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How To Optimize Your Workflow? 5 Tips To Apply

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Are there any high achievers in the room? Nice to see you. This article will probably touch upon a lot you already know, so excuse me as I address all newcomers to the productivity world.

I’m here to give you a brief rundown of how you can boost your productivity levels and optimize your workflow to its fullest potential.

Why Do You Need To Optimize Your Workflow?

Productivity for productivity’s sake is good and all, but sooner or later we all run out of steam. So keep in mind what revs up your engine. Why are you trying to optimize your workflow? It can be as simple as trying to make heads or tails of your day. The pandemic did a number on us when it comes to the ability to work.

Maybe you’re juggling university with work. Maybe you’ve taken on a new role at work. Maybe you are trying to fit a creative, labor-intensive project into your life. Whatever the reason. Hold on to it and when the going gets tough, keep that goal in mind.

5 Ways To Optimize Your Workflow

1. Focus On One Task At A Time 

Being able to multitask is hailed as one of the most impressive talents in 21st-century living, but I disagree. Whenever I’ve ‘succeeded’ in multitasking, I’ve been left exhausted in the end with no real sense of accomplishment and a rather depleted focus. There have been a lot of conversations about the benefits and drawbacks of multitasking.

How do I keep the tempo? Laser focus on a single task. Don’t look at the clock. Don’t distract yourself by checking your phone for notifications (it’s hard, I know). Let your mind just sink into the task at hand. Quiet down all the other voices and noise in your head. This deep, almost meditative focus on a single action naturally improves your performance. Rushing any task doesn’t have the same results.

Plus, the longer you practice this the higher the chances for you to enter the flow state.

2. Use Automation When Possible

There are so many free productivity tools out there to help you streamline your work process and cut off any unnecessary time spent on manual labor. Do you need a distraction-free environment to get your work done? Install Freedom on your devices and schedule when certain apps ought to be blocked.

Do you use your email a lot for work and need a smarter way to manage it? Most email clients are equipped with a variety of features to deliver results. Gmail has some of the best productivity hacks for every occasion.

Do you need to keep up with a lot of news sites and blogs? RSS feed readers make all the difference and can be optimized for just about any purpose. Feedly, The Old Reader, and Inoreader are on the top as choices. Each has its strengths. The Old Reader has great social features. Inoreader helps you discover content and add more subscriptions through its Chrome browser extension.

3. Use Checklists 

I’m known to get distracted. Something tells me you might also struggle to keep all the things you need to do in your head at all times. The fact is the pandemic has severely impacted us psychologically so unburden a little bit. Create lists with tasks that are paramount to complete.

My mother used to say whatever’s written down cannot be forgotten, and I tend to live by this rule. Many others do too otherwise we wouldn’t have apps like Todoist and all its equivalents vying for our attention. From a business perspective, it makes all the more sense to chart out all important tasks in order to see the bigger picture.

This is particularly important when you’re coordinating with members of a team or preparing for a larger project that will stretch in time.

4. Plan Your Day 

Creating a daily itinerary with clearly defined time slots for work, relaxation, personal hobbies, and household chores is a life-saver if you’re trying to navigate a work-from-home situation for the first time. Again we all have the pandemic to thank!

Knowing what task follows at what hour pacifies some of the stress at the moment. Eventually, your day-to-day plan becomes automated. I recommend an organizational approach for all walks of life. Maybe you’re a student. Maybe you’re still commuting to the office. Maybe you even work in an industry where you are moving around.

Breaking the day into some chunks that give you clarity makes everything run smoothly.

5. Set Clear Goals

I’m leaving the most important for last. Learn how to set goals.

It sounds intuitive, but so much can go wrong in the planning stages. The most common mistake is that people generally overestimate what they can deliver in a certain amount of time. Make sure to pad out the timeline to include necessary downtime, days where you might be sick, or sudden emergencies that could disrupt your workflow.

Another cardinal mistake – people tend to set goals about things that they can’t control. You can tell yourself you’ll get a promotion within the year, but ultimately it’s up to your boss to decide. Instead, say I’ll build up a strong case with recent accomplishments by the end of the year and then negotiate for a raise.

One Thing To Consider About Being Productive

I’m here to tell you that there’s no quicker way to burn out than packing on way too much every single day. It’s important to recognize why you’re trying to become more productive. Work will never ever end. There’s going to be more work to do tomorrow no matter how much you do today.

You want to increase your productivity so that you meet realistic deadlines without stress and have time for yourself. That’s what productivity is all about – a holistic approach to living where getting things done, personal development and private time manage to coexist without the tension that you are not doing enough.

I advise you to think about it. Cut yourself some slack.

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