Earlier this week we discussed why we want to get productive. Although there are a couple of reasons to be against productivity, I understand if you still want to be productive (so am I). Here are 12 tips on being productive.

  1. Shut down. Shut down everything around you, your tv, your cellphone and the radio. And shut down everything on your computer, twitter, email and instant messengers. You only need to look at what you need to do.
  2. Play a little bit of music. Your choice what you are listening to. I like to listen to slow music when I’m writing. Nothing hard, no party music, just some cool background music.
  3. Focus. And focus hard. Concentrate on that task only. Does something non-related pop up in your head? Write it down and continue with what you were doing.
  4. Know what your task is. Before you start, you should have already planned out what you are going to do. You’ve had your mindmap, you’ve had your brainstorm. Now is the time for the task.
  5. Have breaks. And if breaks work for you, have lots of breaks. Every thirty minutes you may watch a little youtube video. Have a break and continue with your task
  6. Set a time. Work expands if you give it more time (more on that later), so when you give a lot of time to a small task, the task will take a lot of time. You are going to do useless things to make the outcome of the task better, when you don’t need to. For example, if you are making a powerpoint presentation and you take a lot of time for that, you will keep looking for better pictures, play with all the possibilities, while you only need a presentation.
  7. Have a glass of water next to you. Don’t break your productivity hours with getting something to drink. Having a nip of the water every once in a while works like a miracle for your concentration also
  8. Reward yourself. Had a productive two hours? Give yourself 30 minutes to relax. Play a video game, rewarding works. But only if you had productive hours, if you haven’t concentrated for two hours and wasted time don’t reward yourself.
  9. Eliminate. Don’t do things you don’t need to do. When you look at your to-do list, how many tasks are actually not that useful? How many can you eliminate?
  10. Delegate. Somebody else in your workgroup is probably better at the giving task. Delegate it to that guy. ‘Hey, could you make the powerpoint, you are way better in it, I will take over a task from you!’ Do what you are good at.
  11. Powernap. Have a powernap when you feel tired and not like concentrating anymore. It recharges you!
  12. Have separated workspaces. Work on a task for school at the library, work on a task for your club at your desk and read on the couch. Everything at its place

With these 12 tips, you should get more productive. There are (of course) a lot more tips, but these tips are hitting the core well enough. I will post more tips in the future and work a couple of them out, write a little bit more about them. What is your way to get more productive?

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