Do you sometimes wish that you could have a few more hours in the day in order to get the job done? If, you’re honest, you probably wouldn’t complete all your tasks even if the day was 29 hours long. Seriously you need to think of way to boost productivity!
You have two options when it comes to increasing your output. You can either work longer or smarter. If you choose the latter, you’re in good company. The following are effective ways you can work smarter to increase your productivity at work.
This is absolutely necessary if you want to move forward in crucial projects or goals at work. Begin your day by listing what you want to accomplish by the end of the day. Identify tasks or goals that are crucial. Prioritize the top 3 most crucial goals of the day. These are the ones you will give most of your energy throughout the day, and booya, you boost productivity with instant gratification!
You can review your list in the course of the day to help you stay on track. Be sure to review it at the end of the day to see what you have been able to accomplish. Ticking off items from your list can help to boost your confidence. Reviewing your list can also help you identify areas that need more work.
It’s easy to assume that you spend most of your time at work on important tasks. Research has shown that many people under estimate the time they spend on activities that aren’t related to work such as chatting on social media or browsing the testing the latest app on their smartphone.
Allocate time to accomplishing various tasks on your list. Invest in time tracking tools such as Rescue time to help track your time. When you review your tasks at the end of the day, you can identify any time wasters and work on reducing or eliminating them completely.
Deadlines can be a source of stress in the workplace. However, if they are manageable, self-imposed deadlines can help to keep you focused and therefore meet your goals and boost productivity. This is especially important when working on open-ended projects or tasks. Give yourself a deadline and keep your eye on the clock to stay focused. You’ll be surprised how productive you can be with a set time in which to accomplish a task.
Are there tasks that need to be done and can be accomplished within a short time? If these tasks can be done within two minutes, you should do them immediately. This tip to boost productivity is recommended by Steve Olenski. By completing the task right away, you will have more time available for your crucial tasks which may take a longer time to accomplish.
Many people are proud of the way they are able to handle many tasks at one time. While multitasking may seem like a great way to increase your efficiency, the opposite is actually true in the workplace. Studies have shown that attempting to handle several tasks at once can cause you to lose time as well as productivity. You should instead make it a habit to focus on completing a single task before you move on to the next one. This ensures you do a great job on each task you undertake.
How do you fill the time on your commute to work? Most Singaporeans use public transportation to get to their places of work. The commuter in Singapore spends 2 hours on public transportation daily. Many people spend this time on social media networks or playing games on their phones.
The commute to and from work offers a great opportunity to increase your productivity. Instead of playing that game, you can spend the time riding the bus or train to work creating your to-do list or brainstorming. You can use the ride home to learn a new skill e.g. listen to an audio book on productivity.
Being productive doesn’t mean that you need to be seated at your desk for hours on end. In fact, a little exercise and frequent breaks can help to boost productivity. Studies have shown that taking breaks for light exercise such as walk up and down the stairs can help to get the blood pumping. This can help to clear your head and make it easier to refocus on your task when you get back to your desk.
However, if you take too many breaks you may end up not accomplishing anything. A good rule is to work in 90 minute intervals. Set yourself a time limit for each task. Work for 90 minutes and then take a break. Research has shown that the many elite performers including the likes of musicians, athletes and chess players often never work for over 90 minutes at a time. These performers were also shown to be more productive compared to those who worked for longer intervals.
Your environment goes a long way to increase your level of happiness at work. This in turn will help to increase your productivity. You can make your environment a happier one by outfitting your space with elements that are pleasing to your eyes. These can be in the form of plants, photos, inspirational quotes, word art or candles. Put up anything that will bring a smile to your face, without burning a hole in your pockets. Of course, this should be done within the limits of your workplace.
Do what you can to minimize interruptions when you’re working. Even brief interruptions can kill productivity in an instant. If you have a private office, you can set hours within which you work with the door closed. Turn off notifications for emails, social media and texts for a set period to boost productivity. Allocate a time within which you will check your messages.
Do you have a colleague that likes to pop over at your desk to chat? Let them know that you need some time to complete your task and would be happy to chat on your break.
Even with the best laid plans can be ruined in an instant. You may receive a phone call or email that ends up dictating how you spend your day. This may mean that you won’t get around to doing what was one your list for the day.
It is important to be proactive in these situations. Set a time aside to checking and answering emails and other correspondence. You should however, be careful not to let them determine how your day will be spent. If a task is urgent and time sensitive, you may have to move some things around to get it done. However, try as much as possible to stick to your plan for the day.
If you feel that you need to increase your working hours in order to become more productive, you may need to revisit your approach to your work. Putting more hours in isn’t always the answer. Take a step back and think of ways you can work smarter and achieve more. Applying the tips above would be a great place to start working smarter.
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