Ways to become more productive
1. Use the Pomodoro Technique to focus
The idea is simple. Set a timer for 25 minutes and do a focused work "sprint." Take a five minute break away from your work, then repeat. After every four work sprints, take a longer break (get lunch or go for a jog or something).
2. Schedule everything in the calendar
"If it's not on the calendar, it's not real." I've heard that more than once. Put every activity you plan to do on a calendar, and keep your appointments.
3. Make regular exercise mandatory
I've had co-workers who swore by exercising every morning before work. While I haven't cemented this habit into my own routine yet, I do seem more productive on days I exercise before working.
4. Take sleep seriously
The fact is, you can't be productive if you're falling asleep. Sleep is time for your brain to rest, put everything in order, and take out the garbage.
5. Finish the most important task of the day by 11am
I think I heard this from Tim Ferriss. It would be refreshing to finish most of your work by lunchtime, wouldn't it?
6. Eat healthy
Eating unhealthy foods fogs your brain and makes you tired. Keep your mind sharp with lots of vegetables.
7. Don't procrastinate
Procrastination doesn't always feel like procrastination. A lot of times, you procrastinate by doing important things... so you can avoid doing the MOST important thing. Try to get the most unpleasant important thing out of the way early in the day.
This is perhaps my biggest struggle. Focus on one thing at a time. Don't try to multitask or switch between multiple things while you're working.
9. Divide & Conquer
Break up big tasks into many small tasks. Having one huge task gets overwhelming and makes it easier to procrastinate. Doing many small tasks is much easier and you don't have any excuse to procrastinate.
10. Reward yourself
I allow myself to buy an inexpensive baseball card every time I churn out a case at work. Little rewards like this help provide some motivation to do otherwise tedious tasks.