We all want to get more done, and we are constantly striving to work harder and longer to get ahead. But at the same time, we need to be careful we don’t work ourselves to the point of exhaustion and burnout.
Here are a few tips for improving performance without overdoing it.
1. Define your goals.
If you want to be more productive, you need to first define what you mean by productivity. Generally, it means getting more done. But what are your personal goals? Are you trying to be more efficient so you don’t have to work as long? Or are you trying to eliminate distractions and focus on the big picture?
2. Make a schedule
Instead of a to-do list, use a calendar. As you add tasks to your to-do list, it can become unmanageable. A better course of action is to establish priorities – what tasks are most important. Figure out how much time you need to devote to each, and then schedule the time on your calendar.
You may have to make changes as you go along, but this will give you a more manageable starting point.
3. Deal with roadblocks
Using the calendar system will also help you more readily identify obstructions. For example, do you find your tasks generally taking more time than allotted on your calendar? Consider why this is happening. Are you not planning carefully enough? Do you need to devote more resources to your tasks? Do you need more training or preparation? Are you being interrupted routinely?
Once you have identified the obstacles, work on a plan for addressing them.
4. Take some breaks
Many people feel that in order to be productive, they need to work as hard as possible for as long as possible. But this is actually a recipe for failure. Our minds and bodies need to take breaks on a regular basis in order to rest and recuperate. These breaks help us to stay focused, remember information and make connections with what we have learned.
5. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
You may not think things like exercise, eating well, and getting enough sleep are related to productivity, but you would be wrong. Living a healthy lifestyle will give you the stamina, energy, focus and optimism you need to get more done. It will be a big help in fighting burnout.