Here Are Some Things I’ve Learned About Productivity

Photo by Andreas Klassen on Unsplash

I know we all want to be more productive, and since I’ve learned about it, techniques, and how-to’s, I could sum up everything I’ve learned so far into a single place. For sure I will remove or add new points over time, but I truly believe that we all can be highly productive if we want. It doesn’t matter if you follow these tips or not, but you must have a reason to do so.

  1. Plan your day up front
    For me, it’s important to start my workday with things already planned, it could be the day before or in the morning, but I need to have at least 50% planned up front, then I will foresee if something goes wrong and then prepare some buffer time for my day in order to deal with emergencies or something.
  2. Identify when you are more productive
    During the day you might have high levels of productivity, like me, I’m more productive in the morning, so, I rather focus on the most hard tasks in the morning than in the afternoon.
  3. Do one thing at a time
    The most obvious, but less considered by many. People used to believe that can do multitasking, which is not quite true, so, if you want to be productive, it’s better if you focus one task at a time, then you will spend a quality time for that and then you will deliver it with quality.
  4. Prioritize what must be done
    Yes, it seems a joke, but it isn’t. We have the idea that we can do a lot at once, but in reality, it’s not good to do that. Being productivity, means you have focus, how can you have focus in 2 tasks in the same time? So, prioritization is important if you want to be productive enough in your daily work.
  5. Execute the most difficult ones in the first place
    When prioritizing tasks, it’s necessary to better define which is more important to do, because then you will focus on the tasks you’ll spend more energy first, instead of the smaller ones. Basically, the idea here is to focus on the most difficult ones while you have more energy, since the smaller ones are the ones that possibly you can solve them automatically or they are boring to do so.
  6. Do not procrastinate
    “Procrastinate or not procrastinate, here’s the question”.
    Jokes aside, let’s face the truth, we love to procrastinate and love to hate the fact that we procrastinate, it’s hard to accept the fact that if possible we would be in our couch, the whole day watching Netflix while we have 120 tasks to do that day. But then it’s important also to understand that procrastination just prevents you from being productive, the less you do, less productive you will be.
  7. Use tools that help you be productive
    I love to do app, there are different options and each one, although is straightforward, you can use them in different ways to make you more productive. Here me out first, I’m not saying that the tool itself will make you productive, but it will help you be productive.
  8. Sleep Well
    Here is only my opinion, but I rather say it’s almost the same for everyone. It sucks to have a terrible night of sleep. Unless you love to suffer every day with a poor sleep.
  9. Wake up early
    This one I like, because I feel way more productive when I wake up earlier than others, but I don’t feel successful or whatever, I feel more productive because when I wake up at 5 am and go to work at 9 am, my mind is already “active” for 4 hours and will be easier to focus. Then I don’t need the “coffee time” just to wake up, I’m already up.
  10. Have fun at work
    It doesn’t mean that you are working you can’t have fun, allow yourself moments to have fun with your colleagues, because laugh is the best medicine ever for stress.
  11. Remove distractions
    One of the biggest things that can kill your productivity is distractions, especially notifications from your smartphone. I know the temptation of looking at it every moment is big, but it’s necessary to have focus to be productive, the bigger the focus easier it is to reach the flow.
  12. Learn from the best
    If you want to be the best in your field, learn from the best. Because learning more about your field, you will learn new techniques, new tools and how to make things better. From time to time, read new books, if possible, have a mentor.
  13. Delegate your tasks
    If you are in a leadership position, you have the possibility to delegate tasks, then you will make some things faster. But remember, as Uncle Ben said “with great power comes great responsibility”, it’s necessary to keep in mind that you are responsible for the tasks you delegate.
  14. Reward yourself
    With big goals, you may be upset by the fact you have too much to do, then it’s a good thing to add yourself an award, it will help you to focus on the final line, after you finish the project or task, just give yourself the award you pretended.
  15. Say no more often
    One of the most important actions you have to do to be productive, is to say NO. By saying no, you will allow yourself to be focused on important things.
  16. When working from home, have a pleasant environment to work
    One of the worst things in the work environment is a poor environment, and this doesn’t mean only toxic people, but having a nice desk and wonderful chair is important for your comfort and your health.
  17. Limit your thoughts
    I have a small problem with new projects. I overthink about it and loose focus. It’s important to stick to the problem you have on your hand, don’t think in possibility when it will never happen. To be productive, focus on what’s important.
  18. Enjoy your time commuting
    If you live in a big city, you have to take a bus, train or any other public transportation or even go by car. During that time, if possible, spend it by learn something new, reading a book or listening to a podcast. Because then you will learn from the best until you become one.
  19. Define a goal
    A project without a goal isn’t a project. So, when defining your tasks, define a goal for each day at work. Then you’ll be focused enough to complete each task you have.
  20. Take vacations
    You have to remember, you are a human, sometimes you have to renew your energy. Going to travel and learning new places you’ve never been, it’s nice to learn new culture, meet new people and maybe have a new destination to go in the next vacation.

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Igor Carvalho

Igor Carvalho

I’m a tech lover, blogger, YouTuber, Netflix watcher, and on my daily work I’m a software engineer with several years of experience.