There’s a big difference between knowing that productivity needs to be increased and actually increasing it.

Having solid strategies on board is the only way to ensure that your time is managed effectively and productivity goals are met.

Here are five top ways to ensure that your work gets done on time, while investing less time.

  1. Create continuity

    Endings and beginnings are things that eat up time during the average business day. Continuity can be created by planning the start of the next business day at the end of the previous one. This creates a flow of work, eliminating those moments of staring into space and wondering where to start.

  2. Focus

    It’s much easier to say ‘focus’ than it is to do, but achieving focus is key to improved productivity. One excellent way of keeping focus is to keep a notepad close by when completing tasks. Any distractions that come up can be noted, and set aside for later, allowing the task to be driven through.

  3. Unpleasant tasks first

    Procrastination is a productivity killer that everyone struggles with, from Prime Ministers to truck drivers. Most people have their own procrastination-killing techniques, but few consistently work well. One sure-fire way to defeat procrastination before it raises its ugly head is to get in the habit of getting your worst tasks out of the way first. This means your list for later in the day is lighter and easier to tackle.

  4. Plan better

    It’s easy to get distracted by outcomes, but increasing productivity is about improving every single step along the way. Setting out every step in a plan, and noting those steps on the plan’s timeline, facilitates better time management and ultimately gets things done more efficiently. Acknowledging these milestones can also improve morale as the plan is under way, another productivity-booster.

  5. Put on the pressure

    Finally, a sense of accountability can be used to solidify productivity goals. Make your productivity goals public. This will help put the pressure on to meet those goals, and also remind you to keep account of your activities as you go along. It’s amazing how much difference this simple step makes.