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5 Tips to Boost Your Productivity

Updated on August 12, 2014

Tip 1: Peak Hours

In a LinkedIn survey, people responded with their most productive time of the day. With over 180 responses, the survey showed the result as follows:

  • Early morning before 9:00 : 31%
  • Morning between 9:00 ~ 11:00 : 36%
  • Afternoon between 12:00 ~ 2:00 : 6%
  • Later day between 3:00 ~ 6:00 : 16%
  • Evening between 7:30 ~ 10:00 : 9%

According to the result, 67% of the participants were most productive during the morning, and only 33% of the people were most productive after the afternoon.

Yes, everyone is different with their productivity schedule. However, many people aren't aware of their peak hours. For example, if a person has been sleeping until 9:00 AM consistently for most of his life, how would he know that his productivity peak hours is not before 9:00 AM? Try to find your own peak hour, and take advantage of it. That's when you should be getting the most amount of work done, and when you should finish the most gruesome and tedious work.

After all, countless successful individuals are early-risers who often wake up extremely early in order to accomplish something that cannot be done during their normal 9 to 5 schedule. For example, Xerox CEO, Ursula Burns wakes up at 5:15 AM in order to get an hour of personal training done. Also Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat and Chrysler, wakes up at 3:30 in the morning to deal with the European side of business as well as his "60 Minutes" of free time.


Tip 2: Live on Schedule

Do you have a daily routine as soon as you wake up? Some people like to exercise, read the news, check the market, or even walk their dogs. Or maybe make a nice breakfast for the family. A non-spontaneous lifestyle is a way of organized living. Knowing what to do tomorrow the day before gives a resolution and goal that will inspire you to be productive. Instead of being involved in whatever comes within your way, planning the schedule before anything happens will allow you to maintain strict boundaries. The mentality of "I have to get this done tomorrow by this time," or "This time is my rest time, but after, I need to start working on finishing this by this time" are two examples of a good way of planning out the future. Set times for everything, whether it's work and play, and stop the procrastination. Living on schedule is a definite necessity to productivity.

Here are morning routines that couple of successful individuals go through every day:

  • Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square, used to wake up at 5:30 AM to meditate and go on a 6-miles jog. Now, he has a different schedule.
  • David Cush, CEO of Virgin America, wakes up at 4:15 AM to send emails, call business associates on the East Coast before listening to Dallas sports radio, reading the paper and hitting the bike at the gym.
  • Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, wakes up at 4:30 AM to send emails to his company and to go to the gym.


Tip 3: The Pomodoro Technique

This technique, developed by Francesco Cirillo, is one of the most effective method of time management. This method emphasizes the importance of periodical productivity, at 25 minutes per period.

  1. Set aside all distractions and take out your highest-priority tasks.
  2. Start the timer for 25 minutes and start working (one period is a "pomodoro", 25 minutes)
  3. When the timer signals, rest for 5 minutes and start another period.
  4. Repeat that process for two more times, for total of four "pomodoro" periods. After this cycle, take a longer break of 15-20 minutes. Continue to add on pomodoros until you have completed the assignment.

This process provides the user with maximum focus, creative freshness, and less mental fatigue. Certainly a must-try for people seeking maximum productivity.

Fun Fact: the Pomodoro Techinque was named for Cirillo's personal kitchen timer shaped like a tomato.

If you want to learn more about the Pomodoro Technique, visit their main page through google search.

Tip 4: Your Nemesis, Procrastination

Procrastination is definitely not your friend. Never heed to its ways. This nemesis of productivity will tempt you to be lazy and destroy your productivity schedule. The cram sessions will only leave you with fatigue and headaches, because you're trying to cram so much information within one sitting. Consistent and periodical working sessions will always leave you with fresh mentality and maximum memorization. For example, a beginner who practiced playing piano for total of seven hours per week (an hour a day) will be more practiced than a beginner who practiced playing piano seven hours only on the last day of the week. Why is that the case? The answer lies in the mental condition of the piano player during the practice sessions. I assume everyone had cram-studied the day before an assessment before. When you cram-study, at around two hour mark, don't you feel fatigued and tedious? The time after that two hour mark, you will continue to amass more and more stress and fatigue, deteriorating your learning speed and capacity. Therefore, cram sessions are very inefficient versus a periodical study habit. When you study periodically, each day you will return with a clear, fresh, and enthusiastic mind, allowing you to learn more, better, and faster. Consistent work schedule is always rewarding.

Tip 5: No More Distractions!

Are you consumed by the social media, spending countless hours surfing the newsfeed of Facebook, videos/pictures of Instagram, 7-second videos of Vine, tweets of Twitter, etc etc?

With all different kinds of social media available to people nowadays, more time is wasted. According to a new research released by Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange (OTX), Americans aged 18-64 spend an average of 3.2 hours per day browsing the social media. That is a HUGE chunk of time that can be used for far more productive activities. Unless you are a marketing/social media expert who is promoting a business/businesses, you shouldn't be spending more than 15 minutes on social media per day. With all the technological advancements, distractions are increasing exponentially. The convenience of smart phones in their ability to access all media in a touch of a screen, is the ultimate cause of distraction.

Try to minimize the your access to these social media and increase the amount of time spent on being productive.

As a matter of fact, there are handful of apps that can help you prevent distractions. For example, an app called Get Concentrating help you focus through a temporary blockage to the access of social media sites.


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