It’s always a challenge to stay productive at work. As someone who often times gets tied up working on tedious, long, projects I’ve found the following tips helpful to keep productivity high.
Tips For Increasing Productivity
1. Find Out Where Your Time Goes
Track your time for one week and analyze the results. You might be surprised how much time you’re really spending on various tasks. Visualizing where your time goes will help you see where you can improve.
2. Plan Ahead
Before each week, plan your week ahead. Write down all of the key projects and tasks you need to accomplish
Prioritize your activities and projects from most important to least important. Block out uninterrupted time to accomplish your most important tasks. Be sure to not let others schedule meetings during times you’ve blocked off for key projects or tasks!
4. Schedule Email Time
Set aside specific times for checking your email (i.e. at the beginning of your workday, right before or after lunch, and at the end of the day). Refrain from checking email except during these allocated times. Without a simple strategy to deal with it, you can get caught up wasting time checking through your email at every opportunity. Dealing with emails in the same block of time is much more efficient.
5. Set Limits for Everything
“Work expands so as to fill the time available for it’s completion”-Parkinson’s Law
Try giving yourself less time to complete tasks. For example, give yourself an hour to write a report instead of two, or give yourself 15 minutes to check your mail instead of thirty minutes.
Why, you ask?
If you give yourself too much time to complete a given task, there is a good chance you’ll find a way to use up that entire block of time, even if you didn’t really need it.
6. Stop Multitasking
“A mind too active is no mind at all”
Despite popular opinion, multitasking does not make us more productive. In fat, splitting our attention has an impact on our productivity, concentration and energy.
“Multitasking is going to slow you down, increasing the chances of mistakes”- David Meyer, cognitive scientist at the University of Michigan.
If you want to be more productive, focus on doing one thing at a time, and doing it well.
7. Give yourself a break
Take a few breaks during the day! Get out of the office for a little, take a walk around the building, stretch. Breaks are important not only for exercise of the body, but also for exercise of the mind. Breaks will allow you to refresh your body and mind and get back to work and be productive, rather than lethargic. Trust me.
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