If there’s anything people struggle to achieve as much as, if not more than, the elusive happiness, it’s better productivity. However, just like the art of happiness, being more productive isn’t rocket science either. The key is to work smarter, not harder. As the saying goes, “it’s not the number of hours you put into work, it is the amount of work you put in those hours.”
So, if you want to maximize your productivity, don’t resolve to put in long hours at work; and try these tried-and-tested tips instead:
1. Take regular breaks
You might think it’s counterintuitive, but taking short breaks between work actually boosts concentration, creativity and memory. Continuously working for long stretches of time leads to stress, exhaustion and decision fatigue. Maximize your efficiency at work by taking frequent breaks to refresh and refuel your mind.
2. Eat the frog
Mark Twain once said, “eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Brian Tracy’s famous ‘eat the frog’ technique is based on this quote. The ‘frog’ here being the most crucial task on your to-do list. The one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it. The key to reaching high levels of performance and productivity, Tracy says, is to develop the lifelong habit of tackling your major task first thing each morning.
But what do you do if you have more than one task on your plate? “Eat the ugliest frog first,” suggests the author. Meaning if you’ve more than one important task before you, start with the most challenging one. “Discipline yourself to begin immediately and then to persist until the task is complete,” adds the motivational speaker.