Business owners and professionals of any kind all want to figure out how to be more productive. The best way to be productive and grow your business or career is not to simply white-knuckle it, by forcing yourself to do more work (though that is necessary at times); the best way to achieve high productivity that leads to success is to find your own rhythm. That’s when the work becomes less miserable, and more of a natural flow.
Trial & Error
Not everyone works in the same way. Instead of completing daily tasks the way you always have because that’s what you know and that’s what you’re used to, the better way is to make a conscious effort to find out how you work best by trying multiple ways of breaking up and organizing your tasks and projects.
For example, you might need more breaks than other people between tasks, or fewer breaks than others; you might need to get your toughest projects out of the way first, or save them for last. This is just for starters. It may take some time to find your own flow, but once you do, work will feel a lot less like work.
Doing Work in Chunks, or Spreading it Out
Of course, sometimes the nature of your business might dictate this for you, but if you have a choice, you should try both strategies: Taking one task or project at a time, and seeing it through to completion in one shot; or, working on something for a while, and then switching to something else to keep it interesting.
This is one of the key distinctions that can make the difference between being overwhelmed by your workload and easily transitioning between tasks.
Starting Very Early, or Working During the Night
As a general rule, we are all a little sharper and more productive during the first couple of hours of the day, not to mention the fact that everyone else that you are working with is probably most active during this time, as well. This is not a hard-and-fast rule, however, so you may actually be able to concentrate much better at night.
If that is the case, try to save the bulk of the challenging work, or the things that require more focus, for later in the day. Again, the idea is to use trial and error to find the best way to organize your workload, so it may take time to figure it out.
An Environment Conducive to Your Work
Not only do you need to build a daily plan for how to get everything done according to your personal patterns, but you also have to pay attention to what’s going on around you while you work.
This is usually an afterthought for professionals because no matter where you are or who is in the office (even if that’s your own house) because everything still has to get done; however, you could be adding a great deal of needless stress to yourself by working in an environment that is frustrating your ability to work effectively. Whenever possible, find a space in which you, personally, can be comfortable and have the most focus.
These suggestions are simple, but there are few business owners or busy professionals who actually take the time to try out different methods to improve their workflow. Work smart, not hard—right? Don’t underestimate how much easier it can be to accomplish everything, when you find your own rhythm for work.