Time management is central to optimal productivity. Today, we will discuss how important it is to use technology, self-discipline, and commonsense to boost your productivity. We begin with a concise definition of productivity. Then we will walk you through several examples of ‘productivity killers, ‘ a.k.a. all those distractions that eat into your work, study, or personal time and hamper your ability to deliver the best results.
What is Productivity?
Productivity is often defined as a measure of output per unit of input. In other words, it’s a way to compare the efficiency of different workers, machines, or processes. For example, if one worker can produce ten widgets in an hour and another can only produce five widgets in the same amount of time, the first worker is considered more productive.
While this definition is technically accurate, it doesn’t capture the true essence of productivity. To understand productivity, we need to take a step back and look at its Latin roots: prodigious (which means “to accomplish something great”) and agere (which means “to do”). When you put these two words together, productivity means “to do great things.”
And that’s what it should be about: not just churning out a lot of work, but doing work that matters.
Unfortunately, it’s too easy to lose sight of this and get caught up in the never-ending cycle of busywork in today’s fast-paced world. We attempt to do multiple things at once, say yes to every request, and take on more than we can handle — all in being productive. But this approach is counter-productive. Instead of helping us achieve our goals, it leads to burnout, stress, and subpar work.
Avoid Burnout with a Work/Life Balance
So how can we avoid falling into this trap? The answer lies in learning how to manage our time better. Technology can help — but only if used wisely. In today’s world, there are more distractions than ever before. With constant notifications from our smartphones and social media apps vying for our attention, it’s hard to stay focused on anything.
Fortunately, we can also use technology to boost our productivity. There are now dozens of apps and tools designed specifically for this purpose. For example, if you want to know how to be productive, various tools like Evernote, Teamviewer, Clockify, Notion, and Any.do can help you track how you’re spending your time online to identify areas where you’re wasting time and make changes accordingly. They all help you identify areas of weakness and deliver functional solutions to help get you ahead of the curve. They are all productivity maximizers.
Many of these productivity tools let you block specific websites and apps to stay focused when you need to get work done. For example, Evernote makes it easy to organize your thoughts and ideas so you can find what you need when you need it. But, of course, technology is only one component of the solution. Just because we have all these tools at our disposal doesn’t mean we’ll automatically start using them effectively.
We also need to be disciplined about how we use these tools. Otherwise, we’ll use them as another form of procrastination (perhaps checking Facebook one more time or going on a Tweeting spree on Twitter Blue).
Use Commonsense & Self-Discipline
The most important thing we can do to boost our productivity is use commonsense and self-discipline. Using commonsense may seem like obvious advice, but it’s incredible how many people still don’t follow it. If you want to be productive, you must establish clear goals and priorities. Ask yourself: What do I want to achieve? What’s the most important thing I need to do right now?
Once you understand your goals well, it will be much easier to focus on the task at hand and ignore distractions. It’s also essential to create a healthy work-life balance. Make sure you take regular breaks throughout the day, so you don’t get burnt out. And when you’re not working, make sure you’re not thinking about work constantly — give yourself permission to relax and enjoy your free time without guilt or worries about what needs to be done tomorrow.
Finally, remember that productivity is not an all-or-nothing proposition. There will be days when you’re more productive than others. And that’s OK. The important thing is to keep moving forward and progress towards your goals.
So those are some of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to time management and productivity. Use technology wisely, set clear goals, and take breaks when you need them. Finally, and most importantly, don’t forget that productivity is about doing great work — not just a lot of work.