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Many people have the belief that learning how to be more productive is simply about working longer or harder, doing more stuff or being more efficient.

In reality, being more productive is about identifying your most important tasks and leveraging time to get the work completed in the simplest, easiest and most productive way possible.

Learning how to be productive is a mindset. Developing productivity skills  is about being clear on the result you want and finding the fastest, simplest and most productive way to achieve that result in the shortest amount of time.

In this article, I’ll share 9 productivity tips which will help you learn how to be more productive and take your existing productivity to new levels.  

Tips to be productive  

We all want to maximise our time, get more done and end each day with a feeling of accomplishment.  If you want to be more productive the key is to do less.  To maximise your time on your most important activities and minimise your time on low value and mindless activities that don’t move you closer towards your goals.

Learning how to concentrate fully and avoid distractions is the the key to being more productive so you can get more of your important activities done.

When I speak to business owners and leaders I hear the same thing about their struggles with becoming more productive and staying focused:

  • I’m busy but not productive
  • There is a growing to-do list that’s harming my productivity
  • I’m feeling overwhelmed and frustrated 
  • Distraction is killing my focus 

Our ability to concentrate and stay fully focused on our most important activities can help us achieve our goals quicker, while distraction leads to overwhelm, stress and a constant feeling of time scarcity.

How to be more productive 

Here are 9 productivity tips that will help you learn how to be more productive at work and help you manage time effectively so you can achieve more and reach your goals quicker.

1. Set exciting goals 

If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you know when you get there?

When you’re clear on your goals you’re instantly clearer on where you should spend your time.

This makes you more productive.

You get more focused and productive on your high value activities that really move your business forward.

If you want to be more productive create a compelling and exciting vision of your future.

Ask yourself:

What does this future look like?

How will it feel when you get there?

The vision must be emotionally and intellectually engaging for you to take productive action on achieving goals.

2. Get clarity on what you want

Less is more when it comes to being more productive to achieve your goals.

Once you have your future vision mapped out, build a strategic plan to get you there.

Your future vision may be for 3 years or 5 years, or you may choose a longer time frame.

Measurable goals makes you feel more productive 

To be more productive in achieving your bigger vision, set specific, measurable goals for the 90 days.

Make the goals measurable and achievable.

The magic number for me and my clients is to create and stick to five goals for the next 90 days.

This creates a simplicity of focus.

Rather than trying to achieve ten or twenty things you narrow your focus to just five crucial goals.

3. Limit your to-do list 

Imagine that someone took away all of your activities and you could only choose work on three crucial activities.

These activities would be ones where you created the biggest value, that brought in the most money and that you were highly skilled at.

Activities that were crucially important so they require you to be highly focused and productive.

Which ones would you choose? 

We all have skills and capabilities that represent us at our most productive.

These skills are unique to each of us.

To be truly productive you need to narrow your focus down to only those activities and do more of them.

It might be selling, or building client relationships, or marketing, or strategic planning.

Pick your best three and narrow your focus. .

4. Create a productive environment

The key to consistent productive days is to set up the right environment so you can be fully focused on the activities that deliver the biggest results.

This is productive preparation.

To be super productive you need your physical and mental energy to be high.

You need to be in the right environment with a clear mind.

Clear your calendar of other activities so you can be fully focused.

Set yourself up in a clean, uncluttered office or space so your mind can focus.

Organise things in advance so you won’t be disturbed. 

5. Commit to being outcome focused  

If you are not truly committed to being more productive and achieving your goals, then chances are that you won’t reach them.

Motivation can only take you so far.

When you’re not motivated, it’s easily to become distracted.

It is the intentional commitment and emotional investment in your future success that will move you forward to heightened levels of productivity and focus.

Have an intentional focus 

Think back to any time that you really committed to achieving something.

Were you fully invested?

Why did it matter?

Did you have to be really courageous to achieve it?

How did it feel when you achieved it?

What difference did it make?

6. Work less to achieve more 

Confidence plays a vital role when you are looking at how to be more productive.

To increase confidence needed to achieve our biggest goals we need to focus on our strengths.

This is key when learning how to be more productive.

What are you best at? Have you identified your unique strengths?

You want to spend as much time as you can working in the areas that you’re great at.

How can you multiply your strengths?

Focus on value creation 

Think of the areas of the business and life when you are doing work you love, that you are great at with your best clients and customers.

That you’re energised in and do your best work.

These areas are where you add the biggest value.

They are when you are most productive,.

Many of us want to do it all. We want to be good at everything. We want to offer a lot of services.

But, in reality, there are some very specific things we are great at; nobody is good at everything!

To be more productive spend more time adding value in the areas where you excel.

7. Set better boundaries

One of the keys to being more productive is to create better boundaries around your time and focus.

To learn to say no to activities, people and opportunities where you’re not working at your productive best.

As we grow, more opportunities come up that can take us away from our goals and doing our best, most productive work.

Get clear on your goals and where you can provide the biggest value to your company, to your clients and to your team and spend your most valuable time in those areas.

8. Progress not perfection

We waste so much time on tinkering and polishing and amending until things are just right.

Until they’re perfect.

If you’re focused on perfection you risk:

  • Wasting previous time 
  • Holding things up
  • Missing out on opportunities
  • Being late to market 

Remember that done is better than perfect.  To stop being a perfectionist, realise that 80% right is good enough and work with other people or team members to help you with the rest.

9. Use time blocking to be more productive  

Multi-tasking or task switching can have an adverse effect on your productivity.  To build momentum and focus on big projects or tasks start working in blocks of focused time.

This could be in 90-minute or 2 hour blocks to really create positive forward movement on something important.

Shut yourself away or go to a quiet space to avoid interruptions.

Working in focused blocks will dramatically increase productivity and could be a game changer for your business.

Now I’d love to hear from you.

What’s your number one productivity tip?

Let me know in the comments.

Read also: 

Goal Setting: An 8 Step Process to Setting and Achieving Goals

8 time management tips to manage time effectively

How to stay focused: 10 tips to improve focus 

10 Ways to Improve Work Life Balance Starting Today

How to sleep better: 10 proven tips for better sleep

About the Author

Mark Pettit is a small business coach to business owners who want to simplify their time, energy and focus so they can multiply their freedom, impact and results. 

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Mark Pettit Administrator
Strategic Business Coach , Founder, Lucemi Consulting
About the Author Mark Pettit is a leading 1:1 business coach to ambitious entrepreneurs who want to free themselves up to jump to the next level of time freedom and business growth. He is the founder of Lucemi Consulting, a coaching and consulting company. Visionary, creative, and generous, he is a hero to entrepreneurs seeking to work less, do more of what they love and multiply their revenue and profits.
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