It’s funny, and somewhat scary – how our lives can easily get filled with unplanned events that slow us down and reduce our productivity.
Have you ever been in a situation where you make plans for the next day and then you find yourself doing rather irrelevant or unproductive activities and end up wasting your day?
A lot of us have. I know I have, too.
And you know, improper scheduling of work makes it more work (stressful) and productivity isn’t doing more work, it is about making every minute count as you work.
The amount of work you do doesn’t equal productivity. There’s a difference between being busy, and being productive.
An addiction to distraction will be the death of your creative production – Robin Sharma
Being organized makes you reliable, efficient, effective, reduces stress, saves time, and helps you avoid mistakes.
All these things, in turn, increase productivity, and in a digital world like ours where your focus is of more importance than your intelligence,
I’d be suggesting 10 effective ways to organize your stuff and become highly productive.
10 Ways to Remain Organised and In Turn, Boost Your Productivity Levels
1. Don’t Rely On Your Brain for Too Much Information.
Once upon a time, I’d make all my plans for the next day in my head, before I went to sleep.
When I wake up, I wouldn’t remember much of my plans and so my first task for the day would be to remember all I had planned for the day and most times, I don’t get to remember every part of it… sadly.
It’s pretty easy, and common to make all your plans in your head but then, the brain has a limit to what can be stored in your short memory.
Learn to always take notes.
Develop a system where you brain dump all your ideas. Either on paper, on your phone, or your computer.
Whichever one you choose, make sure it is a system you can trust, and gain access to easily. Also make it flexible enough, so that you can keep up with it.
2. Always have a Backup.
As the saying goes:
“Two is one, one is none”
Always have an extra pair of the materials you use, whose absence can interrupt your work process if it finishes while it’s still in use.
If you create videos, try to have extra batteries around. If you bake, try to have more than the required materials around, more importantly, If you create digital content then make sure you have a backup folder.
Having your materials get exhausted while you work is a distraction so having a backup plan is eliminating that distraction.
3. Plan Your Day the Night Before.
After all that you have to do for the day, write down all the activities you have planned for the next day in the form of a to-do list. A to-do list sets you off in the right direction each day and helps you focus on the tasks that are most important to you.
Make sure to prioritize the items on the to-do list and allocate time slots to them so you know what exactly you need to be doing when you wake up, and what you need to do later in the day.
4. Use Your Mornings Well.
The early hours of the morning are said to be when you have the most focus, the most energy, and the most willpower.
Proper use of the morning helps you feel in control of your day and your schedule, instead of feeling controlled by it.
You can spend your mornings doing the tasks that need the most focus/minimal distraction. The fewer the interruptions, the more productive you will be.
5. Do Not Procrastinate The Bigger Tasks.
More often than not, the biggest tasks you have at hand are the most important, and sometimes the most difficult ones.
While it is really easy to do the simpler and smaller tasks first, you only make the bigger tasks look harder. If you’re not disciplined enough (especially if you are your boss and have no deadlines), you may end up procrastinating the task till the next day.
So, it is much better to handle the big tasks first.
6. Reduce Multitasking.
While many people see multitasking as a superpower, you shouldn’t (that’s because it isn’t)
Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time.
When you multitask, you’re switching the brain’s focus too quickly and this reduces the rate at which you can get things done.
So, learn to focus on one task at a time and conclude it before you move on to your next task.
7. Adopt the Style of Batching Similar Tasks and Projects together.
While you work, group the tasks that require the same level of energy, willpower, and focus into the same timeframe.
For instance, you can group reading, thinking, and writing into the same timeframe.
Deciding to do the laundry during this timeframe would be inappropriate because it requires a different level of focus and it may take a while for you to regain the level you need for your writing or reading.
Also, group your projects into physical or digital files and folders so that you can easily reach any of them whenever they’re needed.
Adopting the method of batching similar tasks or projects together saves time and increases efficiency and productivity.
8. Clear Your Table Before/After Work.
Our mind is a reflection of our environment.
If your table is messy, you might find it difficult to work freely because the materials scattered all over the table can be a source of distraction.
It can also take up your time because you might have a hard time finding something you need to make use of at that moment
So, you can decide to clean up or organize your desktop before you work, or after you work so that you meet your desk neatly organized and ready for use when the next duty calls.
9. Include Breaks In Your Schedule.
After long hours of uninterrupted focus, your focus and energy levels would most likely reduce.
To avoid making mistakes, include short and maybe long breaks into your schedule.
During your breaks, you can eat, take a walk, listen to music or sleep even.
Do anything that’ll help you relax and restore your focus when you need to get back to work.
10. Dedicate Time to Analysing Your Habits Every Week.
Pick a day of the week to reflect on your life – your habits and your daily schedules for the previous week. Take a look at the way you handled tasks the previous week and think of how you can improve on them in the coming week.
Keep tweaking your schedule till you find the way it works best for you. Whatever works best for one person, may not work the same way for another because there is no one way to remain organized or boost productivity.
If there’s any tip you use to remain organized that isn’t here, make sure to share in the comment section so others can learn from it as well!
8 thoughts on “Productivity 101: How Being Organised Can Boost Your Productivity”
Thank you for curating this awesome piece… You’re right in most of the points you mentioned.
But I wanted to add that I’m a very “night-ish” person… Meaning I’m usually awake at night and the number 4 point that talked about using your mornings well do not really apply to me…
Because I get to sleep that early morning… So what I do is, I plan what I will accomplish during the day and I set alarm to ensure I wake up at the right time.
Sharing my routine may help a person that needs to balance being awake at night and maintaining balance and productivity during the day.
Thank you for sharing, Hope!
Wow… I have learnt a lot.. I really needed this article. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for engaging, Amaka!
Thank you, Lynn!
This was so true. I learnt alot
The part about the multi tasking got to me