Being more productive is something that many people aspire to do in their daily life. Whether that’s for work, your personal life, or both, I understand how important it is to be more efficient with your time.
However, so many struggle with this and see productivity as a dreadful thing that robs them of their joy.
Today I’m here to share with you that being more productive is possible for you; it won’t steal your joy and in fact, it will help you to have more time and live a more fulfilled life.
Read this post until the end to discover the 5 productivity methods I recommend to be more productive and get more done.
Why can’t I be productive?
If you’ve asked yourself this question before and wondered why you just can’t be productive, let me reassure you that there’s nothing wrong with you.
The reason many people find this difficult is because they haven’t found what works best for them and maybe they’re trying to do what everyone else is doing. However, that’s not the best way to approach it.
Productivity is very subjective and unique to each person, as we’re all different, so you need to find a strategy that works for you.
Additionally, you may struggle to be productive because you’re trying to tick everything off your huge (and unrealistic) to-do list without understanding how long each activity will take. That leads to overwhelm, activity paralysis, and ultimately, a very unproductive time.
Don’t worry though, I’m confident that through this blog post you will find something that works for you and that will improve your life.
You might also like: Tips to write an effective to-do list
What are productivity techniques?
Just to make sure we’re on the same page, let’s start with the basics.
A productivity technique is a strategy, a method, a tool, that will allow you to be strategic with your time, organise and prioritise your tasks, and ultimately be more efficient with your time.
Let’s have a look now at the 5 productivity techniques that (seriously) work to help you be more productive.
5 productivity methods that actually work
This is probably one of my favourite techniques, so much so that I’ve written a whole blog post about it.
Essentially, this method consists of working for a block of time using a timer, taking a short break, and then work on another block.
You’ll typically work for 25 minutes, take a break of 5 minutes, work again for 25 minutes and so on until you’ve completed your task.
You can also work for longer periods of time and take a longer break; however, 25 minutes seems to be the optimal time for productivity and focus.
This is a simple, straightforward method that is surely going to change the way you look at productivity.
This productivity technique is broken down into five steps: capture, clarify, organise, reflect, and engage.
With the GTD method, you’ll start by writing down everything that comes to your mind. I really like this first step because I tend to have 500 thoughts at a time in my head, and it can get quite overwhelming.
Especially if you don’t write them down, it’s easy to forget things and sometimes you miss out on important activities.
Writing everything down helps to take the load off your mind and trust a piece of paper, your laptop, or the notes on your iPhone to do the job for you.
You then need to look at your list and understand if those activities need to be actioned, if they can be delegated or postponed because they’re not urgent, or if they’re simply not necessary and you can write them off.
Then it’s time to organise all the items on your list into categories to make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself, and you should also review consistently to ensure you stay on track.
Finally, you need to take action on your lists and see your productivity skyrocket!
The Personal Kanban method is the perfect tool if you’re a visual learner or if you need to see things in order to have clarity in your mind.
The two rules for this method are that you visualise your work and that you limit the amount of work in progress you do.
You can use a board, a piece of paper or your laptop. Start by writing down three columns: a ‘to-do’ column, an ‘in progress’ column, and a ‘done’ column.
Have some post-it notes or use different colours and start populating the first column with all the items on your list.
Then start working on those items and as you move along with your progress, move the post-it or digital note to the next column until you get to the ‘done’ column to mark that you have finished your project.
Another incredibly simple method that is sure to help you be more productive, is the Eat The Frog technique.
If you’re a procrastinator and you really struggle to get going on your lists, then this method is for you!
What you need to do to apply this system is to look at your to-do list for a specific day, establish which task is going to be the longest, hardest, or most draining, and do that first.
Nothing else will be worse than that on your day, so by getting it out of the way first thing in the morning, you’ll be able to work on your other tasks peacefully whilst making huge progress with your work.
Repeat this every day based on what you need to do, but try not to overwhelm yourself with too many ‘frogs’. One a day is enough!
Eisenhower Matrix method
The name is self-explanatory, but this productivity system is a matrix that helps you to prioritise your tasks and work on them efficiently so you can boost your productivity and avoid wasting your time.
The matrix has four squares: the first one is for urgent/important tasks, the second one is for less urgent but still important tasks, the third one is for urgent and less important tasks, and finally, the fourth square is for less urgent and less important tasks.
If you place any tasks on the first square, you should prioritise them and do them as soon as possible.
For the tasks on the second square, you should schedule them for a time that works best since they’re not urgent but they still need to get done.
The items on the third square can be delegated since they’re urgent but not as important, and finally the items on the fourth square don’t need to be actioned as they’re neither urgent nor important.
Related productivity articles
Final thoughts on how to be more productive
I hope this article has been useful in allowing you to see that achieving productivity is possible for anyone, and it just takes a little strategy.
Based on your personality and learning preferences, try out the method that you think will work best for you and see how you’ll immediately start being more productive and getting more done!