Blog_Banner_Asset
    Homebreadcumb forward arrow iconBlogbreadcumb forward arrow iconGeneralbreadcumb forward arrow iconHow to Improve Productivity? Top 10 Ways You Can Implement Today

How to Improve Productivity? Top 10 Ways You Can Implement Today

Last updated:
26th Feb, 2021
Views
Read Time
8 Mins
share image icon
In this article
Chevron in toc
View All
How to Improve Productivity? Top 10 Ways You Can Implement Today

Time is perhaps the most valuable resource we have because it’s decreasing continuously. Ergo, making the most of the time we have is quintessential to get that elusive feeling of fulfillment, be it at the workplace, lectures, or in our day-to-day chores. Reports suggest that productivity has taken a huge hit post-pandemic. 

For students, attention spans are going down. Concentration levels are dwindling during online classes, and this has hampered learning. Work-life balance has gone for a toss due to the work-from-home culture. Against this backdrop, the importance of making efficient use of this scarce resource cannot be overstated.

Being a productivity titan isn’t rocket science, but it’s not a piece of cake either. Here are 10 tried-and-tested ways to increase productivity without burning yourself out.

Top 10 Ways to Increase Productivity

1. Work Smart, Not Hard

A wise (and extremely productive) man once said, “It’s not the number of hours you put into work, it’s the amount of work you put into those hours.” Working long hours can drain you out both mentally and physically. Smart work is all about breaking down bigger tasks into smaller chunks that can be accomplished in 30-50 minutes. 

Ads of upGrad blog

2. Use Time-Trackers

We often overshoot the time limit we have set on a particular task because we lose track of time. You can use time-tracker apps like Rescue Time and Clockify to monitor exactly how much time you are spending on each task or to finish an assignment. You can also try specialized time-management techniques like the Pomodoro method, which involves working in short bursts of 25 minutes, followed by a 5-minute break.

3. Productivity Playlists

Good, soft music in the background can improve productivity by leaps and bounds. Music serves as pleasant white noise, drowning out all worldly disturbances like car honking, people talking loudly, or other audio distractions. Spotify has an entire playlist called ‘Focus’ under the ‘Genres and Moods’ section that is perfect for this purpose. You can also explore this list of 10 playlists to improve productivity while working. A pro-tip: steer clear of rock/metal or, in general, music that you would physically move to.

4. All Work And No Breaks Won’t Work

Taking regular, strategic breaks is the key to productivity-nirvana. Working or studying non-stop makes you prone to mistakes, boredom, and decision fatigue, not to mention the resultant stress and mental exhaustion. There’s also a chance you get stuck in a rut, and your creative juices stop flowing. Intermittent breaks can rejuvenate your psyche and reinvigorate you to tackle a problem from a different perspective and solve it.

5. Finish The Hardest Task First

You wake up in the morning and probably think, ‘let me go after the low-hanging fruit first’. And then, you proceed to check your email. A better way to improve productivity is to knock off the hardest, most complex, or most time-consuming tasks first. Because you have the most energy at the beginning of the work-day, this ensures you do justice to the task and not just make a half-baked effort at EOD.

Not only will it give you the positive dopamine hit of accomplishing something significant, but it will also reduce your cognitive workload and guarantee peace of mind. You’ll not be running around with the stressful emotion of ‘having a lot on my plate’.

6. Make To-Do Lists

Plan your day the night before. Being aware of the size of the task in front of you can help you budget your time wisely, boosting productivity. To-do lists are an elegant way to divide your workday efficiently. You can assign different priority levels to different tasks and complete them one by one. Tools like Trello, Asana, and Todoist are great for organization and powering through the workday productively. If you’re not too keen on digital tools, sticky notes, whiteboards, or simple pen-and-paper can also be really handy.

7. Don’t Just Work, Work Out

A research report published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine states that work-time exercise can actually improve productivity. People with sedentary lifestyles or desk jobs should do simple back and neck stretches to keep the blood flowing. You should also go for short, brisk walks and keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. This will keep you fresh and clear your head to resume work. Here are some recommended quick stretches to recharge your batteries.

