How To Increase Your Productivity
If your inbox is continuously overflowing and you are tired just thinking about all the work that you have to do, then it is time to make some changes. Maybe you are wishing that Tuesday was Friday and you are eyeing off the clock at 10 am hoping that lunchtime will hurry up. If so, these changes had better come sooner rather than later. These sluggish periods, if not corrected, can overtake your usually positive thoughts and bring you down even further. Mental fatigue is a real issue, and, despite how much quality sleep you think you had last night, making some changes in the way you handle your day will allow things to run much more smoothly.
Take Regular Breaks
When we are busy, we tend to think that the harder and longer we work, the better off we are. Wrong! If you are busy, then taking those lunch breaks, and other work breaks, will keep you mentally sharp. Overworking and continuously clocking in early and leaving late will not make you feel any better. Take those breaks, stretch your body, get up and walk around. This will help you focus on other ways to aid your productivity without spending extended hours in the office.
Communicate With Your Team Members
If you are busy or overwhelmed with your workload, then speak to someone about it. Can you delegate to someone in the interim? Perhaps talk to others so you can get a better handle on your priorities, and encourage yourself to look at it from another perspective. Keeping your feelings bottled up does not help anyone. Plus, a friendly face and a welcoming ear can often make you feel better.
Skip the Meetings
Meetings can be the most significant time waster there is. If you have something worthwhile to say but are not able to pull yourself away, then get someone to speak on your behalf. Often meetings can be summed up in a medium-length email which can be read at your leisure. Saying no is okay as long as you don’t make a habit of it. Your colleagues will definitely understand if you have good reason and need to spend your time elsewhere.
Close your Emails
If email is a constant interruption to how your day progresses, then limit the number of times you check it. It will be necessary to read them first thing in the morning and towards the end of the day. However, minimise the time in between if it is dragging you from your project. Unexpected emails can steal your attention away from more critical tasks and rob you of your productivity. Set up some kind of regular email schedule and stick to it.
Automate Your Movements
Have an automatic email responder that goes out whenever you receive an email. Record an answering machine message for those periods when you are particularly swamped. Have standard email responses already prepared so it is only a matter of a quick cut and paste to reply. Anywhere that you can cut corners and improve efficiency is beneficial.
Shut your door
One of the best things you can do is just jump right in. Shut your door and aim for a power hour, where you plough through your work uninterrupted until it is done. Or, at the very least, until you need a break; whichever comes first! This means no devices, checking of emails, telephone calls, social media notifications and text messages. It is important that you do a period of your workload every day undisturbed – without trying to multi-task. You will soon see a difference in how much work you produce by the end of the week.