Everyone loves high productivity, but is it easier to be said than done? As a person who procrastinates too often, high productivity seems to be out of the question for me. I used to not be able to hand in my best work for school assignments periodically because of that very bad habit of mine – something that I usually referred to as ‘a peccadillo’.

As I grow up and becoming increasingly bothered by my constant unproductivity, I knew I need to do something to rectify my problem.

I ‘googled’ my problem and did some rather intensive research on the remedy. I experiment with a few of the suggestions and it turns out to be beneficial. Hence, I would like to share with everyone here on the 5 ways to speed up your productivity.

1. AVOID MULTITASKING & START PRIORITISING 

(Image: philmaffetone)


Everyone tends to make such a mistake. We all thought that engaging in multi-tasking will speed up our work. But, to disappoint you, no it does not.

Unless you are that 2% of the population who are capable of multi-tasking, but the chances are low, and we tend to overestimate our ability to do so. Just like you are unable to focus on the road while driving and talking on your phone at the same time, multitasking at work or studying has the same detrimental effect. Our brain needs time to refocus and studies have shown that multitasking reduces our productivity by 40%.


Instead of reading e-mails, scrolling through your social media accounts, reading random fanfics, working on your proposals, messaging your friends all within the span of 5 minutes, why not focus on one thing first, complete it, before moving onto the next one?

Prioritising is important. Prioritising what you have to do first can help you stay on track because you will be more organised this way. It will help to keep your mind clear from any distractions and your focus level will go up.
2. IMPOSE DEADLINE ON YOURSELF

(Image: Happyologist)

Since we are on ‘prioritising’, it would not be complete if we do not set a deadline for ourselves. We can be spending hours and days and probably weeks on the task that is on top of our priority list but that is going to defeat the purpose.

Imposing deadline on yourself will create the sense of urgency, expect for those of you are impervous to deadlines. I will always set a deadline for myself on when I have to get certain things done – even for my shopping and fitness schedule.


Spend a little time at the start of the week to schedule your work (if you have more than a week to complete them) evenly, so that you wouldn’t have to panic when the deadline is reaching. If your deadline is on Friday, try and complete it by Wednesday, so that you will have 2 days to fine tune them and make sure you produce your best possible work. It’s not going to be easy, but force yourself – that’s the best advice I can give because I am also still in the process of doing this right.


3. TAKE BREAK WHEN REQUIRED


Not as and when you like, but when required.

American self-help author Melody Beattie once wrote in “Journey to the Heart”,

“Rest when you are tired. Take a break when life stales. Take time to recharge your battery. Energy isn’t something you have – it’s something you are. To give and give and give, to put out without taking in, depletes your battery. It drains you, runs you down.”

Whenever I become wearied, I will put all my work aside and put my mind into rest mode. I am the kind of person who cannot focus once the fatigue level reaches a certain level and my brain will automatically shut down.


Instead of pushing yourself through the ordeal (and you can’t focus anyway), why not take a break, have a cup of coffee, have a KitKat or go for a walk. It’s good to put occasional 15-30 minutes breaks into your schedule so that you know the duration of the break you should be having and prevent yourself from turning a well-deserved break into a period of slacking.

 

4. SKIP THE QUEUE WITH APPS

 (Image: DBS Bank)


Thanks to the developments in technology, it is not surprising that there are mobile apps out there which can aid us in our cause for better productivity at the tip of our fingers. There is a “To-do List” app to keep track on your task, an “Accompany” app to keep track on your daily schedule and much more.


In Singapore, we all love food. But because of that, almost every hawker stalls, restaurants are full of crowds and it is inevitable that we have to spend much of our lunchtime queuing up for our favourite food (especially if your favourite food turns out to be everyone else’s favourite food).

I could be working on my articles or my videos instead of spending meaningless time stalking people scrolling through my social accounts while queuing.


One day, I was introduced to this app. It changes how I work, completely.

Okay, actually it’s a few apps.

Simply search for “DBS FasTrack” in your Apple or Google app store and you will see a list of restaurant apps appearing right on your screen.




Something like that.

After which, download the app that you wish to use.

Launch the app, order from a menu and pay for your food/drink on-the-go. Cashless payment is built into the apps so you can pay using your DBS/POSB credit or debit card, or with DBS PayLah! (a separate innovative mobile wallet app you’ve got to download which allows customers to transfer money instantly and conveniently to anyone, oven non-DBS customers!) [iOS] [Android].


There’s no doubt why DBS Bank is crowned the “World’s Best Digital Bank” in 2016 by Euromoney. They have been putting in efforts, such as embarking on a comprehensive and holistic mission, to change the culture and mindset of staff, re-architecting its technology infrastructure, and leveraging Big Data, biometrics and artificial intelligence to reimagine banking.


I don’t even need to bother about wasting time to queue. Just order it using the app and take note of the waiting time, go down to pick up your food/drinks once it is ready (the app will send you a notification). Just take and go, what can be more time-saving in comparison? It really helped me utilise my time to the maximum because instead of queuing, I could be doing my work to speed up my productivity.

Restaurants like Old Tea Hut, Five Star Restaurant, Old Kim Guan and Koufu (100AM and Square 2 branches) already have apps powered by DBS FasTrack available for download!

You can check out more information right here!

5. KEEP YOUR WORKING AREA CLEAN

(Image: Empiretoday)
 
My workplace is never that tidy. It is always in a constant mess, hence it explains why if I were to rush out my articles or any work, I will leave the comfort of my work desk and probably find myself sitting in the dining room to get them done.
 
The dining table is much cleaner as compared to my work desk – which is filled with magazines, stationaries, and drafts lying all around. It is not surprising how a cleaner workplace does aid in increasing your productivity level. 
 
According to a study done by Jeffery Campbell, PhD chair of the facilities management program at Brigham Young University, on the relationship between cleanliness and learning in higher education, 88% of the 1, 481 respondents reflected that ‘productivity, concentration and learning is hampered by dingy places.’ The reason being? When there are too many things on your work desk, you will tend to get easily distracted from what you are supposed to do.
 
 
Take me for an example. I have a stack of Men’s Health magazines on my desk, right beside my working area. Over the period of an hour when I was trying to research for this article, I’ve realised I’ve probably spent at least a quarter of the time flipping through the magazines. And after which, I got my brain really drained to even able to focus on my research. You see, when you are not focusing on something, that something suddenly becomes more interesting. 
 
Hence, remove everything that could be a distraction to you on your desk and keep it clean and tidy. If not, move to another tidier place where nothing else will distract you. Trust me, your productivity will increase.

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