We all want to become more productive. We want to get more done in less time with as little effort as possible. There are many ways to improve your productivity, but all of them revolve around systems. The more you automate, the more you get done without investing heaps of time and energy. On this basis, here is a guide on how to boost your productivity with minimal effort.
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Productivity is a genuine superpower.
We all know the feeling.
We manage to complete our to-dos in less time than anticipated, and we have time to spare. That means we can pursue some passion projects or simply utilize our extra-time to wind down and relax.
By setting productive systems in place, you can replicate that feeling on most days. Better still, you can get more done with less effort.
In other words, a powerful routine will help you complete your tasks more effortlessly – leading to productivity that doesn’t drain your energy levels.
6 ways to boost your productivity with minimal effort
The following are some of the most effective techniques to build productivity-furthering systems. With the right combination of planning, self-discipline, and decision-making, these tactics will help you get more out of your days.
Minimalize your decisions
First and foremost, to become more productive, you need to reduce the number of decisions you make every day.
Take out a notebook and write down every decision you make on an ordinary workday.
I decide what to wear, what to have for breakfast, which chair to sit on, which task to start my day with, and when I should clear my email inbox.
Once identified, ask yourself which of these you can automate. Most of our decisions concern random everyday stuff that isn’t essential. The secret resides in removing these micro-decisions from your daily routine.
You could, for example, decide in advance what you’ll wear by preparing your clothes the night before. The same applies to your breakfast and workstation or home office setup.
By themselves, these micro-choices don’t appear stressful. However, once you combine them, they hamper your productivity by taking little chunks of time and energy away throughout the day.
Have distractions play by your rules
Distractions are a natural part of life, and you’ll never banish them from your life.
That’s why they need to play by your rules. In other words, you need to become the master of all of the things that lead to procrastination.
In this regard, allocating a specific time pocket to a distraction can work wonders for your productivity. Find out which type of distraction hurts your focus the most and set a particular time for that distraction. You could, for example, allow yourself to watch Youtube videos from 9 to 10 pm once you’ve finished work. The main challenge resides in sticking to your self-defined time cap.
Once you control – instead of trying to eliminate distractions – you’ll become ten times more productive without any additional effort.
Visualize the connection between daily discipline and long-term success
Another powerful way to boost your productivity is to remind yourself of the connection between self-control and success.
Most of us struggle to get things done because we lack discipline. We know that we should work in time blocks, but the master procrastinator in our head thinks otherwise.
That’s where visual clues come into play.
Put some reminders of past successes on your desk – and highlight the fact that they were the result of staying on track.
For example, exhibiting photos of past work can help your motivation.
There are numerous alternatives. The crucial point is that you see the connection between staying focused today and reaping the rewards in the long run.
Utilize the power of habit stacking
The next way to become more productive with minimal effort is the concept of “habit stacking.”
On the subject, Atomic Habits author James Clear writes the following:
“One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behavior on top. […] Rather than pairing your new habit with a particular time and location, you pair it with a current habit.”
In practice, you need to identify one habit that will improve your productivity and then stack similar habits on top of it. In other words, build a productivity-increasing system that runs on auto-pilot.
You could, for example, start by writing a few sentences into your journal and immediately prepare your to-do list afterward. In that same vein, combining a few minutes of mindfulness with a short reading stint is an efficient way of stacking positive habits.
Improve your lifestyle organically
If you want to become more productive without trying, you need to build a healthy lifestyle organically.
In plain English, you need to become a little bit better every day.
If you’re usually completing three tasks a day, try to start a fourth one today. If you can advance a tiny bit with the fourth one, you’re progressively overloading. And that progressive overload will compound over time and lead to massive productivity gains.
Master the art of setting limits
Finally, the last productivity-increasing technique that can have a tremendous effect concerns limits.
As such, to become more productive, you need to learn how to set limits – both at work and in life.
You need to learn how much you can realistically do – and how you can communicate those boundaries to other people.
As an example, we all have that coworker who can never say no. She thinks that this attitude will put her in the boss’ good books, but all it does is hinder her productivity. By trying to be too be proactive and team-spirited, her output suffers. And this leads to worse results in the long run.
Consequently, learn how to identify your limits and clarify them for the world to see. Once achieved, your productivity will skyrocket without demanding extra effort.
Useful links on How to Boost Your Productivity With Minimal Effort
- more in the section “Work”
- more under the topic “Productivity”
- read 10 Minimalist Steps to Instant Productivity Improvement
- read A Guide on How to Stay Organized as a Minimalist
Don’t miss a beat!
Jack Krier is a writer, photographer, and entrepreneur. On Minimalist Focus, he shares his ideas on minimalism and personal growth, helping thousands of readers improve their lives by focusing on the essentials.