8. The Golden 2-Minute Rule

Made famous by renowned productivity expert David Allen in his best-seller ‘Getting Things Done’, the crux of this rule is, if you can finish off a task in the next 2 minutes, do it immediately. Procrastinating the smaller mundane tasks hampers productivity as it usually takes longer to analyze and complete it later. All repetitive tasks like answering emails, going through the previous day’s notes, watching lecture recaps, follow-ups, washing utensils, folding clothes, et al., should be batched together and completed right away.

9. Reward Yourself

Set small, realistic goals and reward yourself once you achieve them. For example, if you finish with a MOOC module on upGrad, get yourself an ice cream. This creates a positive reinforcement cycle where your mind gets trained to become a productivity machine as it knows it’s due for a dopamine hit. Keep track of the small wins, celebrate the small milestones, and watch your productivity soar through the roof.

10. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Our body is a machine, and a peaceful downtime is necessary for a productive uptime. A 2007 Harvard report claims that sleep deprivation makes our actions more erratic, impairs job performance, and decreases efficiency. Getting enough shut-eye bolsters memory retention, keeps us in high spirits, and sharpens cognitive functions so that you can take those split-second, pressure-cooker decisions with a high degree of confidence. 

In this new normal, a huge portion of your travel time is getting saved, which can be re-allocated to learn something new. Knowledge is a moat in the modern economy, so you can explore higher education courses on upGrad, and widen your knowledge base.

Conclusion

Ads of upGrad blog

Learn data science, Machine Learning, marketing, Block chain, etc., and make the most of the extra free time you get, all at your own pace and from the comfort of your own home. The best part? Get certified, linked to job opportunities, and access to a plethora of resources and a thriving learner community.

Remember, productivity is a journey, not a destination. No one becomes ultra-productive overnight; you need to keep at it constantly till it becomes a habit first and then a way of life. Hopefully, these 10 ways to increase productivity can transform your life for the better and help you master time management.

If you want to utilize this lockdown time to upskill your employees, check out our enterprise upskill page for more information.

Profile

Dilip Guru

Blog Author
He is a Growth Hacker, Digital Marketer & Blogger. He loves solving problems of scale and long term digital strategy.
Get Free Consultation

Select Coursecaret down icon
Selectcaret down icon
By clicking 'Submit' you Agree to  
UpGrad's Terms & Conditions

Our Popular MBA Course

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What is the Pomodoro strategy?

Pomodoro stands for Tomato, and this strategy was developed from a kitchen timer in the shape of a tomato. The strategy says you should work for twenty-five minutes followed by a five-minute break. Using this technique, you will be able to spend your time wisely. As soon as you finish two hours of work with five minutes of constant breaks, head to take a thirty-minute break. This approach is very helpful to distribute your time and arrange the priority of the tasks at hand. The Pomodoro strategy is a great way to segregate all your tasks and stay productive throughout the day.

2Why is productivity important at all?

We can’t disregard the competition that is brewing and rising with the growing population. Reports reveal that employees are productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes in a day. This can contribute to the downfall of any industry, especially in such competition-driven times. Therefore, it is extremely crucial that the productivity of employees increases with time to fight against the competition. This is the primary reason why productivity matters. Once you know the right techniques to apply, you can easily add to your productivity. The only thing to keep in mind is to divide your time smartly.

3What is the Ivy Lee method?

When we talk about productivity, experts use effective tricks to get through it. The Ivy Lee method asks you to stay prepared beforehand. The idea is to plan for tomorrow and structure your tasks a day before. Note down all the tasks today that you intend to finish tomorrow. Once you have laid it down, prioritize them from least to important ones. As soon as you step onto the next day, follow the list and complete the first task in hand before you move to the next. Head to task number two only when you are done with the first. Use this technique until you finish off your list for the day. Repeat the process every day to maximize your productivity.

