Everyone can benefit from becoming more productive in the workplace. Higher productivity leads to higher quality of work, and higher quality of work makes employees and leadership both look good. But the ways in which to maximize productivity can be a little tricky. Outlined here are several tactics that can be used to make your workdays more productive, and as a result, more successful.
Give yourself a routine
When learning how to be productive and how best to manage your time, the first step is always going to be giving yourself a routine. Having a routine, from morning to night, both inside and outside of the workplace, is going to keep you at the top of your game. Wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day. Exercise around the same time on the days that you select to do so. Eat dinner at approximately the same time every day, as well. Our bodies and our minds crave the regularity that is found in routine. Embrace that desire.
Have task lists
It always helps to have a list of what you have to do. Lists keep you organized, on task, and they can help you remember the little things that you need to do that might be easily forgotten if not written down. Learn how to make a to-do list. 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. Perhaps one of the most important ways that you can maximize your productivity at work is through the prioritization of tasks.
Prioritize your 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. Do the task first that you are dreading the most. By doing so, you’ll keep the task from hanging over your head all day. Get it out of the way, and you’ll feel much better as your day goes on.
Take frequent breaks
It is recommended that you take a five minute break for every forty-five minutes of productivity to keep you functioning at maximum efficiency. A great way to take a break is to get your body moving, if only inside the office. 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.
Eliminating distractions is one of the most beneficial things that you can do to increase your productivity in the workplace. There are applications that you can download for your computer to block you from social media sites, as well as other distracting pages, for a certain period of time to keep your productivity flowing. Don’t let yourself get dragged into the abyss of your timeline, endlessly scrolling as you look at what your friends and family are up to. 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.
Schedule time to check your emails
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.
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.
Learn to say no
Perhaps most importantly, learn how to say ‘no.’ Many people wish to be people-pleasers and take on any task that is thrown their way in an attempt to make themselves more likable. This is a productivity killer. The more that you take on, the less well you are able to perform any task on your list. Learn your limits. Understand them, accept them, and work within them. If a task is too much, you need to learn how to say that. It is better to say no, and to have the task passed on to someone better equipped to perform it, than to take it on and do a poor job in executing it.
Have personal check-ins
Finally, learn how to check in with yourself. Are you getting everything that you need to be happy and healthy? When’s the last time that you had a drink of water? When did you last eat today? Could these environmental factors be affecting your ability to perform your tasks at work? Furthermore, are they affecting the way that you live your life? Remember, your body and your health, above all else, is what comes first. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, there’s no way that you can be at the top of your game, and these productivity tips might seem entirely useless. Look within. How are you?
Apply these productivity tips
By taking these productivity tips to heart, you’ll find that you are much more efficient in the workplace. It’s likely that daunting tasks won’t be eating away at you anymore. You’ll find yourself happier with the work that you do, and your quality of work will increase drastically for it. Embrace these tactics. If these productivity tips are already things that you’re doing, look for ways in which you can increase your productivity on your own. Refine these skills, practice them every day, and see the improvement in your work.
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If you still need help
Applying these tips will increase your productivity and help the success of your team. If you or your team still need help being productive and efficient, schedule a free consultation with a licensed coach to help you reach your productivity goals.