Many people find it difficult to maintain a sense of productivity in the workplace. However, many reasons that we are unproductive are easily remedied by just a few small changes to our workplace habits and to our personal approaches to certain tasks. Becoming productive is much easier than some might think, and trying to become productive is, in and of itself, an admirable goal. The following tactics are ones that could help you considerably on your journey to workplace productivity. Give them a try and see how much better you perform when you focus on the tasks at hand.
Stay off social media
Social media is a serious productivity killer in the workplace. One of the best things that you can do to improve your productivity is simple and straight-forward: stay off of social media during working hours. Don’t worry about your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. If you are working with social media as a part of your occupation or your daily tasks, regulate yourself in what pages you allow yourself to visit. Send the tweet you wrote without looking at your timeline. Don’t go browsing other Facebook pages.
Hold yourself accountable
It is essential that you hold yourself accountable for what you do during your working hours. As stated above, regulate yourself in what you do should you absolutely need to use social media. Furthermore, creating a to-do list is a great way to keep yourself on track. Check off tasks as you finish them in their entirety for a sense of accomplishment. Use this list to maintain a sense of productivity while actually making sure that you stay productive.
Prioritize your tasks
Perhaps one of the most important ways that you can maximize your productivity at work is through the prioritization of tasks. Look at your to-do list. What needs to be done today? What, if absolutely necessary, can wait until tomorrow? Number these tasks as you go down your list. Starting from the first, most pressing task, work your way down the list. Organizing your day in such a way will keep you from prioritizing easier tasks over more difficult ones, when the more difficult tasks need to be completed first.
Break assignments into smaller tasks
Often, difficult tasks can be broken down into much more manageable pieces. Say, for instance, that it is your responsibility to hold a meeting within your office. This task can seem like a daunting one, when looked at as a whole. Try breaking it down into smaller pieces: you need your words, your visual, and to schedule with your coworkers. Let’s try breaking it up even further. What are you going to talk about? Create an outline with bullet points. Use these bullet points to create your visuals. On and on, until you find that the tasks you set for yourself are ones that you feel comfortable working on. The sum of these tasks will be the more difficult project that was daunting to you in the beginning.
As a part of your to-do list, try to complete recurring tasks at the same time every day or week. Do you make phone calls to check in with your customers? Schedule that particular task every day at, for instance, nine in the morning. If it is a weekly task, pick a day, such as Wednesday, as well as a time. Doing so will create a sense of consistency and routine in your day that will help you feel more structured. Structure leads to productivity.
Schedule when to check your emails
In addition to scheduling regular tasks, make sure that you schedule when to check your e-mails. E-mail can be a rabbit hole that is easy to fall into, giving you the guise of productivity when you are truly indulging in procrastination. Do you really need to read every email that comes into your spam folder? Set aside a certain, specified time and amount of time to spend checking your email, perhaps twice a day. Getting out of the e-mail hole can be difficult when you get sucked in. Make sure you don’t fall into this trap. Give yourself some structure, and you’ll find that you aren’t reading anything unnecessary.
Keep your workspace clean
Another way to keep yourself productive at work is to maintain a clean work station. Clutter can lead to stress, and it can also cause you to waste valuable time looking for things that should be in their rightful place. Rather than dig around for that one piece of paper you were given a month ago, try keeping organized files all in the same place for easy access. Get rid of some of the unnecessary items causing your work space to become messy. You’ll feel better, too, when you come in to work with a clean area. You’ll feel more energized and ready to start your day.
If you’re having trouble focusing, there’s something easy that you can do to jumpstart your productivity. Try standing up. It seems simple, but it is actually a wonderful way to get your blood flowing again and to clear your mind. There are desks that rise and lower to accommodate both standing and sitting positions, should you be able to purchase one. If not, try doing some stretches while on your feet. Take a short walk, but make sure that you don’t get distracted along the way. Even pacing your office for a minute or two can be just the boost that you need to get back on track.
Last of all, don’t multitask. This might seem like a way to be more productive, in that you can get more than one task done at the same time. In reality, you cheat yourself by failing to devote all of your attention to the task in front of you. You may miss essential information, make a critical error, or even misunderstand the task entirely. In doing so, you end up wasting much more time than you might have saved had you multitasked correctly. So, scrap that idea altogether. In order to be productive, you have to dedicate yourself to the task at hand. It’s simply not possible to do so when one tries to multitask.
With these tactics in your arsenal, you are now equipped to take on your daily regimen in a manner that is more productive than before. However, these skills are useless if you don’t continue to practice them. Remain dedicated to your workplace productivity. Remember to use these skills when you start to feel overwhelmed or when you notice your warning signs of fading productivity – checking social media, wasting time on emails, or whatever it is you do when you start to slip. Check in with yourself from time to time and make sure that you are remaining productive. If not, get out these skills and find one or two that will fit your current situation and help to get you back on track.