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Productivity is something that most people struggle with. However, there are some daily habits that you can form to help you be more productive. Check them out.

Many people think that being productive means getting more done. Unfortunately, this is the opposite of productivity – which, when properly defined means doing more with less activity. There are some small improvements you can make to your daily routine to help you get more done while doing less.

Maintain a Consistent Bedtime
Maintaining consistent times for when you go to bed at night and wake up each morning is challenging but very beneficial, nonetheless. The National Sleep Foundation says you should sleep 7 – 9 hours each night. Regardless of when you go to bed and wake up, LiveStrong says you should make sure these times fit your personal schedule and works for you.

Simplify Your to-do List
You shouldn’t list everything that you need to do in a day on your to-do list – only the most critical items. When you focus on urgent items instead of focusing on critical ones you don’t accomplish anything even though you’ve put in a hard day of work. Eventually you’ll simply become stressed and burnt out.

Noomi says the best way to counter this is by simply focusing on what’s important for your career and organizational goals. Start your day off by accomplishing the most challenging of your tasks. Since you’re feeling your freshest then you’ll have more energy for these tasks. Additionally, once you’ve accomplished them, you’ll feel more confident in facing the rest of your day.

Maintain a Routine
Your morning and evening routine plays an important role in your ability to be productive. The first thing you do each morning will establish the tone for the rest of your day. This is why you should make sure your evening routine adequately prepares you to get up and get going each day. One of the best ways to do this is to create some notes to review when you wake up each morning. After doing so, you’ll want to move towards getting your day started as soon as possible without trying to “ease” into things.

Establish Boundaries
Get Response says we let our activities take the amount of time we’ve allotted for them. This means that while creating timeframes and deadlines is beneficial, it can also be counterproductive. As such, remember that with any schedule you create you should only let tasks take as long as necessary. While this will be frustrating in the beginning, you’ll train yourself to focus on what’s truly important and ignore the rest. Eventually, you’ll find that you really do have enough time to accomplish your tasks without fretting over what you didn’t accomplish or thinking you haven’t given yourself enough time to get everything done.

Never Multitask
While you may think you’re great at multitasking, Stanford University researchers found that nobody is good at multitasking. In fact, people can’t ignore irrelevancy, which is why they aren’t good at multitasking regardless of how hard they try to consume large amounts of information and use various types of technology to help them. Over the years, there’s been a lot of evidence of this, evidence that demonstrates that a person’s brain simply can’t handle multitasking because it becomes overloaded and overwhelmed – especially when you’re trying to learn something new. So, if you want to be more efficient, you should take the time that’s needed to focus on specific tasks that require your attention.

Additionally, you shouldn’t put off big tasks and say that you’re strategizing by getting the small stuff done first. This is not strategy. It’s procrastination.

Remember: Less Is More
The use of conference speakers also helps you realize less is more. This is because they’ll tell you to make sure you’re not overeager when you create your to-do list. In fact, many of the will tell you to cut your list in half so you’re more productive. While this sounds strange, it’s a great way to manage your productivity level. Of course, this is only one of the many things motivational speakers will tell you to do. Listening to them can honestly help you.

Cut Down on the Distractions
Now that you understand that you’re not a superhero and you really should stop multitasking so you can improve your productivity, it’s time to get focused. Working on your attention span is vital here. This means that you must stop using your phone, checking email, talking to your colleagues, eating and drinking while you’re trying to work. Otherwise, your productivity won’t ever improve. Instead, you must focus on one thing, then once it’s finished you can move on to your next task.

Start with small increments of uninterrupted time (e.g. 45 minutes without email, social media, coffee, office banter). Once you’ve accomplished this you can spend 10 – 15 minutes on these other activities. By working in this way you’ll notice your productivity improve over time.

Take Regular Breaks Throughout Your Day
The Journal of Cognition, published a study that found people’s memories significantly decline with the longer they stick with a task. This is why they recommend that you do work in small bouts of time with frequent breaks of about 20-minutes each mixed in so you’re more productive. Researchers have even found that relaxing lunch breaks away from your desk are important.

Outsource Tasks When Possible
Nobody, including you, is good at everything they do. This is why it’s so important to notice what you are and aren’t good at, as well as what you should and shouldn’t spend your time on. If there are things you could accomplish in a fraction of the time and with a lot less stress by outsourcing them, do so.

Above all Else: Be Kind to Yourself
Positivity Blog says while all these things are great, there’s one last thing you should remember: Don’t beat yourself up simply because things don’t go as you’d planned. Instead, be kind to yourself and try to figure out what you can learn from what just happened. This will help you do things better so you don’t repeat the same mistake the next time.

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