We all seem to want to work more efficiently and increase our productivity. But some of us feel like we are working all hours and still not getting things done. And that’s the issue. Productivity is a measure of how much work can be completed in a given period. Just because you have sat at a desk for 8 hours straight doesn’t, therefore, mean a productive day has been had.

We all know when we’ve had a productive day as things seem to go much more smoothly and we feel more accomplished. Here are some productivity tips to get the most out of your day.

1) Have a Routine

The most productive people will tell you that they have some sort of a routine. Having a routine allows you to know what to expect from each day. For example, setting a good morning routine will involve you getting up at the same time each day and following some sort of pattern. You may get up and go straight out for a run or you may have a cup of tea, write an article and then jump on the cross trainer for 30 minutes. Having a pre-set routine stops you from having to decide when you wake up how you will spend your morning. And don’t forget to create a relaxing evening routine before bed to help you sleep well.

2) Try a Time Management Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management technique that can be useful if you having trouble getting tasks done. Tasks are split into 25-minute intervals that are then separated by a 5-minute break. Each 25-minute task is called a Pomodoro. When you have completed 4 Pomodoro’s you can then take a longer break of between 15 and 30 minutes. The benefit of this technique is that you work on a single task for 25 full minutes without distractions. During the breaks, you take time completely away from work. You can use an app on your computer or phone or just use a timer.

3) Take a break

Having some time away from work is essential, including taking a lunch break, to avoid burnout. We can get so wrapped up in being more productive that we equate more hours worked with more productivity. But in reality, we know that it doesn’t work like that at all. Sometimes we can get more done if we give ourselves less time but are more focused with fewer directions.

4) Remove Distractions

One of the biggest distractions of today’s age is our phones. We are carrying around the equivalent of a pocket computer with us at all times. And it is very demanding if we let it be. Think about how many times you check your phone each day. We have our phones next to us when we work, when we eat and when we sleep. We interrupt ourselves in the middle of tasks to scroll Instagram and then get sent down a rabbit hole of ‘watch these cats do the cutest things while being cute’. Or we refresh our emails tons of times a day to see if we’ve received that reply we’re waiting on. Try and work with your phone in another room. Or check your emails at certain times only.

5) Track Your Time

We may be flabbergasted to know how much time we spend on mindless things each day. That’s why it’s important that we track our time. It can be as simple as noting down when you do things with pen and paper. But if we don’t track where our time is going then it just may trickle through our fingers and we won’t be any wiser. For example, if you knew that you were spending several hours on social media each day it may just be the wake-up call you need to spend your time in a more productive way.

Creating new habits can be difficult. But if you are serious about getting more done in your work time and enjoying life more then you will need to think about new ways of doing things. Some of these things that we have allowed to take over our lives are not adding anything to it so we need to be ruthless in taking back our power over how we spend our time. It will get easier as these things become the norm for you.