In our age of ever-changing technology, fluctuating deadlines, and constantly-changing tasks, it can be difficult to stay productive amdist the chaos. However, while you’ll never eliminate every distraction, there are definitely some steps you can take to make yourself more efficient and focused on the things you have to get done in your life be it at work, home, or any other personal project you’re working on. Today, we’ll take a look at five quick tips to help you stay on top of whatever you’re working on.
1. Eliminate Distractions
While this might seem obvious, it’s surprising how often we try to stay on task in an environment that’s not conducive at all to staying focused. If you know your vice is browsing the web when you should be working, find a way to limit yourself. There are even Firefox plugins that can restrict your access to your favorite sites during a specified time period. Naturally, this can decrease the amount of time you’re tempted to look at just one more site when you’ve got more pressing business to attend to. That may seem extreme, but human beings will find all kinds of excuses not to do something.
2. Make Your Workspace Comfortable
For many of us, we spend all day at work in front of a keyboard and a screen only to go home and do the same thing. Keeping this in mind, it’s important to make sure that the area where you’re going to be productive is conducive to getting things done. If your workspace isn’t comfortable or approachable, you’ll be that much more inclined to put things off. Make sure you’ve got adequate lighting, a comfortable chair to work from, and all the tools you need to finish the project you’re working on.
3. Set the Time Aside and Stick to it
This kind of goes hand-in-hand with eliminating distractions, but it’s important to note nonetheless. If you’ve got something you want to accomplish, make sure you’ve allowed time in your schedule specifically to accomplish the task at hand. Your time is precious and while we certainly have many demands on it, there’s nothing wrong with blocking out a couple of hours on a Saturday morning to finally clean out the garage or work on that new article that you keep neglecting to get around to.
4. Keep Track of What You’re Doing
Make a list, keep a journal, take pictures of your work as you progress, but do something to keep an indicator of your progress. Aside from keeping you more organized (especially on larger projects), it’s also a great way to stay motivated as you work toward your goal. Keeping a log of what you’ve done so far is an immediate visual indicator that you’re that much closer to completion than when you started which can do loads to keep you motivated to see it through.
5. Take a Break
That’s right- I said take a break. Go play a round of Team Slayer in Halo 3 or read that latest issue of Ultimate Spider-Man you’ve got laying around. While this might seem counter-productive in and of itself, it’s important to make time for yourself and have some fun. No matter how much something might need done, if you keep your focus on being productive 24/7 you can burn yourself out or even lose sight of what you hoped to accomplish by completing it. Allowing yourself 15 minutes or even a whole day sometimes can do wonders for your productivity by giving your system a break. Not to mention, it’s not uncommon when tackling a particular problem to gain a new perspective or find a new solution after stepping away for a while.