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There are some excellent points made here for productivity. Here is a list of how I tackle productivity. Some points are already covered, some aren’t:

Before taking action:

  • Set your long term goal – monthly, yearly, life
  • Set your short term goal – daily, weekly
  • Dedicating a workspace – I have an office at home. When I’m working I’m in there and I close the door. If I’m not working I’m not in there
  • Planning your time – In the evening I tend to sit down and plan the following day. I look at my long term goals, and my short term goals and look at what actions will bring me closer to achieving those goals
  • Drink a litre of water – I can’t think when I’m dehydrated.
  • Anticipate and Eliminate Possible Distractions – I know that there are things that when I’m working I will usually get distracted by. (eg Facebook, people, dogs etc). I eliminate these by removing the issue before I start (Website blockers, letting people know that I’m working, turning off the phone, putting the dogs outside, putting on headphones)
  • Getting Yourself in the Right Headspace – I have a short routine that I do before I start work. Mine goes something like food, 10 minute meditation, brew tea/coffee, walk into office and review my action list I wrote last night. Pick one and start.

Whilst you’re taking action:

  • Set a time limit – I always set a time in which I will work and take breaks. I stick to these. As people mentioend you can do 90minutes on and 30 minutes off. I find after 2 x 90 minute work periods, I go down to 45 minute on, 15 minute off. After 2pm I can’t think straight so I usually have a long break, or do simple things like reading.
  • Break your short-term objective into chunks. – Get specific, and even set time limits for each. When I break down tasks I always set a limit to what I want to do. Usually estimate a limit them times it by 1.3. Eg if I think it will take an hour I will times it by 1.3 so I actually put aside 1hr 20 minutes. I usually overestimate myself, so that why I times by 1.3, however by setting a time limit it also means I stick to the task at hand and don’t get bogged down on minor details that eat up time. It helps me keep focussed on the task at hand.
  • Choose a Chunk – pretty self explainetory. Like some others mentioned, usually pick the hardest or the highest payoff activity first. Play with what works for you.
  • Take breaks. Ever heard of the axement analogy. Taking breaks helps in the long run.
  • Increasing focus – find things that help you focus. I find listening to certain types of music helps, others it’s different. Find your focus.

After you’ve finished taking action:

  • Don’t think about work
  • Fulfil your non-work related desires – sitting on Facebook isn’t fullfilling and you can other do things rather than watch TV that can be more enjoyable. If you work at home go out and connect with family and friends. If you are stuck inside the wholw day, get outside – I like going for walks in my local national park, or going to martial arts practice.
  • Eliminate distracting substances – shitty food, alcohol, smoking, ands drugs can impact general health and wellbeing which in turn affects productivity
  • Get away from your dedicated workspace – for me it’s closing the door to the office if I’m not working. If I’m still in work mode, I get out of the house entirely.
  • Exercise – general health and wellbeing affects productivity also exercise gives you a lot more energy long term.
  • Sleep – I cannot stress how important this is.

99% of my clients who are struggling with productivity are missing at least one of these. That should give you a good start. Let me know if you have any specific questions around each.