Efficiency Boosting Techniques
Since we have perceived our work from home system as an innovation, excitement, and difference within the first weeks of experiencing it, it is normal to feel a decrease in our productivity during this process. While we are currently experiencing a period full of negative feelings all around the world, we are also facing another struggle at home for our business lives due to the decrease in, even the exhaustion of the external motivation sources. As such, it comes to internal motivation. We would like to share 5 effective productivity techniques with you by reminding the importance of the perspective as one of the key elements of internal motivation.
1. Pomodoro Technique
This method, developed by Francesco Cirillo, allows you to work more efficiently by using the time in blocks. Pomodoro means tomato in Italian; you will find out why this technique got its name in the following part.
In this technique, you work in 25 minutes of "Pomodoro" time blocks and take 5-minute breaks after the end of each Pomodoro. Then after completing 4 Pomodoros, you will have a longer break. Now sort things you must do. You might have tasks that you can complete in one Pomodoro session and those which would take several.
Set your 25 minutes counter and try to minimize the external factors that might disturb you during your Pomodoros. Francesco Cirillo used a tomato-shaped kitchen counter when he applied this technique for the first time. That is how it got its name.
You can divide each of your Pomodoros into three steps as preparation, work process, and control. Do not schedule a more difficult program than you can actually do, this technique only allows you to be more productive while working in your normal course, it does not mean you can get more workload in less time.
The most important issue that you should pay attention to in this technique is that being aware of working with time, not against it. One of its biggest achievements is that by eliminating the feeling of being exhausted it makes your work-life balance clearer and purifies you from external factors that disturb your concentration and may demotivate you.
2. Getting Things Done (GTD) Technique
The most important point in this technique, that was developed by David Allen, begins by writing down everything that you think must be done to do onto a paper. Write everything down on the paper until the smallest task to be done and then categorize them into these groups:
- Things to do in the present time
- Current projects
- Areas of responsibility
- 1-2-year goals
- 3-5-year goals
- Life-long goals
As you see all goals ahead, you will also see the full picture. Realizing that some of the tasks would not take that much time of yours would motivate you and enable you to reach your goals with even more firm steps. The most important feature of this technique is that it serves you to control your life.
3. Zen to Done (ZTD)
It may resemble a bit to the GTD technique but its most significant difference is that it offers you a more efficient working order by changing your habits and way of doing things instead of changing the system. Zen To Done technique focuses on your daily work system in a way that you can complete 3 important tasks per day and a few large projects per week.
In this technique, instead of doing everything at the same time, you can simplify your work order by focusing on the important ones. All you must do is changing your habits in 10 steps:
- Be sure to write down your ideas, tasks, and notes in a notebook.
- Make quick decisions about new emails in your inbox; do not postpone them.
- Aim to complete at least 3 tasks that you think are important per day.
- When working on a task, do not start another.
- Have a simple to-do list, mark as you complete.
- Make room for everything.
- Evaluate your goals and accomplishments weekly.
- Reorganize your goals and tasks considering their necessity.
- Set a routine and stick to this routine.
- Prioritize the task that keeps you happy.
This is a system that you can start easily and adapt quickly. It can be challenging to use in all work types as it is focused on completing the task rather than time management.
4. Don’t Break the Chain
If creativity is at the core of your work, this method that is created with Jerry Seinfeld's inspiration may suit you. It is quite simple to implement this system, which will contribute to your work in a more systematic and disciplined way.
Jerry Seinfeld got a big annual calendar and marked the days that he wrote new articles with a huge red cross. Crosses formed chains touching each other, thus he challenged himself on how long he could last without breaking the chain. You can use this system on a monthly basis. After achieving the goal that you wrote to a workday, you can mark it with a big cross and start the next day with a new goal.
You can use this method not only for your business life but also for many different goals varying from home exercises for staying in shape to 8 glasses of water you need to drink per day. Of course, there would be situations such as vacation and illness which would break your achieved sustainable chain, but you can draw crosses in different colors for them.
5. Pareto Technique
You can also use the Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, to work more efficiently or feel happier. According to the Pareto principle, 80% of the results you get are coming from 20% of your effort. In line with this assumption, if you can find out what that 20% effort of yours which would bring you to success or achieving your goals covers, you can feel much more efficient and happier by applying this to your business life and even your personal development.