9 Tactics to Help You Stay Productive at Work

9 Tactics to Help You Stay Productive at Work

Increasing expectations, distractions, and technological advancements have created a pretty complicated work environment: Headcounts seem to remain the same while workloads increase. Distractions like social media, incoming emails, and interruptions interrupt your focus and Technological advances have conditioned us to crave instant gratification.

How can we thrive in an environment like this? Read on to find out:

9 Tactics to Help You Stay Productive at Work

Set personal goals

It’s important to have a sense of direction to know where you are heading. Take time to reflect and find out your aspirations, your goals, where you see yourself in the years ahead. Once you’ve set your goals, commit to them, work hard, and achieve them.  

Organize and prioritize your tasks

Create a daily schedule to comply to. It’s easier to work on tasks when there’s a structure involved. Discern the relevant tasks from the irrelevant tasks and focus on the former. Ensure that the task list you’ve created is manageable and adds value in one way or another.

Set milestones for yourself to reach

Setting milestones is a good way to track your progress and ensure that you’re heading towards the right direction. Constantly record your progress and set individual success metrics. When you’ve successfully hit your target, reward yourself to keep your morale high. Don’t be shy to share your progression with the team as well! It would motivate not just them, but yourself too.

Stop multitasking!

Focus on one thing at a time. People have the illusion that they’re accomplishing many things by multi-tasking. However, they fail to realize that it has an adverse effect. Multi-tasking not only slows you down, but increases your stress levels and chances of making mistakes. Studies have also shown that it lowers people’s IQ levels[1].

Avoid distractions

Focus. Studies show that being interrupted while focusing on a task gives rise to increased levels of stress, feelings of frustration, and effort to complete that task[2]. To minimize the number of interruptions, you can write down the things you need ask people who you foresee would interrupt you during the day. This way, you’d kill two birds with one stone.

Write down ideas constantly

Inspiration comes in many forms and at random times. It’s always good to have a notebook or an online notepad that you can access easily to spill your ideas on. This way, instead of stressing about forgetting your ideas, you can continue with your day with peace of mind that you’ll be able to access anytime in the future.

Simplify

Complicating processes are not the key to greater results. It merely makes your life more difficult. Don’t be afraid to make changes where you deem fit. You can try automating different aspects of your work. For instance, you could create a standard email template, each for different types of inquiries. This saves you time from thinking of how to draft your emails, allowing time for other things, and increasing your overall efficiency.

Take breaks regularly

Your brain works best in phases, not over long periods of time. Schedule time away from the office to re-energize and maintain a healthy work-life balance. This will prevent you from burning out as well, giving you the stamina to sustain good performance at work.

Improve your sleeping and eating habits

Your body is like a machine. The better you care for it, the better it performs. It has been scientifically proven that what we consume directly affects how we act, feel, and most importantly, perform[3], and having sufficient rest will give you the energy you need to be productive during the day.

Aim to finish well

We’ve heard many stories of people setting resolutions. New year, new me. What follows is a few days of great progress and subsequent months of reverting back to old habits.

Many of us are great starters, but we tend to fall short on finishing. Instead of aiming to make changes and new plans, strive to be consistent and finish well.

No matter what you plan to do, your goal should always be to do it well. That includes finding the best way to achieve things in the shortest amount of time.

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References

[1] http://www.ladouceurmft.com/multitasking-teens/

[2] https://www.yast.com/time_management/science-task-interruption-time-management/

[3] http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/scientists-learn-how-food-affects-52668