4 Tips to Improve Your Productivity

Productivity is vital if you want to get efficient results. Essentially, productivity depends on planning and good management.
4 Tips to Improve Your Productivity

Last update: 17 April, 2021

One of the most common searches on the internet is how to improve productivity. The demands of our daily routines require us to constantly be planning and reaching our objectives. And, in order to be successful, we need to manage the variables of productivity.

Maybe you’ve also been in this situation: you have a few clear and well-defined objectives, but as soon as you get to work, you struggle to reach them. This may be due to distractions, procrastination, or a lack of time and resources. The obstacles that get in the way of productivity are a constant threat to reaching your goals.

However, it’s not enough to simply take action against these threats. In order to improve your productivity, you need to be disciplined and know how to set boundaries, among other things. Below, we’ll share a few tips that you can use to be more productive.

Four tips to improve your productivity

Before we go into greater depth on how you can improve your productivity, it’s worth talking about what’s known as the Pareto principle or the 80/20 law. According to this principle, 80 percent of consequences come from 20 percent of causes.

Therefore, when it comes to productivity, this means that you can do 80 percent of the work with just 20 percent effort, and you’ll use the remaining 80 percent of your effort to complete the final 20 percent of work. For this reason, in order to improve your productivity, it’s a good idea to focus on a reduced number of causes and ensure they’re clear.

1. Improve productivity by deciding which tasks you’ll tackle first

When you have to do several tasks, it’s common for you to wonder where to start. Is it better to start with the easiest tasks and therefore keep yourself motivated and fresh? Or, alternatively, is it better to start with the more difficult tasks to take advantage of your optimal concentration levels?

productive woman working at a desk; aerial shot

There’s no correct universal answer that works for everyone. In fact, you’ll simply have to test it through trial and error to see which method works best for you. According to the experts at the University of the Balearic Islands (Universitat de les Illes Balears), the general recommendation, due to the way our attention works, is to do the easiest tasks first as a kind of mental warm-up. Once your mind is focused on work, it’s easier to move onto more difficult tasks.

3. Plan your activities and tasks each day

A really useful resource to improve your productivity is to plan each day. It may seem like you’re wasting time by dedicating it to preparation rather than action, but that’s not the case. Planning allows you to move forward securely and have guidelines to check if you’re actually meeting your objectives.

Additionally, with this method, it’s difficult to overlook any important task. With everything you need to do during the day, it’s normal to forget something! However, when you think about it and write it down, you reduce the chances of becoming distracted.

3. Avoid multi-tasking

A very common error that people who are interested in improving their productivity make is that they want to do it all at once. This isn’t possible. Our attention is limited and we can only direct it to a finite number of tasks at the same time.

In fact, a more efficient tactic is focusing on one single task and moving onto the next once you have finished the first. As the saying goes: “Jack of all trades, master of none”. To get efficient results, it’s best to dedicate your attention to an individual task as this makes it easier.

4. Don’t forget to rest every now and then to improve your productivity

woman resting in a chair smiling

Improving your productivity isn’t the same as working hard without resting. Here, productivity is synonymous with efficiency; by that, we mean getting good results whilst being conscious of time and resources. The better your productivity, the more results you’ll reap from fewer resources.

Taking moments of rest is essential to allow your mind to clear and recuperate. Similarly to how when you physically train, you need to rest to avoid becoming fatigued; the same happens with mental work. Fatigue and tiredness don’t just affect the muscles, they also affect the brain.

Improving your productivity is easier than you think

A lot of the tips we share in this article are, realistically, common sense when it comes to getting stuff done. However, there are a lot of false beliefs when it comes to this that actually hinder your progress.

Overall, the only thing you need to take away from this article is that planning and rest are the greatest allies when it comes to improving your productivity. Also, there’s not one single path. Your way of being and previous experience will have an impact on your productivity. Now, you have all the tips for success, the rest is up to you!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Londoño, L. (2009). La atención: un proceso psicológico básico/Attention as a basic psychological process. Pensando psicología, 2009, vol. 5, num. 8, p. 91-100.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.