Do you ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? We’ve all been there, staring at the clock and trying to work out how on Earth we are going to fit everything that we need to do into the remainder of our day. It’s not a great feeling.
While we can’t exactly make the day longer, as helpful as that would be, we can take steps to ensure that we are using our time as efficiently as possible. We often convince ourselves that we are working as efficiently as possible, but there’s almost always something we can do to enhance our productivity.
Here are some simple but effective lifestyle changes you can make to improve productivity.
Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep
It is generally agreed that 8 hours of sleep every night is the optimal target to aim for. However, with so much different advice flying around, it can be difficult to know which pieces to follow and which to disregard. In reality, much of the mixed advice out there is because there can be a great deal of interpersonal variation when it comes to our health and wellbeing.
There are some pieces of advice that are universal, though. For example, if you drink alcohol or caffeine too close to bedtime, it can reduce the quality of your sleep. If you are one of the many people whose snoring is slowly driving their spouse insane, look for a sleep mask to help you breathe through your nose.
If anything is preventing you from going to sleep or staying asleep, address the problem as soon as possible. You simply can’t be productive if you are tired, no matter how much coffee you drink.
Get Up Earlier
The easiest way of fitting more activities into your day is to simply make your day longer. Remember, getting a full 8 hours is important, so you might need to adjust your bedtime as well before you can start waking up earlier.
Waking up early is easy, it’s getting yourself out of bed that’s the difficult bit. If you can get into the habit of automatically getting out of bed as soon as you wake up, it will get progressively easier.
Set Yourself a Schedule
It’s easy to lose huge chunks of your day to nothing more than trying to work out what it is that you’re going to do next. Setting yourself a schedule helps you map out your day and increases productivity. It is also an excellent motivational tool.
Try giving yourself a list of objectives at the beginning of each day, and ticking them off as you complete them. This helps you to see visually that you are accomplishing worthwhile objectives every day. You will also be able to look back on your lists to see how far you’ve come with any ongoing projects.
Don’t Overdo it
Often, we are our own worst enemies. For many of us, a natural response to the need to improve our productivity is to knuckle down and push ourselves to work harder and longer. This can sometimes be a great move, but often it will actually make things worse.
Trying to make yourself work harder than you are capable of will inevitably end with you completing lower quality work, and feeling more stressed. It’s better to work as hard as you can for short bursts. Don’t be afraid to give yourself a break when you need one.
Increasing productivity doesn’t have to be a difficult undertaking. With a few relatively minor lifestyle and attitude changes, any of us has the potential to lead a more productive life. The above tips are excellent starting points; use them as inspiration for your own lifestyle changes.