Since the Industrial Revolution, the concept of "being productive" has been used as a measure of both business and personal success. Being productive leads to achieving personal goals, finding purpose, and helping contribute to society through a job.
Yet more than ever, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stay motivated, and employers are often demanding higher levels of productivity from employees.
No need to worry, because in this article, we will go over the science behind productivity and the methods by which you can stay at a healthy level of productivity all day long.
Why trust us?
Well, here at IFTTT, productivity is our steak and potatoes. Our entire company was crafted around the idea that normal people can streamline their daily lives by eliminating mundane and time-consuming tasks.
With IFTTT, you can automate a variety of tasks, from turning on your lights when you arrive home to scheduling reminders for yourself. We host connections between over 800 popular apps and services with a network of millions of user-created Applets, or neatly packaged automations.
Try out IFTTT today and see how you can raise your levels of productivity instantly!
Why am I struggling to be productive?
If you are reading this right now, you are likely looking for some productivity tips, either for personal goals or the demands of a stressful job.
Productivity struggles are all too common, and they can stem from a variety of factors. Anxiety, lack of motivation, poor time management skills, and distractions are some of the most prevalent issues that individuals face when trying to increase their own productivity.
Anxiety can manifest in many ways, such as worrying about deadlines, feeling overwhelmed by tasks, or being apprehensive about one's ability to complete work effectively.
Lack of motivation, on the other hand, might arise due to unclear goals, insufficient rewards, or a general feeling of disinterest in the task at hand.
Poor time management skills can result in an inability to prioritize tasks, causing individuals to become overwhelmed and lose focus.
In this guide, we will go over some of the ways that you can develop productive habits, without becoming burnt out or overworked. With dedication and the right approach, you can overcome these challenges and unlock your full potential.
Methods for becoming more productive
1. Create a reasonable to-do list:
To-do lists, whether on paper or through an app like Todoist, have endured the test of time as the original productivity tool. By checking off individual tasks, you can gain a sense of exponential achievement and can view what you must complete next.
- Break tasks into smaller, manageable steps
- Prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance
- Allocate time for each task, ensuring it's achievable
- Review and revise the list daily
Real-life scenario: A project manager can create a to-do list to organize tasks for an upcoming project, ensuring deadlines are met, and resources are allocated efficiently.
2. Stop multitasking:
Many people place a lot of focus on trying to multitask, as they believe it can help get more done in a short time span. In reality, studies have shown that excessive multitasking can actually make your work less efficient.
Instead, you should try and focus on giving complete effort into each individual task. In Okinawa, Japan, where the residents are known for their world-class work ethic and longevity, intense focus on singular tasks is hailed as the cornerstone of success.
- Focus on one task at a time to improve efficiency
- Avoid frequent task-switching to minimize mental fatigue
- Use time-blocking methods to dedicate specific time slots for each task
Real-life scenario: A writer can set aside dedicated time blocks to work on different sections of an article or book, ensuring each section gets their undivided attention and focus.
3. Limit distractions:
Phones and social media have had a two-fold effect on the productivity of workers. On one hand, easy messaging and collaboration apps have increased levels of productivity. On the other, many people find themselves unable to work when they are tempted by these distractions.
- Create a designated workspace free from noise and visual distractions
- Turn off non-essential notifications during work hours
- Set boundaries with family members or roommates to minimize interruptions
Real-life scenario: A remote worker can establish a quiet home office space, communicate their work schedule to family members, and use noise-canceling headphones to limit distractions and maintain focus.
4. Celebrate small wins:
There is no need to discard all of your small successes throughout the day. Instead, try acknowledging the feeling of victory when you complete a task, which can motivate you towards working on the next task.
- Acknowledge and reward yourself for completing tasks, even if they're small
- Reflect on daily accomplishments and progress toward larger goals
- Productive people tend to share successes with friends, family, or colleagues for added encouragement
Real-life scenario: After completing a challenging task at work, an employee can reward themselves with a short break, share their accomplishment with a coworker, and reflect on how this task contributes to their long-term goals.
