This is part of a new blog series with practical tips on how to be more productive, cultivate creativity and growth within your company, and nurture a vibrant culture among your teams.
Managing time can be a daunting task, and most of us have room to improve our work habits and increase our productivity. Here’s five easy tips on how you can become more productive at work.
1. Stop Multitasking
In today’s fast-paced world, we have so many things that distract us in our daily lives. From email, Facebook, Twitter, and your phone, they all take compete for your precious time at work and attention. So while you may feel like you’re extremely busy, that may be a false feeling when you're multitasking.
Don’t overestimate how much you can get done in your available time. Put your phone away, close Facebook, put email on hold, and focus on completing one task at a time. By doing that, you’ll help yourself focus and get more work done.
2. Take breaks
Get up! Studies have shown that taking regular breaks can actually increase worker productivity. Taking short breaks helps us recharge, which helps us stay efficient and prevents us from heading toward on a downward spiral of lethargy. So, go get a glass of water, do a cartwheel, or skip to the next vending machine for another candy bar. Short breaks during the day can help make you sharper and more focused, and lead to better, faster output.
3. Set (realistic) goals
When you get up in the morning, set yourself a goal for today as to what you plan to accomplish. But, make sure that you’re realistic about what you can and cannot get done. Learning how to set reasonable goals is an important skill for any professional to master.
What’s important in setting goals is that they are S-M-A-R-T. That means setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.
4. Prioritize your work
When you start your day, try to determine what needs to be done and how much time you have to do it in. An effective way to prioritize your work is to simply make a daily to-do list of the things you plan to work on today. This will help you with focusing on one task at a time, and you’ll most likely resist the urge to start something new before you’ve finished your current task.
But make sure your schedule isn’t so tight that you don’t have time to adjust if you have a setback. It’s important that you prioritize your activities and projects from the most important to the least important.
5. Track your time
Tracking your tasks at work may actually help you increase your productivity. A good way to make the most of your day is to know where your time is actually going. Tracking your time shows you in black-and-white how you’re spending your time at work in a way that you can reflect on. You might be shocked by how much time you spend on fantasy football or online shopping for air-guitars.
There are many ways to track your time, like keeping a work journal, or using a software tool to help you keep track of your daily activities. More and more companies are turning to time tracking software in order to increase productivity and make sure their teams are not over-extended and understaffed.
Being cognizant of how we spend our time throughout the day can only create value — economically, sure, but also by helping us reach our goals with time to spare on other things.