How to Improve your Productivity

Productivity is something I've strived to master for the majority of my working life, getting things done quickly, efficiently and to a high standard of quality. I exercise productivity in all aspects of my life whether it be my personal life, work life or education and over the years I feel live I've developed a good idea of how to improve your productivity.

1. Work Space
Whether your work from home, study or sit behind a desk in work have a designated area to work, some where quiet, clean and tidy with minimal distractions. My desk in work is pretty standard with a computer, till and various stationery I use regularly, I recently bought a desk tidy to keep some of these stationary items in and it's definitely been beneficial to my productivity. There's something motivating about a tidy desk and it definitely cuts down the time I spend searching for pencils, pens and other items I need.

2. To do lists
To do lists can be a god send or can drain your motivation and productivity. Take me for example, if I've got a good list and I'm in a good mood I can write out a list and complete it to a high standard and within the deadline. However, you can find me on another day in the office crying into my tea because I've got a to list the length of a giraffes neck. My solution to combat this is to start the day with a few things on my list and start completing them and then as the day goes on add gradually. On Google Drive in work I also have a jobs list that has columns for tasks, priorities, notes and deadlines which helps me focus on the most important tasks to complete during the hours I'm in the office.

3. Blocks 
For tasks such as responding to emails and making phone calls whether this be in work or in your personal life put aside blocks of time to do these small tasks rather than returning to them several times during the day. I'd recommend doing this in the morning, this allows you the rest of the day to focus on the bigger tasks and will allow the people you're contacting more time to get back to you. You could also set out a block in the afternoon/evening to respond to the responses you receive from your morning block.

4. Deadlines
Setting yourself deadlines as well as prioritising tasks is a great way to make sure you're completing the important tasks within your restricted time limit. One piece of advice I would give is to ensure you create realistic deadlines that you can reach, there's nothing more less motivating than giving yourself an impossible deadline you will be unable to reach.

5. Delegate
Delegating tasks can be difficult, depending where you work or how supportive your family is sometimes delegating tasks is impossible however if you are able to delegate tasks I would recommend doing so, even if you just delegate some of the smaller tasks to a colleague or your mum. I try to avoid delegating large tasks to other individuals because I want to ensure I complete the tasks I'll be held accountable for but chasing up orders or making a doctors appointment can be delegated elsewhere when I'm busy.

6. Distractions
Social media, your phone, chatty colleagues and the marketing department can ruin your productivity to try to stay away from things that could draw your attention away from your current task. Distractions are lethal, avoid at all costs!

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