According to Dictionary.com, productivity is the state of being able to generate or produce goods and services. While this definition might sound very precise, there is more to productivity than what meets the eye.

Productivity is one of those things that is much better said than done. Or is it?

1. The Truth Behind Multitasking

We all want to believe that we’re great at multitasking, that we can take a phone call while simultaneously writing an email and everything will be fine. On the surface, that’s how it appears. It appears that we’ve successfully completed two tasks at once, but the way that our brains are set up, we can’t.

You see, the brain will focus on one task then shift to another then shift again. All these shifts prevent the brain from fully paying attention to one task which results in them being completed mediocrely.

When your brain provides undivided attention to one task, it’s able to complete it faster and better than before.

2. Try Being Less Busy

There’s a misconception that being busy equals importance – the busier you are, the more important you are. This common idea is simply not true. Being busy doesn’t help determine your worth nor your values. I’m certain there’s more to your personality than just work.

Another factor for being less busy is to reduce your stress levels and increase your productivity. High stress levels can be dangerous to your health, causing medical concerns such as high blood pressure.

3. Stop the Half Work

In our current society, it’s hard not to get side tracked and lose focus on the task at hand. We’ve all done it. We’ve told ourselves that we were going to finish that report and halfway through, we pulled out our phones or told ourselves we deserve a break. Even though we’ve barely written 50 words and we checked our phones five minutes ago.

Although, procrastinating in the act seems like it’s a great idea, it’s really not. I would know, I’ve faced the consequences of having to complete a large assignment assigned two weeks prior in two days.

I thought I could manage it, but the results weren’t as good as they could have been had I actually focused on the task at hand.

A few methods that helped me stay focused while doing my work were turning off my phone – the biggest distractor of all times – and placing it in a separate room, setting at least one hour to work on my task, and starting my assignment the day that I received it.

4. Build a Productive Day

There are 24 hours a day which is equivalent to 1,440 minutes. Every single one of those minutes matter and what you do one minute can either have a positive or negative impact on your whole day. That’s why what you do in the mornings heavily influences how your afternoons turn out.

5. Save Your Energy

Relax and take a deep breath. Put aside your phone and ignore the emails until the afternoon. The morning is your time to enjoy peace and quiet without the underlying stress of the world.

6. Place Your Phone in Another Room

Phones are one of the biggest distractors of all time. I mean, I would know I have one. In this day and age, people are becoming heavily obsessed with their phones.

I know people who would rather cut their arm off than leave their phone behind, but every minute wasted on your phone is a minute that could be spent on completing far more important tasks.

7. Stay Cool

Being in hot weather often has negative effects on our bodies. We get cranky, moody, and sluggish from being in the heat. Staying cool and hydrated can help keep your mind fresh and focused allowing you to get your work done at a more productive speed.

8. Create a Ritual

Whether it’s simply just listening to music as you get ready or going for a quick jog, find an activity that will help increase your motivation to be productive and stick to it. A morning ritual will help you find your balance in a lifestyle that’s always tipping off the charts. At the end of the day, things might change but your daily routine will not.

9. Finish the Easiest Thing First

There have been plenty of times when you were overflowing with tasks and didn’t know which ones to complete first. You’ve gone home all confused by the mass pile of work laid out in front of you. You’ve been entangled in the maze of work or chores or maybe both and have been desperate for a way out. The simple key: finishing the easiest tasks first. v

If you have a series of things that are due on the same day, don’t just go for the hardest/longest task first. Instead build your way up by completing the smaller ones. By completing the smaller ones first, you’re able to mentally prepare yourself for the larger tasks.

How do you stay productive throughout the day?