Keeping productivity high is a daily struggle for many of us.
You’re not alone.
Fret not, there are clear and effective ways to improve your output.
Managing your daily workflow is a key approach to sustained productivity.
In this article, we’ll cover a couple of productivity tricks, some useful software and tools, and the importance of processes in guiding you through your day and work.
High productivity starts with you
Here’s the thing – productivity is not controlled by a magic switch.
Counter to all the different things you might read online about how “this CEO improved their productivity 1000% with this one trick; doctors are baffled!”, the reality is much less miraculous.
Productivity starts with lifestyle and motivation.
I’m not a lifestyle coach, so I’m not going to break down your diet and tell you how many milligrams of B12 you should be consuming every day, but studies consistently show that basic lifestyle elements are crucial for productivity.
Sleep well and sleep at regular times. If you get enough sleep and it’s of a high quality then you’ll have more energy and focus during the day. It’s not rocket science.
Unless you have a newborn baby. In which case it’s much more difficult than rocket science.
If you have a difficult time sleeping and getting up, try out some of the tools on the market which are designed to help. The app AlarmMon has a range of screeching alarms you can choose from and you can attach little games to the alarms. This means you’ll be woken up by the sound of a thousand demons and you’ll have to solve a little puzzle to shut them up.
You’ll be awake in no time.
Follow this up with staying hydrated and eating well and you’re halfway toward being a productive human being.
You can use some of Process Street’s built-in templates to help you manage your personal processes. These checklists for life include the weekly meal planner and the daily schedule template.
These general day to day tasks are systems which you can plan and organize.
If you plan well and execute your plan accordingly, you’ll achieve what you set out to achieve. It’s that simple.
Implementing workflows into your life in a critical manner will help you organize and be better. It’s not just about using certain tools, but about changing your mentality and how you view and approach obstacles. Take a process first perspective.
Use tech to optimize your time
There is a world of different tools out there which have been designed to assist you in becoming a better human being.
We’re going to run through a few of these, but I’ll leave this detailed list of 36 workflow apps here for those of you who want to dig a little deeper!
First off, as it has already been mentioned, Process Street. This tool allows you to create templates and then run those templates as checklists. You can use it for yourself or run it across a team. Everything’s stored up in the cloud and it’s great for collaborative purposes.
If you want to implement workflows into your life properly, being able to track and iterate them, then Process Street is a must have.
Another handy tool to analyze how you spend your time is RescueTime. This app runs in the background on your computer or phone and quietly logs what you do. Then it feeds that information back to you with graphs and other kinds of pretty looking results. You can see how you really operate, rather than how you think you operate.
For people who are scared they procrastinate too much but aren’t strong enough to admit it, RescueTime will show you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Can you handle the truth?
Are you automating your simple time-consuming tasks? No? Why not?
With Zapier you can finally say goodbye to data entry and all that other tosh. Zapier uses API calls to hook up with over 750 different apps, creating this huge network of webapps which can now speak to each other and work together.
Want to save responses from your Typeform into Google Sheets? Zapier. Want to launch a Process Street checklist by moving a Trello card into a different column? Zapier.
You’ll get more done in your day if you automate the little things.
One of the tools popular across our team is Focus@will. This neat little productivity app has a catalogue of channels which play music to help you focus. Get rid of the lyrics and get some steady beats going. You can select different genres to suit your tastes.
I jump at focus@will whenever I’m feeling low on energy and lacking in focus. This and coffee are my go to tools to remedy lethargy.
Make processes and do more
I’m a strong believer that you should make a process for everything you do more than twice.
This allows you to find the best way to do something and then to repeat those best practices, again and again, every time you undertake the process.
A good process followed often will result in you knowing exactly how long a certain task should take. It very clearly lays out the different steps and drives you forward.
This allows you to plan the other elements of your day better too. The more you can map out your days through the logic of processes and workflows, the more you will get done.
The secret to productivity is not an avocado and mackerel sandwich for breakfast, nor is it 20 press ups in the middle of the office every hour, or any other strange suggestion.
The secret to productivity is taking yourself and your days seriously and planning them like you would any other important event.
What techniques do you use to help with staying on track and getting the most out of the day? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and thank for reading.