Great Ways To Improve Your Productivity
If you find that you get to the end of the day and have achieved next to nothing, then it might be time to reassess your procedures to improve your productivity. Just a few simple changes in your day could make the difference between achieving your workload and only managing to scrape by. No one wants to work later than necessary or start the day with work that was due yesterday. Perhaps it’s time you had a look at how you are spending your time and make some changes.
Know Where Your Time is Going
It is easier to know where to make changes if you can see exactly where your time is being spent. When you are in the middle of doing a task, it can be hard to gauge whether you have spent 15 minutes or 30 minutes unless you are continually looking at the clock. Thankfully there are many time tracking apps and software that can do it for you. Have a look at RescueTime or Toggl to get you back on track. If you find you are checking email ten times a day, then limit it to specific times to enable you to get work done in between.
Yes, you heard me correctly! Once upon a time, the belief was that if you were able to juggle several tasks at the same time, then you were efficient. However, the opposite is actually true. Try to focus 100% of your attention on one task and then finish it to completion. Then, when that is done, you can turn your attention to the next. Multitasking can be very distracting and seriously affect the standard of your work. If there are constant notifications of calls and messages, then you will find yourself become reactive rather than proactive. It’s time to make the switch.
You undoubtedly have numerous sources of distractions in the workplace including email, telephone and social media. Firstly, limit your personal distractions when at work so you can focus on the job at hand. Unless social media is a part of your world, turn it off completely. Secondly, avoid checking email while in the middle of a task as this can throw you off track. Closing your door and not answering the telephone can all help but this may or may not be possible depending on your specific job role.
Take Breaks Through the Day
There is such a thing as working too hard. If you are stressed about falling behind and need to skip lunch, then this can be very counterproductive. Having lunch and then returning to the task with a fresh mind and a full belly can help rather than hinder. Schedule in lunch breaks and stretching breaks including regular morning and afternoon breaks to keep you clear-headed and improve your concentration in the long-term.
Write a To-Do List
It can be challenging to be productive if you aren’t even sure what you have to do in the first place. Write a to-do list and then mark them in terms of priority. If there are tasks that will take a few minutes or less, then get those out of the way first. Then if you have been putting something off due to the size of the project or the level of difficulty, tackle that next. Now go through the list in order of priority and work your way through it. Avoiding tasks can cause a lot of anxiety and often the only way to make the most of your day is to face them head-on.
Delegate or Outsource
Sometimes the best way to handle your day is to outsource or delegate depending on the task. If you work in a team and have someone to assist you, then delegate tasks to others who can do them just as well as you can. There is no need to do everything if you don’t have to. Secondly, if there are tasks such as writing, graphic design or bookkeeping that are causing you headaches then look to outsource. If you are a solopreneur or creative entrepreneur, often the only way to maintain your sanity and get all your work done in a 8 hour day is to seek outside help. No one will think any the less of you if you do.