Do you find that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything on your to-do list done? Research shows that in an 8-hour workday, the average worker is only productive for roughly 3 hours. Here are our top tips for increasing productivity to ensure you make the most out of your day!
Write It Down
You’ve got enough on your mind already. Instead of trying to remember everything you have to do, write it all down. By writing down your tasks or listing them out in a trustworthy system, you free up space in your brain and save more energy. Plus, there’s a better chance that nothing will slip through the cracks or be forgotten.
Do the Most Difficult Task First
There’s always one task that when thought about, evokes only one emotion – dread. Maybe the task is an unpleasant phone call that you don’t want to make or a project you have to do but don’t know where to start. Your best bet is to get these tasks done first. Get them out of the way. Otherwise, the dread will loom over you, keeping you distracted from what you’re trying to distract yourself with.
Some tasks are more important than others. This may be because one deadline is sooner than another or a request came from your manager as opposed to a colleague. It’s important to understand the gravity of each responsibility and prioritize accordingly so that you don’t end up feeling pressured when it comes time to tackle the more important tasks.
The world is filled with distractions – texts, emails, phone calls, people popping into your office, etc. Your productivity will increase exponentially when these distractions are moderated. When possible, try silencing your phone, turning off email alerts, or closing the door to your office. By minimizing distractions, you allow yourself to truly focus on the task at hand.
The idea of taking breaks may seem counterintuitive when it comes to increasing productivity. However, research has proven that regularly taking breaks from work can help restore energy in the short term and prevent burnout in the long term. Try going for a short walk outside, doing some desk stretches, offering to go on a coffee run for your coworkers, or simply closing your eyes for a few minutes.
One of the best ways to improve productivity is to ensure you take care of yourself throughout the day. It’s important to get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and drink plenty of water. When your body isn’t feeling up to scratch, it can be difficult to stay focused. Taking care of your mental health is equally important as taking care of your physical health. Ask for help with you need it, set boundaries, and don’t be afraid to say “no” sometimes.
Consider Tomorrow, Today
Set yourself up for success by taking 10 minutes at the end of the day to write down your goals for the following day. If you don’t have that much time, then just write down one goal you want to accomplish tomorrow. Doing this helps you start your day off on the right foot by creating a vision for the day before even coming into the office.
Take It One Step at a Time
Although multitasking seems like a productive skill, research shows that multitasking is not necessarily the best way to tackle your to-do list. It’s difficult to focus on two different things at the same time. Multitasking ultimately slows you down and hinders your performance. Instead, commit your full attention to one task at a time. In the end, you will move more quickly through your to-do list and accomplish each task more successfully.
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