An average person works about 45 hours every week. Did you know that out of these, 20 of them are hours of total unproductiveness? Can you imagine that? Almost half of the time, a person is engaged in being distracted by funny pictures on social media, checking “urgent” email, clicks on ads, calls, watching random videos and other things, and because of that he does almost twice less than he could. So, how to be highly productive and use every minute for good, without wasting an hour? These 7 ways will help you improve productivity and achieve your goals efficiently.

Limit your to-do list

A to-do list for the day is where time management essentially begins. This is the simplest and oldest planning method and is still popular all over the world. To-do lists can be very helpful, and you have probably already made to-do lists so you don’t forget anything important. But do you always have enough time to complete all the tasks on the list? To-do lists can be stressful and overwhelming and keeping you from being highly productive. Your to-do list might be actually killing your productivity if you don’t know how to make it correctly. Your list should be realistic, with not too many things. Identify the most important things to do and put them at the top of your list. Try to complete them first. If something suddenly goes wrong, you will at least have time to do the most important things.

Create a habit of prepping the previous night

It is very important. Try to finish your work at the same time. Then save all files, disassemble the desktop. Take your time to make a plan of action for tomorrow. Have a nightly ritual. Try to spend at least 10 minutes each night to plan for tomorrow. Use a calendar or planner and set aside enough time for each task. Thanks to this, you can start performing tasks right in the morning, without wasting time on thinking and prioritizing, and so the list of outstanding tasks will decrease faster.

Learn how to say “no”

It is simply impossible to always say “yes”. The hardest part is to say no. This takes time. Don’t worry about not completing everything. Appreciate your time, it will only make you highly productive. Yes, at first you will feel a little uncomfortable, but then it will become much easier. The more often you say no, the more experience you get and the easier it becomes to refuse in the future. Instead of working hard, focus on the actions that are more effective so you will have more time to concentrate on important tasks.

Eliminate distractions

Devices can be useful, but they are incredibly distracting. It is important to eliminate distractions, such as private messages, social media notifications and constantly checking your email inbox. Focus on the task at hand, turn off your phone to avoid distractions. If you constantly check your email account, you are wasting your time. But if you have a system by which you can check and respond to emails at a certain time, this will only have a positive effect on productivity. Check your email at the set time every day, delete unnecessary letters right away, or better create a filter. Then you will only receive what needs attention and respond quickly, saving you a lot of time. And this, in return, will only help to maintain effective work.

Check out this video: How much time do you waste every day?

Take breaks

Many people know that the best results in work and studying are achieved if you practice with certain short breaks. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University studied this phenomenon in more detail and gave some tips for a more productive day. The results of their work are published in the journal “Current Biology”. Study leader David Little believes that continuing mental activity during a break is completely ineffective as a rest. The most effective relaxation method was a walk in the fresh air and a short conversation with colleagues on abstract topics. In order to become highly productive, breaks should be taken frequently, but no longer than 10-15 minutes, not to lose the necessary concentration and working spirit.

Be in control of your mood

Always start your day calmly. Do a warm up, stretch, focus on today’s goals and objectives. Prioritize them. During breakfast, try to resist the temptation to read the news feed – it will bring you extra stress and interfere with digestion. Don’t start working in bed! Many people, a few seconds after waking up, are already checking their work email and start to panic over the volume of work tasks.

You are now ready to wake up tomorrow with a bright head, fresh thoughts and a clear daily routine! It is not necessary to immediately try to follow all 7 ways, try one or two first and see how it affects your performance. The main thing is to start.