5 things that will make you more productive at work
It’s frustrating when you feel like you have so much to do, but no time to do it. The mountain of work continues to climb, whilst you struggle to work through existing commitments and meet deadlines. It can be a difficult cycle to break, but the five tips below should help make you more productive (and less stressed) at work.
GO BACK TO BASICS
What are the fundamental things you HAVE to get done? These are the basic requirements of your role and things that you need to get done in order to keep the business functioning (and keep your job). Break these down into a manageable format.
- Are there certain things you need to get done at a particular time? If so, these are the tasks you need to tackle first, or at least allocate time to later in the day.
- Do any of your tasks require the input of others? Looking at their schedules to see when you can collaborate with them will help you to frame your workload accordingly.
- Finally, are any of your tasks urgent? These need to be the ones you prioritise first.
After these considerations have been made, the remaining time can be made up of the tasks that are less-critical, less-collaborative and less-time-dependent.
TAKE REGULAR BREAKS
A great (and surprising!) way to make your day more productive is to take regular breaks. Breaks can help to increase motivation, creativity and improve learning. Getting away from your desk for a while; whether just walking around the office or getting outside; can be a fantastic way to refocus on your priorities and make sure you are alert, productive and on the ball for the rest of the day.
SPEND LESS TIME IN MEETINGS
It goes without saying that some meetings will be non-negotiable. However, sometimes meetings happen for the sake of having meetings, and that is not good for productivity. Could the points you wish to address in the meeting be covered in an email or a simple informal conversation? There’s a lot of material to support the idea that meetings kill productivity. Not only do they physically remove you from the work you need to do, they can make it difficult to re-focus even when you do get back to your desk.
HAVE A TO-DO LIST
Having a to-do list can help you see clearly the tasks you need to get done and focus your mind on the priorities. There are arguments that to-do lists can actually hinder productivity due to their overwhelming nature; so it’s important to make your to-do lists as concise and realistic as possible. An easy way to do this is to categorise tasks that may link together or follow on from each other, making sure you list the priority tasks first, and reviewing the to-do list regularly to make sure the number of items included only goes down, not up. By following these simple rules, your work day can be improved with the use of a to-do list.
ONLY REVIEW YOUR INBOX PERIODICALLY
Emails are the biggest productivity killer in the business world. Setting times where you are ‘email-free’ and able to focus on work will do wonders for your productivity and also help you focus on that to-do list! Further to this, making sure you clear all of your emails out of your inbox on a daily basis is also vital. It can be done and will leave you feeling a sense of achievement at the end of each day. Sometimes, you will need to be ruthless; filing those emails you don’t need to action and deleting anything you don’t need; but it will allow you clarity and an ability to work through your inbox in a more efficient way.
Have you got any more tips for ensuring productivity at work? Let us know at [email protected]!