Recent times have shown a major focus on time management and productivity tools. Books, lectures, and training teaches how to be more productive. While all of this is helpful, most people can greatly increase their productivity with just a few simple changes to their routine. Below are 5 productivity tips and productivity tools from universities and professionals that will keep you on track.
1. Prepare. Increase productivity by deciding in advance when and where you will work. If it’s first thing in the morning, set your things out the night before. If you plan to work from the library, go straight there after class instead of stopping for a coffee with friends. Make sure your work environment is exactly as you need it, with all of your books, papers, pens, and notebooks on hand.
2. Work with your body clock, not against it. Some people love the smell of the early morning and are invigorated by crisp morning air, while evening people enjoy the long quiet hours at the end of the night. Whichever your preference, one of the biggest productivity tools is to schedule time during your magic hours to tackle the most important things you need to do.
3. Use breaks to your advantage. Recent research has shown that longer productive sessions should be broken up by short breaks of 5-15 minutes. This productivity tip works because it stimulates energy by syncing with the natural ebb and flow of our energy cycles, allowing you to get more done in less time, increasing your overall productivity.
4. Keep distractions at arm’s length. Turn off the TV. Sign out of Facebook. Log out of Skype. Check email on a schedule. Put the phone in another room. Whatever your favourite distraction is, get rid of it when you are studying or working intensely. Reward yourself for progress by allowing a distraction only if you reach a milestone or accomplish a task.
5. Find what stimulates your focus. For some people, music increases productivity. For others, silence does. Some prefer a warm room, while others find that cool air stimulates the mind. Whichever your ideal studying or working conditions are, create them for every session.
While schedules and to-do lists also work, these simple productivity tools can go a long way to increase your productivity.