We all have those days at work where we struggle to get things done, especially after coming back from vacation or stepping in to take over someone else’s workload. If, however, you find yourself feeling unproductive and it’s a constant battle to complete tasks or projects on a daily basis, it might be time to make some changes.
Instead of working overtime and putting in long hours at the office, why not practice working smarter? Here are 8 ways to boost your productivity at work.
This may seem tedious, but if you track how long it takes you to complete each task for a week, you will get a clearer picture of where your time is being spent. This includes everything from writing emails and projects to lunch and chatting with coworkers.
There are a number of great time tracking apps out there but a notebook or planner work just as well. Be honest with your tracking. At the end of the week, look over your results to see where you spend the most time. If you’re dedicating more of your day to emails and conversations than you are to work projects, make a plan for using your time more efficiently.
We all have those tasks that we dread doing, the hard ones that we feel are going to take half the day and suck the life out of us. Instead of procrastinating and pushing them to the end of the list, do these tasks first. Once this awful chore of a task if completed, everything else will seem easy in comparison and you won’t have to stress out about getting it done. Less stress often leads to a more productive workday.
Before you leave the office or shut everything down for the night, create your schedule for the next day. Prioritizing your tasks the night before will make it easier to jump right into your work the next morning and also gives you the satisfaction of crossing things off your list. Schedules are a great way to stay organized andfocused, and they allow you to work more efficiently because you know exactly what needs to get done.
If you start to feel mentally-fatigued, take a short break (5-10 minutes). Take a walk, go get a cup of coffee, or step outside for some fresh air. Long tasks are draining, and your performance and productivity can start to slip if you don’t give yourself a few minutes away from your work.
While it may seem like multitasking will allow you to get more done in a shorter period of time, it can actually make you less productive. Working on multiple tasks can be distracting and the quality of your work may suffer.
This may seem odd, but research has shown that people are more productive in aesthetically pleasing environments. Add personal touches like plants, pictures, or awards to dress up your space. Personalizing your environment will not only make you happier, it may make you feel more relaxed and driven.
It’s hard to ignore the “ping” of an email, text, or voicemail, but these can easily turn into a distraction. If you can, turn off notifications while you’re at work and schedule time throughout the day to check them.
Taking the time to move your body every day, whether it be a walk, jog, or yoga session, not only benefits your body, it benefits your mind. If you want to feel more alert and productive, start your day with a workout or head to the gym during lunch.
In addition to following these simple tips, make sure you are getting enough sleep at night for maximum productivity at work. Don’t forget to enjoy your days off and spend time doing whatever makes you feel happy and relaxed.
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