5. Utilize productivity helpers:
Remember how we mentioned how technology can help elevate productivity? With apps purpose-built to keep you on track and working well, you can utilize productivity helpers to make your next project a breeze.
- Employ task management tools like Trello or Asana to organize and prioritize tasks
- Use time-tracking apps like RescueTime or Toggl to monitor time spent and identify areas for improvement
- Implement focus-enhancing tools like Brain.fm or Noisli to create a productive atmosphere
Real-life scenario: A freelancer can use a combination of productivity helpers to manage their workload, track how many hours were spent on tasks, and maintain focus while working from home.
By implementing these methods in conjunction with each other, individuals can create a more productive and efficient work environment, leading to improved performance and a better work-life balance.
Apps to help stay productive
Evernote is a versatile note-taking and organization app designed to help users keep track of ideas, documents, and tasks in one central location. It allows users to create digital notebooks for various purposes, such as meeting notes, project plans, or personal journals.
Evernote supports various content formats, including text, images, audio, and web clippings.
Basic: Free Premium: $7.99/month Business: $14.99/user/month
Todoist is a popular task management app that helps users stay organized and manage their to-do lists effectively.
Users can create tasks, set priorities, and establish deadlines within the app. Its intuitive interface, along with features like natural language input and task filters, make it easy to plan and manage tasks. Todoist also offers collaboration tools, enabling teams to assign tasks, share files, and communicate within the app.
Free: Limited features Premium: $3/month (billed annually) Business: $5/user/month (billed annually)
Trello is a visual project management and collaboration tool that uses boards, lists, and cards to organize tasks and projects. It operates on the Kanban methodology, allowing users to move cards across lists as tasks progress through different stages.
Trello is highly customizable, providing options to add labels, due dates, checklists, and attachments to cards. The app offers real-time collaboration, making it an ideal choice for teams working together on projects.
Free: Limited features Business Class: $10/user/month (billed annually) Enterprise: Custom pricing (contact for a quote)
Slack is a communication and collaboration platform designed to streamline team communication and improve productivity. It offers real-time messaging, file sharing, and integration with numerous other productivity apps, such as Google Drive, Asana, and Trello.
Slack organizes conversations into channels, which can be created for specific teams, projects, or topics. Here at IFTTT, we use Slack to share milestones and keep each team member accountable for achieving their work goals.
Free: Limited features Standard: $6.67/user/month (billed annually) or $8/user/month (billed monthly) Plus: $12.50/user/month (billed annually) or $15/user/month (billed monthly) Enterprise Grid: Custom pricing (contact for a quote)
Using IFTTT for improving productivity
With IFTTT, it is easy to cut out all the negative factors in your life that could be bringing down your productivity. Instead of being bound to one app, using IFTTT can allow you to custom-tailor connections between hundreds of apps and sites.
Read on to see how IFTTT can change your work life.
What is IFTTT?
IFTTT (If This Then That) is a powerful automation tool that can significantly improve productivity by streamlining repetitive tasks and simplifying workflows.
Our platform allows users to create custom "applets" or automated actions that are triggered by specific events across various apps and services. By connecting multiple applications, IFTTT enables users to automate tasks such as syncing files between cloud storage platforms, receiving notifications for important emails, or automatically posting social media updates.
Top Productivity Applets
Get sent a text at certain hours of the day asking whether or not your current work status is meaningful, healthy, and important.
Check back after a long week at work to see all your Trello tasks organized neatly into a Google Drive folder.
Instead of wasting time loading up the Todosit app, simply ask Siri create a reminder within the app for you.
This Applet uses RescueTime to automatically send your computer into focus mode if it detects over an hour spent on Facebook on a given day.
Join IFTTT today to get access to these Applets and millions more!