40 minutes every day working on your objectives, prioritising and identifying important jobs you absolutely must finish by the end of the day. Lists can also help you break down more bulky or tedious tasks.

3. Breaks are important

Most people make the big mistake of not pencilling in breaks into a big task. Breaks are an essential part of any to-do list. Focusing on one task and pouring all your energy into it is exhausting, so to ensure maximum performance (and optimal productivity), you should go outside for a short walk or do something completely different for a short time.

As well as sleep and physical rest, mental rest is also important. You can switch between different tasks to give your day a dynamic, varied feel. You could spend a few minutes reading the newspaper or have a quiet 15-minute coffee break, for example.


4. Prioritise tasks

You don't need an endless list to be productive. Smaller lists are often better at boosting your output. Be reasonable and only include the things you can really complete during the day.

While you are writing your list, ask yourself: which is the most important? What is the deadline for each task? Delete any non-urgent tasks from your to-do list for the day and transfer them to your weekly or monthly lists.

Start by prioritising an activity for each day and dividing it into small tasks. It also helps to divide jobs into three categories by difficulty: easy, moderate and difficult.


5. Schedule time for interruptions

If you organise your workspace efficiently you may get closer to achieving it, but the truth is, you will never get through the day with absolutely no interruptions. There are so many distractions: emails pop into your mailbox, the phone rings... That’s why you should include these interruptions in your work day, taking into account that they will interfere with your productivity.

When you prioritise your list, include tasks in your online life, too. If a message or email is really urgent and a priority, then deal with it. When it comes to interruptions, it is a question of deciding how much attention you should give them... which will allow you to ignore the vast majority and continue to be productive no matter what. 

"Your to-do list should allow for the breaks and distractions that take up your productive time. "

6. Everything in its place

A clean, functional work station is conducive to improving your productivity and has a positive impact on your behaviour. Being surrounded by chaos is stressful. A tidy, comfortable workplace will help you concentrate.

Be methodical in the way you do things. If you work on a computer, keep the desktop on your screen organised and your files stored perfectly in folders, empty your inbox and keep it in order.

Find a place where nobody will interrupt you, where you can focus, which will boost your productivity and stimulate creativity. This is a great way to streamline your life, because you won’t have to waste time searching for things you have mislaid.


7. Track your time

Decide how long you are going to spend on each task, but always approach it from two angles.

  1. How long do you think the task will take?
  2. How long will it take if something goes awry (unforeseen difficulties, probable interruptions, etc.).

The time you allot to the task should be halfway between the first and the second calculations.

We recommend that you divide the day into small blocks of time (maximum 1 hour), a strategy that has been shown to improve concentration.


8. Do not multi-task. Do one thing at a time.

Although we all like to brag about how good we are at multi-tasking, the fact is that this is more a skill for computers than for people. Human beings are better at concentrating and being productive when they focus on one task at a time. Correct time management allows you to give all your attention to one task and to be more productive.

Working on a single task means you will pay more attention and produce better quality results. The goal is to focus all your attention on problem solving with one hundred per cent of your mental capacity.

" Studies show that although computers can do several things at the same time, humans work better when we concentrate on a single task. "

9. If it works, then do it

Think about the organisational method that suits you best and persist with behaviour that increases your productivity. Be flexible. Every week, decide which practices are not to your liking and find ways of doing things that are more to your taste. Productivity is also about enjoyment: we all have good qualities and we should build on them.

Make good behaviour a habit to achieve results. You will gradually be able to build a routine tailored to your needs to improve your performance.


10. Celebrate your results

Reward yourself for achieving or getting close to your objectives. Celebrate each little victory and watch as a chain of success grows - a reward for making your life more entertaining. 

" Being productive is also enjoyable. Reward yourself when you deserve it and adopt habits you find enjoyable."
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