4What is the Pomodoro strategy?

Pomodoro stands for Tomato, and this strategy was developed from a kitchen timer in the shape of a tomato. The strategy says you should work for twenty-five minutes followed by a five-minute break. Using this technique, you will be able to spend your time wisely. As soon as you finish two hours of work with five minutes of constant breaks, head to take a thirty-minute break. This approach is very helpful to distribute your time and arrange the priority of the tasks at hand. The Pomodoro strategy is a great way to segregate all your tasks and stay productive throughout the day.

5Why is productivity important at all?

We can’t disregard the competition that is brewing and rising with the growing population. Reports reveal that employees are productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes in a day. This can contribute to the downfall of any industry, especially in such competition-driven times. Therefore, it is extremely crucial that the productivity of employees increases with time to fight against the competition. This is the primary reason why productivity matters. Once you know the right techniques to apply, you can easily add to your productivity. The only thing to keep in mind is to divide your time smartly.

6What is the Ivy Lee method?

When we talk about productivity, experts use effective tricks to get through it. The Ivy Lee method asks you to stay prepared beforehand. The idea is to plan for tomorrow and structure your tasks a day before. Note down all the tasks today that you intend to finish tomorrow. Once you have laid it down, prioritize them from least to important ones. As soon as you step onto the next day, follow the list and complete the first task in hand before you move to the next. Head to task number two only when you are done with the first. Use this technique until you finish off your list for the day. Repeat the process every day to maximize your productivity.

Explore Free Courses

Suggested Blogs

Best Diploma Courses To Do List in 2024
60297
Merely graduation does not qualify in today’s competitive market. Hence, having post-graduate diploma courses give you better weightage and know
Read More

by Dilip Guru

19 Feb 2024

Top 15 Highest Paid IT Jobs in India for Freshers & Experienced [A Complete Guide]
922870
Summary: In this Article, you will learn top 15 highest paid IT jobs in India for freshers & Experienced. Top 15 Highest Paid IT Jobs Average
Read More

by upGrad

19 Feb 2024

21 Best Computer Programming Courses To Get a Job in 2024
909192
Summary: In this Article, you will learn 23 Best Computer Programming Courses To Get a Job 1. Python 2. R and Software Development 3. Fundamentals of
Read More

by Kamal Jacob

19 Feb 2024

10 Best Job-Oriented Short Term Courses Which are In-Demand [updated 2024]
812629
Summary: In this article, you will learn the 10 Best Job-Oriented Short-Term Courses which are In-Demand in 2024. Take a glimpse below. Product Mana
Read More

by Kamal Jacob

19 Feb 2024

15 Top Career Options After Engineering: Trending in 2024
360824
Summary: In this article, you will learn about 15 top career options after Engineering. Higher Studies Public Service Undertakings Management Entrep
Read More

by Nitin Gurmukhani

18 Feb 2024

12 Best Career Options after M.Com: What to do After M.Com? [2024]
279369
Summary In this article, you will learn about the 12 Best Career Options after M.Com. Take a glimpse below. Enrol in an MBA Program Become a Chartere
Read More

by Rahul Karthikeyan

18 Feb 2024

Top 6 Highest Paying Jobs in Commerce Without Maths [For Freshers & Experienced]
904248
This article will tell you about the highest paying jobs in commerce without maths. Life is unimaginable without maths. But several careers pay decent
Read More

by Sriram

18 Feb 2024

16 Top Career Options After Computer Engineering [Trending in 2024]
283073
Summary: In this Article, you will learn about 15 top career options after diploma in computer engineering: Big Data Engineer Machine Learning Engin
Read More

by Sriram

18 Feb 2024

Top 10 Best Career Options for Science Students: Which Should You Select in 2024
201863
Choosing a career stream or science line job is one of the most path-breaking moments of an individual’s life. It defines the future course of their p
Read More

by Dilip Guru

18 Feb 2024

Schedule 1:1 free counsellingTalk to Career Expert
icon
footer sticky close icon