When it comes to productivity, you’re your own best friend.
The things you do now will ensure your future self is as productive as possible, and all it takes is a little foresight and forward planning.
I’m always helping my future self be more productive and, while it isn’t always 100% successful, I feel far better knowing that I’m doing whatever I can to keep on top of my ever-growing to-do list.
Here’s how to increase your own productivity levels by planning ahead.
Set goals (how many times have you heard that?)
The best businesses successfully create productivity cultures among staff and they do that by having goals that are clear, aligned with the company’s ethos and - most importantly - achievable.
When was the last time you set yourself a goal that was those three things above? If you’ve regularly fallen into the trap of setting goals that are neither achievable nor aligned with your own working ethos, your future self will have a very hard time reaching them.
Schedule as much as possible in advance
No one wants to schedule their work minute-by-minute; flexibility is key if you want to remain interested in your job and as creative as possible.
However, the more tasks you schedule in advance, the more you’ll be able to get done. This also helps immeasurably with coming good on your promises and not overwhelming yourself each day.
A classic mistake people make is to say “yes” to something and attempt to squeeze the task into the current day. If there’s no immediate urgency, it’s far better to delegate the job to your future self. Just make sure you pick a day and time to complete the task that is - you guessed it - achievable.
Clean your desk at the end of the day
Sometimes, it’s the little things that will make a huge difference for your future self, and by cleaning your desk of all the paraphernalia used during the day in preparation for tomorrow, you’ll be able to start with a clean slate.
A tidy desk fosters a tidy, creative mindset and if your future self has a nice, clean environment in which to work tomorrow, they’ll almost definitely thank you for it.
Think mise en place
In the catering industry, mise en place refers to the process of preparing dishes and their constituent ingredients before service begins.
It sounds like an obvious tactic, but it’s one that’s far too easy to avoid. Without mise en place, kitchen staff are forced to find ingredients and prepare them as and when orders arrive from tables. Thus, things get forgotten and the process is needlessly rushed.
Mise en place can be applied to your work, too. Careful preparation for the next task in hand (even if it’s not due to be completed for a few days) will help your future self immeasurably.
And finally: have proper morning and evening routines
You don’t need to live a regimented lifestyle if you want to be productive, but waking at the same time and going to bed at a consistent time will ensure your future self is alert, healthy and ready to start every single day.
Guest Author Bio
Mark Ellis is a freelance writer who specialises in copywriting, blogging and content marketing for businesses of all sizes. Mark’s considerable experience at director level and deep interest in personal and business success means he’s ready to comment on anything from freelance writing to workplace dynamics, technology and personal improvement