Sometimes you can have those days where you just can’t seem to get enough done. There are so many reasons for poor productivity, most of which are probably caused and can be easily fixed by you. With that in mind, here are 10 ways you can increase your productivity at work.
Take regular breaks
Taking regular breaks is so important if you want to be productive. You may not think you have the time but chances are by not doing so, you could be hindering your productivity. Even if it is 5 minutes to go to the toilet or make a cup of coffee, be sure to insert lots of short breaks into your work day.
Have self-imposed deadlines
No matter if you are self-employed or and employee, setting yourself deadlines is crucial for productivity. If you set yourself strict deadlines before work needs to be in, you are much more likely to follow them and get work finished early. Whilst you’re at it, don’t be afraid to reward yourself for finishing work earlier than expected, it’s great motivation to continue doing so in the future.
Track your time
Are you spending too much time on silly things that could be completed quicker? There are so many ways to get distracted so why not try timing how long each piece of work takes, to see if you can get it done quicker in the future. Keep track of each project and try to evaluate how much time you are wasting on distractions.
Remove those notifications
Leading on from time wasting, if you want to be more productive you must turn off those notifications. Whether it is social media, calendar events or emails, checking them regularly can add up to hours of wasted time during your day. Give yourself set periods in which to check these things instead.
Don’t put off the little things
Got a job that is going to take you less than 3 minutes? Do it now. Putting off the little things because you think they aren’t important is not a good way to be productive. If you leave these little issues until later they’ll probably end up taking you longer, so get them done whilst you can.
You may have 101 things to do but that doesn’t mean you should have them all open on your computer screen at the same time. Make a paper list of the things you have to in order of importance and focus only on one at a time. Each time you have finished something, cross it off. Not only will this increase your productivity, it gives your brain a visual reward and encourages you to continue ticking things off.
Take advantage of spare time
Whether it is on the train to work or that seemingly useless time in between meetings, you have to make every second count. Taking breaks is important for productivity but not using these spare moments wisely is just time wasting. You may not be able to do everything whilst you are on the go but if there is a phone call, an email or even a piece of copy you can write then you should try to do it.
This isn’t always an easy one, especially in the workplace but if you minimise your interruptions you will be more productive. If there is too much going on around you, try to move to a different room or working at a different table. If you need to turn your phone off for ten minutes so you can get something done, you should do it. Chances are you won’t miss anything important and that thing that might have taken you an hour to do before, will only take 20 minutes now.
Avoid unnecessary meetings
You probably aren’t always needed for every meeting you attend, so try to avoid any where your presence will not actually add anything to the meeting. Save your energy and your time for the bigger, more important meetings for better productivity.
Get some shut eye
Finally, the oldest trick in the book for increasing productivity – more sleep. If you are turning up to work tired every morning, you’re going to be slower starting off your day. You’ll probably also begin to slow down earlier in the evening too, even if you have had a productive, caffeine filled afternoon. Sleep helps your brain to function better in general, so be sure to skip that TV programme and get to bed early.