For many of us, 24 hours doesn’t always seem enough, so making the most of your time is critical. There are two ways you can increase your output: put in more hours or work smarter. I don’t know about you, but I prefer the latter.
Being more productive at work isn’t rocket science, but it does require being more calculated about how you manage your time. In this post I have personally selected 5 simple but effective strategies for increasing your productivity at work.
Track & Limit How Much Time You Spend On Tasks
You may think you’re pretty good at gauging how much time you’re spending on various tasks. However, some research suggests only around 17 percent of people are able to accurately estimate the passage of time. A tool like Rescue Time can help by letting you know exactly how much time you spend on daily tasks, including social media, email, word processing, and apps.
Take Regular Breaks
It might sound unreasonable, but taking scheduled breaks can actually help improve concentration. Some research has shown that taking short breaks during long tasks helps you to maintain a consistent level of performance; while working at a task without breaks leads to a steady downturn in performance.
Set Self-Imposed Deadlines
While we usually think of stress as a bad thing, a manageable level of self-imposed stress can actually be helpful in terms of giving us focus and helping us meet our goals. For open-ended tasks or projects, try giving yourself a deadline, and then stick to it. You may be surprised to discover just how focused and productive you can be when you’re watching the clock.
While we tend to think of the ability to multitask as an important skill for increasing efficiency, the opposite may in fact be true. Psychologists have found attempting to do several tasks at once can result in lost time and productivity. Instead, make a habit of committing to a single task before moving on to your next project.
Having a colleague pop her head into your office to chat may seem harmless, but even brief interruptions appear to produce a change in work pattern and a corresponding drop in productivity. Minimizing interruptions may mean setting office hours, keeping your door closed, or working from home for time-sensitive projects.
If you feel the need to increase your productivity at work, resist the temptation to put in longer hours or pack more into your already-full calendar. Instead, take a step back, and think about ways you can work smarter, not harder. Some other ways of improving productivity include: Rewarding yourself for motivation, designating times to handle e-mails and spending few minutes preparing for the next day.