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Simple Ways to Be More Productive

People often say that we all have the same twenty-four hours to get things done. However, each person utilizes those twenty-four hours differently. We all have a degree of control over how we want to use our time, which is why some people achieve more in a day than others. With the right productivity methods, you can take advantage of the time you have and complete your tasks in the most efficient and effective way possible. What are some simple approaches to becoming more productive?

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Create a To-Do List

The first and most important thing to do is take some time to plan the night before and write everything down. If you try to commit your tasks to memory, you will undoubtedly forget something. Before you start your day, make sure that you’ve written down everything that you need to complete and numbered them based on priority and urgency. Whether it’s a small task or a big project, it’s important to keep track of each and every thing. Doing so will help clear your mind and eliminate the need to worry about your other responsibilities while you work.

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Eliminate Distractions

When trying to be productive, it’s easy to become distracted by your phone, your computer, and anything else that might catch your eye. You are more likely to stay productive when your study area or workspace is free of distractions. That way, your focus will only be on the task at hand, and you’ll be able to finish more work in a shorter amount of time. Make sure you remove all possible distractions so you can concentrate properly and work efficiently. For example, try putting your phone somewhere that you can’t easily reach, eliminating the constant temptation of picking it up.

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Complete Difficult Tasks First

For many people, their minds are the freshest and most active in the morning. Use that to your benefit by addressing your most difficult and time-sensitive assignments first. Then, work your way down your to-do list. Once your harder responsibilities are out of the way, everything else that follows will seem more manageable. You will feel more accomplished and get everything else done faster. For example, once you’ve finished working on a big project, tackling your email inbox will be a breeze. The rest of your day will feel easy, fruitful, and meaningful.

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Avoid Multitasking

While some suggest multitasking as a way of getting your work done faster, most people will tell you not to. Multitasking doesn’t work because your brain can’t transition between tasks efficiently and effectively. In general, our minds can only focus on one thing at a time. Though you might think you’re completing more tasks over a shorter time period, the quality of the work you produce won’t be nearly as high-quality. In fact, you may even be more prone to making mistakes or overlooking things than usual. Not only does multitasking lower your productivity, but it also reduces creativity and increases stress levels.

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Take Breaks

It is impossible for anyone to focus on just one thing for several hours straight. It’s important to take fifteen- to twenty-minute breaks, as they help you rest, recharge, and be more productive. To avoid skipping them, make sure to schedule breaks before you start your day. During your breaks, do things that make you feel good and allow you to relax. This might include listening to music, going for a walk, or writing in your journal. Try to keep yourself from thinking about what you were doing or what you’ll be doing once your break is over. That way, you’ll bring a positive attitude and a refreshed mind to your next work or study session.

GetSet is a fully digital Canadian community of professional and student mentors who provide the advice, guidance, and support people need to achieve professional and academic development. To learn more, please watch our introductory video.

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