Productivity tips from the pros

If you’re struggling to get things done, there are lots of tips from psychology professionals to boost your productivity. Psychology Today collected some of the best a few years ago, and we’ve been trying them out at Mindapples and with our corporate clients.

Here are our favourites:

  1. Avoid multitasking. Block out time when you avoid all other tasks, and remember to put your phone and email away.
  2. Plan regular exercise breaks (even walking helps), to refresh your mind and boost your creativity.
  3. Rather than allocating a fixed amount of time to a task, break it down into doable chunks and then work until that chunk is done.
  4. Free up mental space by making a plan to deal with unresolved issues, to help you focus on the task at hand.
  5. Do things badly. Getting started is often the hardest part when it comes to tackling a task. Doing a first version without worrying about the quality gets the ball rolling and you can work on improving it later.
  6. Be realistic. We often overestimate how much we can get done. Identify one important task and make that your non-negotiable goal for the day.

Productivity is a subjective business though, about learning what helps you stay fresh, and which tasks you find easiest to do. The more you get to know your mind, the easier you’ll find it to work in a way that works for you.

Learn more about how to be productive in our latest book, The Mind Manual, and our award-winning guide to managing your mind at work, A Mind for Business, published by Hamlyn Press and Pearson/FT.