Everyone wants to get more done during the day, and there are precious few people in the world who actually want to spend every waking moment dedicated to a work-related task. The key to balance between work and other parts of life is productivity. The key is not necessarily to work more hours, but to simply make better use of the hours you are already working. Productivity is about more than just a determination to get things done as quickly as possible, it’s about changing daily habits in a way that makes a significant difference in how you get things done and how much you are able to accomplish. Consider the following productivity-increasing habits:
- Beat the rush. Do you sit in traffic every morning? Instead of spending that time in the car, consider leaving for work early enough to beat the rush. Use that extra time to get things done in the office instead of listening to the terrible morning radio hosts while stuck in a traffic jam. Developing the habit of leaving just 30 minutes earlier could lead to higher productivity levels over time.
- Plan ahead. Before you leave work for the day, jot down a list of the five or so things that you need to get done first thing the next morning. This will allow you to walk right into the office and get to work instead of spending 15 minutes trying to figure out where you left off the day before.
- Say no to distractions. It’s no secret that distractions play a huge role in our overall levels of productivity. It takes discipline, but getting rid of the things that steal your time may be the single-most important key to getting things done. Be honest with yourself: How many times per day do you check Facebook? What are other ways that you may be wasting time throughout the day?
Productivity is about more than what you do on just one day. It’s about changing and improving your daily habits in order to develop tendencies that lead to consistently getting more done and doing quality work. Your only competition is yourself–how can you be better than the person you were yesterday?