October 23, 2018
The Science of Productivity, and how you can use it
Staying productive is something that everybody strives for. Efficiency comes in ebbs and flows – some days we achieve a lot, others not so much. Like everything else in the world, there is a science to productivity. While general advice tends to be specific to each person, the facts don’t lie. Putting these scientifically-proven tips to use is guaranteed to give your productivity a boost. So, here are four ways you can use the science of productivity to boost your working abilities.
I know what you’re thinking – “well, duh”, but studies have shown that being able to get started on a new task is actually one of the biggest hurdles to productivity. We often put off starting a project because our brain fixates on the hardest parts. Rather than seeing the work as a series of manageable chunks, we hone in on the most challenging parts and allow them to overwhelm us.
There are two key ways to combat this: one is to break work down into smaller, actionable tasks and the other way is to hold yourself accountable. Enter DropTask. In our digital age, a handwritten to-do list just isn’t going to cut it. DropTask allows you to breakdown your work in the way that suits you; create your project, input the tasks that make up the project and use checklists to break each task into stages. Working in this way will make getting started a million times easier. A psychologically backed theory, known as the Zeigarnik Effect, means we’re more likely to finish something once we’ve started it. This works even for the tasks which seem too hard to ever complete – making a start might just be the push you need to see it through to the end. To add an extra layer of accountability to the work you’ve begun, ensure you add Due Dates for tasks. You can also set reminders via DropTask, so you’re never taken by surprise by upcoming deadlines.
Do what matters
You’ve probably heard the saying “first things first” – but, have you ever thought about what that actually means? While most of us come into work with a vague idea of what we’ll be working on, very few actually have their entire day planned out. Being productive isn’t about getting all your tasks done, it’s about completing the tasks which will help you reach your end goals. An illusion of busyness can often fool us into thinking we’re getting more done than we actually are. The reality is having a lot to do, isn’t the same as doing a lot.
In the office, it’s easy to fall into the trap of working in a reactionary manner. If someone mentions a job to you, you’ll start working on that just because it’s fresh in your mind, not because it’s actually your most pressing task. Sticking to your priorities will make your work timely and efficient, helping you stay on top of deadlines – regardless of what work lands on your desk in the meantime.
With DropTask, prioritization couldn’t be simpler. Use your DropTask Planner to filter your tasks onto Now, Next and Soon boards. When deadlines get bumped up or new tasks crop up, it’s easy to rejig your working priorities. A daily summary email from DropTask will also show you your day mapped out, so you can spend less time planning and more time doing.
Build positive habits
Contrary to popular belief, consistently staying on task has little to do with willpower, and a lot to do with routine. Psychologists have suggested that willpower acts much like a muscle; the more we use it, the more it gets worn out. The upshot of this is, willpower alone isn’t enough to keep you productive. Instead, the most successful people create good working habits which help them to stay on task.
So, how do you start building a good work routine and stick to it? DropTask naturally lends itself to creating an easy to follow schedule. Having a central working hub where all your projects, tasks, and deadlines are stored will take the stress out of staying on top of your work. Add each new task into DropTask, set due dates, Urgency and Importance attributes to start practicing positive working habits in and out of the office. Using DropTask to structure your working day makes actually sticking to the tasks you have lined up far easier. Before you know it, DropTask will get you in the flow and you’ll never fall behind on upcoming tasks again.
Focus your energy
Having focus can be more challenging than it sounds. When you have lots of tasks to complete, it’s often tempting to flit between them, as it wrongly gives the impression you’re achieving more overall. In actual fact, multitasking is the enemy of focused work. Providing your full attention to the one task you’re working on is essential to achieving the best results.
Being able to say no when you have too much on is crucial. When your team uses DropTask, task ownership is instantly clear. Forget misunderstandings – the avatars displayed for each task visually communicate who the task belongs to, and filters will show how many tasks they’ve been assigned. Discussions allow for quick enquiries into tasks and projects. Using the @ tag will alert your colleagues when you’ve mentioned them, keeping everyone in the loop. With fewer emails and demands, you’ll be able to focus on the work in front of you.
Become a productivity expert by employing these scientific techniques when working in DropTask. Sign up for FREE today!