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Ever spend a whole day at work and feel like you accomplished nothing? It may be time to evaluate your productivity levels and look at how to fix them. There is too much going on work for you to consistently feel like you’ve gotten nothing done. Here are some tips to help achieve productivity at work:
Take Regular Breaks
A great way to incorporate regular breaks into the workplace is to work on the 90 minute interval schedule. You work for 90 minutes and then take a fifteen minute break. These breaks could mean taking a walk or making a personal phone call. Working on the same thing for 8 hours straight will most likely result in stale mate and a poor quality end product. With a fresh take on a new project after a quick coffee break, you will not only get more done, you’ll be able to think more creatively. Even try to take a real lunch break away from your desk. Suggest team building activities even to get a change of scenery.
Photo by Taylor Jacobs
Set Self Imposed Deadlines
Even if your company works on a tight schedule, you may let some projects go because you feel the deadline is far off. A good way to eliminate this is to establish preliminary personal deadlines that you set up for yourself. This will set up a sense of accountability within yourself for if you don’t meet it, you disappoint yourself.
Do One Thing At a Time
It is a myth that multitasking is the most efficient way to accomplish tasks. Humans are programmed as monotaskers and as a result, attempting to do more than one thing at once usually results in a poor quality end product. Trying to switch between two tasks at once makes it hard for to focus overall. What may save you time now will affect you later when you will have to redo all of the work you already did because the quality isn’t there and that’s not very productive.
Make a To-Do List
Spend some part of your day establishing a to-do list for the next day. In this list, establish 5-8 tasks you need to accomplish the next day and put the most important ones first so you can ensure that at least those get done. Break every project you need to accomplish into specific segments to make it less overwhelming and to help you start the project accordingly. Use the list to map out tasks you need to finish by the end of the week and by the end of the month as well so you can visualize what needs to be done.
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Turn off all notifications and put your phone away. If not for the whole day, at least part of the day. It’s really easy to get caught up in emails and social media but try to distance yourself from that so you can focus on the project at hand.
De-Clutter Your Workspace
There are two reasons why decluttering is essential to a better workplace experience. First is the practical reason. According to Reliable Planet, workers spend over 4.3 hours a week searching for specific papers. This can cause unnecessary stress and frustration as time is spent on trying to find a piece of paper when it could be spent developing ideas. The piles of paper on your desk are all competing for your attention which can also cause stress as you are constantly forced to look at how much work you still have left to accomplish. The second reason decluttering can be beneficial is that a blank slate inspires creativity. If your desk is empty, you can focus on the current task and use creative strategies instead of worrying about everything you have to do.
Photo by Norbert Levajsics
Start with the Most Dreaded Task
For a lot of people, the morning is the best time to get things done. As soon as you come into the office, work on the project on your list that you dread the most. Once you finish it, you will feel a huge weight lifted off of your shoulders and you can now move on to doing other tasks that you are not dreading. Finishing this task also puts an end to all of the potential procrastination that would result from you not wanting to do that particular task.
Block Out Time for Administrative Tasks
Responding to messages and other issues as they come up can be a huge time sucker. The best way to resolve this is to block out time in the day to send emails and listen to voicemails. This way you tackle a bunch of messages at once instead of doing everything one at a time.
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