Being productive is not a matter of willpower – even if you are highly motivated, you may not accomplish as much as you would like. That’s because productivity is about finding ways to be most efficient, not to exert the most effort. Check out these productivity tips to improve your performance:

  • Focus on Consistent Action to Fight Procrastination

Waiting until you feel ready to give it your all and tackle a tough project often results in stressful, hurried work that is not as high quality as it could be. Instead, focus on consistent action to fight procrastination. Break down your most challenging or unappealing tasks into the absolute smallest steps, and work on them each day or even each hour or 15-minute chunk – you will make better progress with these seemingly inconsequential actions than if you hold off until motivation strikes to do it “perfectly.”  

  • Schedule Strategic Break Time for Maximum Focus

Pushing through mental fatigue to work as hard as you can for as long as you can is counterproductive because you are less able to concentrate and more prone to making mistakes. Produce better results in less time by scheduling strategic break time for maximum focus. For example, for every hour you work, remind yourself to take a five to 10 minute break to recharge your brain. That short time investment will pay off when you come back refreshed and better able to work efficiently and accurately than if you had not taken a break.

  • Work with Your Natural Tendencies to Prioritize More Effectively

There are no default rules for productivity since everyone’s natural tendencies are different. Some people are at their sharpest in the morning, while others may find a boost of energy and focus mid-afternoon. Rather than trying to force yourself to fit some ideal version of productivity, work with your own natural tendencies to prioritize more effectively. Consider the times of day that you can concentrate most easily and when you struggle – then, schedule your tasks according to the amount of brain power they require. For example, if you’re at your peak in the morning, plan to tackle To Dos that require the most effort, and save your less mentally taxing tasks for the time of day that your energy starts to wane.

  • Streamline Work by Chunking Together Like Tasks

Multitasking does to your brain what constantly switching between programs and tabs does to your computer: slows it down. Improve your productivity and your performance by cutting down on the amount of time your brain needs to adjust between different tasks. Streamline work by chunking together like tasks – for instance, answer emails in a batch and then go on to perform calculations for a report. This way, you don’t waste time going back and forth and needing to get your brain to refocus on a particular type of task. 

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