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Boost Productivity

7 Techniques to Boost Productivity and Earn More

As companies strain to compete in a challenging economy, producing more with less often becomes the mantra. On the individual level, the employees and small business owners who get more done with less time and resources are the ones who seem most likely to succeed. The rewards for being productive sometimes come immediately, but perhaps more often they result in a pattern of higher income over the long term.

Boost Productivity

Here are 7 techniques to boost productivity that can help you get the most out of your work and your life.

  1. Improve your working environment – If you are a mobile or home worker, you want to keep costs low so the temptation is to skimp on everything including the basics. To be productive, however, you need a good work space that includes a quiet work area with a desk, good lighting, heating and cooling, electricity, and Internet access.
  2. Reduce distractions – Surveys show that American workers spend well over an hour of every work day playing Farmville on Facebook, noticeably impacting productivity. To get more done, you have to avoid distracting activities on your computer and in your work area. If you stop every few minutes to look at your email or stock portfolio, or visit friends, you have a lot of room for improvement.
  3. Stop multitasking – Too many demands on your time can frustrate you as you frantically switch between windows trying to beat deadlines and address client concerns. Budget your time, prioritize your tasks and get one thing done at a time before moving on. You may need some time to develop the discipline to avoid multitasking, but you will ultimately find that you get more done and do better work.
  4. Turn off instant messaging (IM) – Many businesses and remote workers rely on IM to keep in touch with status updates and other inquiries and friends and family members often want to check in to see how you’re doing. If you have to, close your chat clients or change your status to busy and turn off your social networking so you can get more done.
  5. Batch repetitive tasks – Every time you have to change tasks you lose time gathering tools and getting your mind focused on your work. By grouping similar tasks you get more done every time you readjust, improving your productivity. For example, you may want to do all the invoicing on one day rather than pausing throughout the week to produce them as they come due.
  6. Email and phone calls at set times – Allocating blocks of time for email and phone calls will help you avoid interruptions and distractions. Schedule a break every hour or so to check your voicemail and email to make sure you have a chance to address important issues. Be strict with your time because if you could spend all day communicating and have nothing to show for your time at the end of the day.
  7. Take an afternoon snooze – If you become tired or sleepy during the day, you have trouble staying focused and the quality of your work suffers. Rather than fighting your physiological state, you should consider taking a snooze in the afternoon to refresh. You might feel as though you’re being lazy, but when you get back to work you’ll have the energy and focus to get a lot more done than you would have otherwise.

Use these 7 techniques to boost your productivity and you will find that you get more work done with better quality; you will ultimately earn more money and feel a sense of personal satisfaction.

David writes about personal fiances for an impartial Australian credit card comparison website where people can find balance transfer credit card offers that reduce interest payments and help them get out of debt faster.

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{ 33 comments… add one }

  • Salman October 27, 2010, 3:01 pm

    Sleep after eating, its good for health and multi tasking is a definite NO. I hate it i wish i could turn multi-tasking mode off when working so that i could concentrate more
    Salman recently posted..Cuffu Pink SnapOn Cover Screen Protector for HTC DesireMy Profile

  • Isabel Rodrigues - Pro Blogger Journey October 24, 2010, 1:29 am

    David very good points.

    I so often find myself distracted and multi-tasking. At the end of it all I end up doing nothing. Your points are an eye opener. Thanks for sharing
    Isabel Rodrigues – Pro Blogger Journey recently posted..5 Useful Tips to Increase Page Views of Your BlogMy Profile

  • Steve October 22, 2010, 10:28 pm

    Reducing distractions is huge. I sometimes try to work while having football on the television or cnbc and my production drops pretty decently.
    Steve recently posted..Why You Should Start An eBay BusinessMy Profile

  • Alex October 20, 2010, 12:57 pm

    You are so right, David!
    I always find it hard to keep focus on what I have to do, while I am trying to do research I stumble upon a great looking link, follow it, start reading and their goes my research work from 1-2 h to half a day.
    I am trying to remove the distractions but there always seem to be others pop-ing up!
    I believe I mastered points 3. 4. 5. 6. but I need to work on the others.
    At 7., is like you are able to see me, I always feel sleepy after a couple of hours but I usually persevere and keep on it.
    At 1 I am still working and 2 i have explained 2 inches up.
    Alex recently posted..Curse Camioane Monstru in noroiMy Profile

  • Fiona Bosticky October 20, 2010, 12:28 pm

    I find the best way that helps me with my productivity is to start the day making a To Do list. And as I achieve things I tick them off. When I get distracted, I just look at the list, and then I get back on track.
    Fiona Bosticky recently posted..Get a Mobile Website for your BusinessMy Profile

  • TJ McDowell October 19, 2010, 9:00 pm

    I always find that when I’m working and also trying to watch the kids that I get less done. When I can fully dedicate my mind to working, I get a lot more done in a shorter time.
    TJ McDowell recently posted..Working With Wedding VendorsMy Profile

  • Mike October 19, 2010, 6:48 pm

    I found reorganizing my desk could boost my productivity a lot, David. My old desk faced toward the space in my living room, so it was very easy for me to get distracted every time my roommate went to the kitchen. So I switched my desk toward the wall and now, I can focus better. Glad that you have included it in the tips. Thanks for the great post :)
    Mike recently posted..How I Made An Extra of 61 On Fiverr And How You Can Do The SameMy Profile

  • Murlu October 19, 2010, 5:00 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you for mentioning batch processing; it’s a concept I’ve tried to explain to my coworkers and friends time and time again but they never seem to be able to wrap the concept around their heads.

    As we speak, I’m going through a batch process of commenting on blogs – instead of spreading it out all day, reading and being distracted I keep them all for when I get home (when I want to chill out a bit before late-night work) and just plow through them. It takes an otherwise long task and super condenses them.

