Most of us aim to be more productive. Even more of us aim to get more done in less time. But, how, precisely do we achieve this? 

I’m constantly reading books and articles about the keys to increasing productivity and I’m incessantly tuned in to podcasts and radio segments about the habits of highly productive (usually also highly successful) people. Many of these pieces suggest similar strategies for higher productivity, some of which are adapted and included below. But after testing and trying many of the aforementioned suggestions, I’ve found that some of the most basic strategies have given me the greatest returns on my time – and money. 

These easy adjustments to my work approach enabled me to get more done in less time – and with the added value of less stress. I believe that’s something we all want to attain – professionally, and personally.


How To Get More Done in Less Time

Limit distractions:

Today, there seems to be endless distractions. We are distracted by text messages, email notifications, social media updates and phone calls. We jump from one task to the other – and then become overwhelmed by our inability to functionally multitask and disappointed by our seeming incapacity to accomplish the intended task. In order to stay focused on the task at hand, we have to limit our outside disturbances. That means different things for different people, but for me it means silencing my phone and turning off all push notifications regarding email and social media when I’ve set out to accomplish an important task.

Plan ahead:

We all know that all good work requires a good plan. This is why well-thought out strategies are necessary to both create, and build, a profitable business. Planning is similarly how we stay motivated when we set out to achieve a personal goal: like losing weight or running a marathon. If we intend to do good work, we need to set a good intention before our work. We then need to cultivate this intention into a doable plan, by breaking down the objective or goal into small, achievable steps. 

Keep your work space clean:

A central part of eliminating distractions include those in the environment. Your surroundings – even the way they look – could be an asset or a distraction to your level of production. Keep your work space orderly and clean. Personally, I like to have mine look as minimal as possible, with the least amount of clutter. With that being said, I always like to have 1 or 2 personal statements on my desk – such as a family photo or a hand-written letter from a client or friend to keep me motivated and remind me of all those I am working for.

Work in 90 minute intervals — with breaks in between:

The prolific sleep researcher, Nathan Kleitman, discovered that the brain fluctuates between levels of higher and lower alertness throughout the day, in 90 minute intervals. These natural cycles of fluctuating alertness, which also occur in our sleep, refer to our brain’s Ultradian Rhythm. This means that we should spend our 90 minutes of highest alertness focused on our highest priority tasks, and take breaks in-between. During those breaks, we should engage in any positive behavior that promotes well-being. For me, this means meditating, calling a family member or taking a walk.  I save my high-energy workouts for my 90 minute intervals of higher alertness, so I can store up more energy during my lower-level alertness state for the more challenging tasks during my higher alertness intervals.

Attach a greater meaning to the work you are doing:

We all have minutiae to deal with on a daily basis – most of which we don’t enjoy, even if we’re in working in our dream job or living in our dream home. The key is to have a good attitude while approaching these otherwise mundane, or even arduous, activities. Remind yourself of why you’re taking care of some of the little things, in addition to the big things – even if it you don’t enjoy them. Maybe you’re doing some boring, menial tasks at work, but you know finishing them will move you closer towards your greater goal of a promotion. Or maybe you’re cleaning the house – a task you don’t enjoy but you know will make you feel better when it is completed.

Achieve more in less time:

There are many other things you can do to achieve more productivity – at home or at work (or maybe you’re lucky enough, like I am, to work from home, though that can also be quite distracting if you allow it to be!) You can create false deadlines for yourself, or time certain tasks. You can try to cut down on the time in which you complete the same task over time. But before you race against the clock, consider these smaller, easier adjustments first and see if your productivity improves. It worked for me. If it works for you, let me know in the comments below!

Have any other suggestions for how to be more productive?

What about how to get more work done in less time?

Let me know in the comments below or email me {}

As always, I adore hearing from you. ♥