We can all admit that there have been days when productivity hasn’t been as high as we’d have liked. Working at an optimum level of productivity can be hard to maintain, and very often it can seem that when we have the biggest task list, we become less productive. So our Virtalent team have created some handy tips to avoid procrastination and find a way to really get those tasks completed and boost your productivity.

1. You are not a superhero

The first rule to acknowledge when trying to increase you productivity is that you are not a superhero and you cannot get all your tasks completed in one go. Yes, we are allowed to have days where we are super-productive and days when we don’t achieve as much. Nobody can work at full capacity all of the time, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you haven’t achieved what you wanted . We are not robots so don’t become frustrated when you don’t get as much done as you would have liked.

2. Plan ahead

Even in 2014 where we live in times of advanced speed and technology, we mustn’t forget the age old tradition of to do lists.  Writing everything down is key. It doesn’t all have to be written down by hand on note paper or sticky notes (although that is a good start!) There are many online websites that can keep track of your to do list for you. Trello is a great example of an online application for managing  your to do list.  Get into the habit of writing information down somewhere to avoid the feeling that you’ve forgotten to do something! Don’t forget that to do lists are lists of tasks that you need to complete, not tasks that you would like to do or to start. Prioritising jobs is key to increased productivity!

3. Set yourself objectives

Referring back to point 1, we cannot do everything all of the time and it’s important to be aware of this. It is crucial to set reasonable and doable objectives every day if you are to maximise your productivity. Live by the must, should, could rule. Write down the tasks that you must complete today. These are the tasks that you must complete before you go home, leave the office and so on. Next, write down a list of the tasks that you should complete, after you have completed all the tasks on your should list. Then, write down the task that you could complete today, although you know you might not be able to. It is essential that you complete all the tasks on your must list, then anything else achieved from you should and could list is a bonus! By completing the doable tasks first, you can really obtain a sense of achievement by completing tasks from your other two lists and an increase in your productivity.

4. Keep track of your tasks

By keeping track of your work and how much you spend on tasks, you can establish a more efficient and effective way of working. Sometimes we spend too much time on tasks that we know really take no  time at all. By tracking how many hours that you work, you can establish how much time you really should be spending on tasks and cut back on your working hours. When you monitor the time spent on tasks, you will soon see improvement in your work which is a great way to boost productivity! You’ll soon find you have more time to complete other tasks. Time tracking software like Toggl is a great way to keep track of your work. Don’t forget that important to-do list!

5. Eat that frog!

“Eating a frog” is a concept established by Brian Tracey who is an expert on productivity. He created the notion that if we complete the tasks that we loath doing first, you will be motivated to carry out the rest of your tasks throughout the rest of the day, and thus raise your productivity levels! Don’t get into the habit of putting off those tasks that you hate. You’ll feel a greater sense of achievement if you know all those niggling tasks are out of the way first!

By applying these techniques, you will find that your motivation levels as well as your productivity levels will be boosted. Check out those applications that can you manage your time, like Trello and Toggl, and see your productivity increase!

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