    Excellent, excellent :)
    Murlu recently posted..Seven Tools I Use To Get Things DoneMy Profile

  • Kimi October 19, 2010, 4:54 pm

    I can only 100% concentrate blogging at the evening ( about 30 minutes).

    Since i have a 2 yo daughter, daily blogging is equal to multitasking.

    I love blogging but family is still number one for me.

    Thanks for sharing the tips.
    Kimi recently posted..WordPress Add Video To PostMy Profile

  • Hunter October 19, 2010, 3:34 pm

    I think multitasking is a big drain on productivity.
    Hunter recently posted..How to Find Twitter HashtagsMy Profile

  • Rahul October 19, 2010, 3:32 pm

    i loved the nap idea !! its not only about working , it’s about a new good shape and a faster pace !! time is all what matter any way , we just organize everything wisely !
    Rahul recently posted..How to prevent WordPress Blog from HackersMy Profile

  • ZK October 19, 2010, 2:39 am

    I simply add and fix time for my all tasks.

    Set the count down time on my computer watch with alarm.

    Believe me those decreasing seconds really help me to focussed on my tasks.
    ZK recently posted..Building Mini-Sites for Long-tail Keyword PhrasesMy Profile

  • David Boyd October 19, 2010, 2:22 am

    Thanks Lennart, Marie and Jason for the compliments on the post.

    I have another important productivity booster that I left off my blog post but I bet other people struggle with: sleep deprivation due to staying up late. I’ve done countless late late nights. Its great because I get heaps of work done but then there’s the next day to battle through like a grumpy zombie. I need to try very hard to finish work when the day is done. Does anyone else face the same issue?

    • ZK October 19, 2010, 2:55 am

      Just made a schedule … if you love to work at night than do at night and rest on day.

      If you want to use your day and night both in same day … than be ready to get side effects on your health and also on your productivity.
      ZK recently posted..Building Mini-Sites for Long-tail Keyword PhrasesMy Profile

  • Lennart Heleander October 19, 2010, 1:42 am

    hi David,
    Nice post. You are right on it. I always say the same:
    Full Concentration and Focus On What You Do.
    The best thing is I living in Spain and I always take a siesta.

  • Marie October 18, 2010, 11:19 pm

    Hi David,
    Great post! I’m working from home too and it’s too easy to get sidetracked. Totally agree with #4. I turn my IM off most of the time so that I won’t get distracted.
    Marie recently posted..Bootstrapping- Not Meant For EveryoneMy Profile

  • Jason October 18, 2010, 10:35 pm

    “Surveys show that American workers spend well over an hour of every work day playing Farmville on Facebook, noticeably impacting productivity.”

    Ouch. Just ouch.

    I loved the headline on ZDNet the other day: “Facebook outage today – office managers everywhere rejoice.”

    LOL

  • Karan Labra October 18, 2010, 8:02 pm

    Having an organised environment is a must for making your work hassle free.
    Moreover, I am a person who is a multitasker and most of the time I have to pay for it. :(
    And I totally agree with you.
    Karan Labra recently posted..Blog Promotion- why to use press release to promote your blog My Profile

    • David Boyd October 18, 2010, 8:59 pm

      @Karan – There’s another side to multitasking that I didn’t mention – namely, making mistakes! I’m certain that I’m not the first man to fail at multitasking (we men are worse at it than the ladies).

      Examples: Can you imagine accidentally sending a message to your boss instead of a colleague? Or worse still, in a previous job I sent a message about the client to the client thinking that it was going to a colleague. Cringe. My multitasking failure was followed by feelings of dread and shame!

  • Caleb October 18, 2010, 7:15 pm

    The mutitasking is usually what leads me to the distractions. I have to write tasks down on a piece of paper just to stay on point and check them off as I complete them and that is quite embarrassing to me because it makes me feel like I’m getting old!
    Caleb recently posted..Does it Take Money To Make MoneyMy Profile

    • Jason October 18, 2010, 10:37 pm

      You might try TaskFreak – it’s a big help to me. You do need to know the basics of setting up a webserver with PHP and MySQL to use it though.

  • Tia Peterson October 18, 2010, 6:36 pm

    Hi David, would it be okay if I said I only liked #7?

    Just kidding.

    But on that note, I can attest to the fact that it really works. Taking a nap, whenever I can squeeze one in, usually helps me regain focus and gives me new energy.

    Cheers,
    Tia
    Tia Peterson recently posted..4 Easy Ways to Work Key Phrases into Blog PostsMy Profile

  • Holly October 18, 2010, 4:52 pm

    I love the nap idea. It seems that we all put our health aside just to fit the social norm, if you need a power nap take one, then get back to work. Think of it as one of the perks of working from home.
    Holly recently posted..Relax in Your Own HomeMy Profile

  • Susannah Maxcy October 18, 2010, 4:49 pm

    All great pieces of advice. I’m a big fan of napping and doing work in batch installments. I also find using RSS feeds saves me time navigating to sites and searching for information. And if I have one piece of advice its: learn shortcut keys. They don’t call ‘em shortcuts for nothin’…

  • Anna October 18, 2010, 3:22 pm

    It’s kind of funny how, as I started reading this post, I compulsively switched to a new window to check on my Facebook. You’re absolutely right; distractions kill productivity immensely, and one must remember that every task has its own time. Thanks for sharing this, David.

  • Mike Pedersen October 18, 2010, 2:33 pm

    David,

    These are all good reminders when you have a home business. The one I need to focus on is Number 3. Stop multitasking. It’s so easy to get side-tracked and off task. Turning off email is also another key one. Have 2 times per day you check it and that’s it!

    Regards,
    Mike
    Mike Pedersen recently posted..Pay It Forward If You Want SuccessMy Profile

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