Imagine coming to the office on time, accomplishing everything on your list, making the boss happy, and closing the day with a satisfied sigh. Lack of productivity in the workplace can be due to many reasons. You may not like the work you’re doing. Maybe, your boss is a jerk. Or perhaps your salary is too low.
Whatever may be the reason if you want to keep your job, you’ll need to be productive. Fortunately, being productive is easier than most people think. And in this article, you’ll learn some surprisingly easy yet effective tips to be more productive at work.
Learn to manage your tasks
Do you reach your desk and start your day by answering emails or creating reports. There are countless studies out there that state that people are most creative in the morning. Assuming that you’re not a night owl, schedule tasks that demand creativity for the morning. Start your day by focusing on yourself. Get some breakfast, read the news, work out, and get in a good mental state. Then, work on tasks that require you to be at the peak of your productivity. You can use the latter half of the day working on emails, reports, and other less-productive tasks.
Stop being a smartphone
Smartphones are meant for multitasking, aren’t they? That’s their USP. But you’re not a machine, and multitasking can be a productivity killer for you. In fact, research suggests that multitasking can reduce productivity levels by 40%. Besides, it is linked to a drop in IQ as well.So, stop try doing everything at once just to save a few hours. Instead, give your full attention to one task at a time and see your productivity levels skyrocket. Keep all the distractions out of sight to make sure you stay focused.
Make to-do lists every night
To-do lists can be valuable productivity aids. They can help you stay organized and focus on important tasks. Making a to-do list every night means that you’ll not waste time figuring out what to do when you reach your desk. Thus, you’ll be able to stay focused and accomplish more in less time.
However, your to-do list won’t help you if it has 20 or 30 items. Higher productivity demands focus, and the more things you have on your list, the less you’ll be able to focus on each one of them. Getting focused and increasing productivity means narrowing your options. So, when you’ve created your to-do list, ask yourself the following questions.
• Which of these tasks are really important?
• How many of these important tasks can I complete?
The art of delegation
Delegation is critical to productivity. Once you master it and start using it properly, you’ll be astonished by how easy your job is. But of course, only if you do it right. For most managers, delegating is like a dog swim; some enjoy it to the fullest, whereas, some jump out of it as fast.
The reason: delegating your work puts more responsibility on you. Now, in addition to your own work, you have to also supervise someone else’s work. And if you are assigning your work to someone and managing them closely, it’s micromanaging and not delegating.
Proper delegation means you have more time to invest in your own work. The key is to delegate to the right person. Pick someone who has the skills and experience to do the job. And above all, you can trust them to get it done. If you’ve recently taken a managerial or supervisory position, it might time some time getting used to assigning tasks. But once you get a hold of it, you’ll be surprised by the increase in your productivity levels.
Get rid of distractions
As discussed before, the focus is a critical element of productivity. However, to achieve a sharp focus, you’ll need to identify distractions and eliminate them. For most millennials, these distractions are emails, social media, or the surrounding work environment.To be productive, you need to shoo them away. Switch your phone to silent mode to avoid getting any emails or phone notifications. If workplace noise distracts you, plug in your earpods, and play concentration music while working.
If you are a phone or social media addict, use them as rewards. For example, allow yourself a few minutes of using your phone once you complete a major task.
Plan your phone calls
Phone calls during can be a productivity killer, and managing them can lead to significant productivity gains. If you’re not expecting an important call, you can turn off your phone when you’re working on something important. If you have critical calls to make, fix a structured time to make all the crucial calls. This way, you can also increase the productivity of your conversations.However, if you are working on something that is not super important, you can leave your phone turned on and answer calls. Scheduling all the calls for one point during your day can result in you having a batch of phone calls to make. But if you want to do something that requires your full attention, get your phone out of the way.
Exercise during work hours
Breaks are important. Most people are aware of the Pomodoro Technique: work for 25 minutes and take a break of 5 minutes. This technique is widely utilized to increase focus and productivity. But what you do during your breaks is also vital. During long breaks, such as lunchtime, most people spend their time eating and chatting. Why not use this time for something more productive? Research suggests that physical activity enhances brain function. A study found that 65% of workers who used their company gym were more focused and productive than their colleagues. Therefore, in addition to helping you stay physically fit, exercising can increase your quality of work as well.
So, if your office has a gym, or there is a gym nearby, a quick 30-minute workout during the lunch hours can do wonders for your productivity.
Stay positive and optimistic
Happiness and productivity go hand in hand. In call-centers, telemarketing companies, and person-to-person selling businesses, optimism is linked to more sales. However, make sure your optimism is dispositional. If you’re not a naturally positive person, you’ll want to develop disposition. Luckily, it’s not too hard. The direct route to happiness is to be helpful and provide social support to people. And the happier you are, the more optimistic you’ll be.
Don’t compromise on your sleep
More than 70% of Americans admitted to sleeping in the office. Why? Because they need to. Early morning commutes, endless work hours, and waking up till late-night means most people are not getting the bedtime they need. Sleep deprivation is directly linked to decreased performance. It reduces your concentration, working memory, and cognitive capabilities.
So, how much sleep should you take? National Sleep Foundation suggests that 7-9 hours of sleep is ideal for adults. If you can’t get that much sleep at night, taking a nap during the day could help.
Take care of yourself
If you’ve just landed your dream job, you’re probably working hard enough to ensure you perform the best. While it is important to be hardworking and competitive, it is also critical to take care of yourself and your health. In fact, your diet and mental health directly affect your productivity.
Take a note of the following:
• Eat a healthy diet full of proteins and fibers; avoid too many carbs or fats.
• Drink lots of water
• Give up on bad habits like smoking and drinking. If you can’t, do them only in moderation.
• Be nice to yourself. Take some time to chill and refresh your mind and soul.
Most employees are only 60% as productive at work as they could be. If you’re one of them, follow the tips discussed above to better manage your time, tasks, and priorities, along with overcoming distractions and enjoying what you do.