Often, many of us tend to push our work, procrastinate, and not work to the best of our abilities. We also sometimes put out low quality work, work that doesn’t reflect our potentials and doesn’t match up to standards set for us. But don’t all of us love to let out a sigh of relief when we’re done with a good project, when we write hence proved at the end of a long maths problem, or when we hand in a paper that we know is great.
Is it really possible to have that feeling every time you work on something? Maybe not. A lot of times we have to do things we could care less about, or something we do care about and we don’t have enough time to do everything we would like to with it. So, the real question then becomes, is it possible to at least maximize your productivity, and hence, the quality of your work? If so, how?
To understand that we must first look into what productivity means. The amount of output divided by the volume of inputs is frequently referred to as productivity. In other words, it assesses how effectively a country’s production inputs, such as labour and capital, are employed to generate a particular amount of output. It is a measure of the efficiency with which goods or services are produced. Productivity is frequently represented as a ratio of aggregate output to a single input or an aggregate input used in a manufacturing process, that is, output per unit of input, usually over a given time period.
Okay, so coming back to the question we are dealing with. We will have to take that up in its two parts. The first part, is it really even possible to increase productivity? The answer is yes. Productivity is more or less like a skill. Using only some methods, it is not only possible, but easier than you would think, to boost productivity. This brings us to the second part of our question. How can we boost productivity, not just in terms of quantity of work, but also quality? Following are some ways to boost creativity
1. Get to work when you feel like you’re most able to work well- Some people are most productive early morning. If you ask me, I much prefer to work late at night. It is important to recognize what time of day you are most productive at, and use that as the time when you do the lion’s share of your work.
2. Try to avoid multitasking- multitasking is said to be productivity killer. Your productivity is diminished when you split your attention between multiple tasks. It reduces your productivity by almost 50% In fact, many believe that it actually stands the potential to hurt your brain. When you split your focus among tasks, you basically take away from the quality of work you put out in both of them. So, it is recommended that you put all your focus on one task at a time.
3. Make and prioritize your to-do lists- To-do lists are a great way of boosting productivity. Having a compiled list of all the tasks that you need to do in a day in one place helps prevent missing out on anything. The little feeling of gratification and satisfaction when you cross items off of your list also adds to your determination to finishing them. It is also important that you realise your priorities and recognise which tasks are more important than others. That way you can get the more important tasks done first and sail through the rest of your list or manage your time based on your priorities.
4. Remove as many possible distractions as you can- Put your phone on silent/ airplane mode, or even better, switch it off. If you can’t stop thinking about Instagram even without notifications, delete it. Recognise what is taking your attention away from your work and try to avoid it as much as you can if you can’t entirely get rid of it (except for your dog, I get how it can be distracting, but let it hang in your room).
5. Take care of mental and physical well-being- To be your most productive self, it is important that you are healthy, fit and at your best, not just physically but mentally too. To ensure your physical and mental well-being it is recommended that you get a good sleep of about 7-9 hours, eat healthy, drink lots of water (about 2-3 litres daily) and exercise regularly, even if it means just going for a walk every day.
6. Pomodoro- The Pomodoro technique is a highly recommended method to increase your productivity. It is made up of the following steps-
● Make a to-do list, and get a timer.
● Set the timer to ring at 25 minutes and start working on whatever it is that you are supposed to be working on. This marks one Pomodoro.
● At the end of these 25 minutes, take a five minute break.
● When you are done with 4 Pomodoros, take a longer break of about half an hour.
There are also some pointers to keep in mind while practicing Pomodoro. While these are fairly obvious, it always helps to spell them out so you can consciously work on them. While practicing Pomodoro, always keep in mind to deal with the task at hand in smaller, easier to complete parts. Instead of fixing your entire cupboard at once, take it up shelf by shelf.
It is also helpful to work on multiple small, feasible tasks within one Pomodoro. If one task will only take you fifteen minutes, and the other one ten, do it within one Pomodoro. Finally, your commitment to the Pomodoro is a very important factor into its effectivity. Once you start a Pomodoro timer, stick to it. Don’t stop doing your task, or get distracted for the whole 25 minutes, and your tasks won’t feel like such a task anymore.