There is a very clear difference between being busy and being productive. The fact that you are busy doesn’t mean you are being productive. It is possible to be busy and not be productive. Being productive has to do more with your energy management and less of the time management.

Here are 7 things you need to do to become more productive

1. Avoid stretching your working hours rather increase your productivity level

Majority of working-class people are guilty of this. Instead of increasing our productivity, we increase our work hours because of the misconception we have about these two factors. Take for example a man that works overtime and ends up going to bed very late- such a person is likely to put up a poor performance the following day compared to the one who used his working hours productively and slept on time.

It’s important for us not to overwork ourselves and get enough sleep to maintain a high level of productivity. Next time you’re wondering why you are not working productively, the reason may be as simple as you being one of the 70% of people who do not get enough sleep.

In 1926, Henry Ford, American industrialist and founder of Ford Motor Company, conducted experiments with interesting results: when you decrease your daily working hours from 10 to 8 and shorten the workweek from 6 days to 5, your productivity increases.

2. Do not say ‘yes’ too often

Often times we take on too much work responsibility than we should just because we do not want to hurt anyone’s feeling. Nobody wants to be the bad guy. You should learn to say ‘no’ sometimes.

According to the Pareto Principle, 20% of the effort produces 80% of the results; however, 20% of the results consumes 80% of the effort. Instead of working harder, we should focus primarily on those efforts that produce 80% of the results and forgo the rest. We will have more time to focus on the most important tasks. We should stop saying “yes” to tasks that bring low or almost no result.

“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say “no” to almost everything.” — Warren Buffet.

3. Stop doing repetitive tasks and start automating it.

You don’t have to be a coder to be able to automate your repetitive tasks. It’s nice to have the skills or the resources, but it’s not a requirement. If you cannot build it, buy it.

People often forget that time is money. People usually do things manually because it’s easy and requires almost no research. It is manageable to moderate 30 images on Instagram for your user-generated campaign. But if you have to manage 30 000 photos and videos from 5 different platforms, you need a good digital asset management software.

4. Allow people to help you. Stop doing things alone

It is important for us to know that we cannot do everything ourselves, we cannot reach our desired height or level if we choose to work alone. It is better for you to let someone who can do a better job taking over some of your tasks. It will give you more time to focus on your most important tasks. Instead of wasting your time trying to figure something out yourself, let the experts help you.

5. Always back up your decision with data. Stop guessing

As a professional in what you do, always try to back up your decision with data. Make use of research studies, internet etc to get the required information in different areas.

6. Stop being a perfectionist

Here are some disadvantages of being a perfectionist

• They spend more time than required for a task.
• They procrastinate and wait for the perfect moment. In business, if it is the perfect moment, you are too late.
• They miss the big picture while being too focused on small things.
• Marketers often wait for the perfect moment. In doing so, they end up missing it.

7. Take a break

Yes, it is good to work but it is also important to walk away from our work once in a while and have some alone time. Sometimes we get the solution to problems when we are not searching for it.

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