It is difficult to find a person who has everything under control and never misses deadlines. Usually, we are snowed in under tasks and next thing we know, it's already the middle of the day, and we don’t know how to keep up with the mountain of assignments planned.
Some people decide that they are not doing enough and work overtime, only adding another stressor to their lives, while others decide to work smarter. If you don’t want to spend your evenings at the office and want enough time to relax, it's time to re-examine your approach to productivity!It is not difficult to become a productive person. It will require some discipline and personal commitment, so make sure you are ready to make some changes to your daily routine. We guarantee you will feel more relaxed and happy afterward.
With this being said, there are no universal rules, and no "one size fits all" approach to adopt. You should choose the method that will work best for you.
If you feel trapped in endless assignments and feel like you are losing control over your situation, this article will help you learn to breathe again!
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY IN THE WORKPLACE
Basic Principles of Productivity
Every company has different rules when it comes to organizing employees' workdays and the quantity of hours in which workers have to sit at their desks.
However, the New York Times provides a list of three tips to improve worker productivity irrespective of the company you work for and the quantity of hours you have:
- Take one step at a time. It is impossible to change your old habits within a couple of days, so be patient and add one new habit at a time to determine which methods work best for you.
- Report to someone. It doesn’t matter whether you are a clerk or a senior partner: having someone to announce your goals to or simply check-in can be more than motivating. This will help you to be more organized and get the task done even when you want to find excuses.
- Don't be too hard on yourself. Discipline requires constant work, so there will be days, when you will feel down, not wanting to do anything or will make a mistake. This happens to everyone. You need to forgive yourself, moving forward and solving the tasks you can concentrate on.
Write and Optimize To-Do Lists in Advance
There is no doubt that making lists can help simplify your life, whether it's a list for grocery shopping or a plan on how to attract new customers. Such lists help us to become more organized and on task, which leads to greater productivity and results. Moreover, don't forget about the satisfaction you'll get from checking off the tasks you've just completed!
Specialists at Resumes Area feel that the ability to write a thoughtful and clear to-do list can greatly contribute to an individual's success. They recommend you spend some time every evening on making a list of things you need to complete the next day. This will help you to save valuable time in the morning, as well as avoid potential stress from not knowing what to expect the next day.
Two simple pieces of advice should be considered when using lists to improve productivity. The first one is to talk the list through instead of simply noting it down on paper. This way, you will need to explain the task to someone and think of it again, adding changes you may have missed.
The second is less obvious: try to make your to-do list shorter, focusing on the tasks that matter. This leads us to the importance of eliminating multitasking, which is considered one of the greatest productivity killers.
Recent studies show that switching tasks can lower your IQ and create mental blocks, protecting your brain from overheating. It is amazing to consider, but a University of London research study proved that multitasking reduces an adult's mental abilities to that of an 8-year-old child! Do you still want to challenge your productivity by solving multiple problems at a time?
So if you don’t want to harm your brain, lower your productivity and worsen decision-making, stop multitasking immediately!
All you need to do is to give your full attention to one task at a time, not switching or dividing your focus to something else. Anytime you feel like doing several tasks simultaneously, consider how harmful it is and stop at once.
Other Useful Tips to Increase Your Productivity
If you still doubt whether you are capable of increasing productivity on your own, Entrepreneur provides a list of tips, which will be helpful regardless of your occupation and level of responsibilities:
- Take short breaks every time you feel tired. You shouldn’t wait for your lunch break to recharge your battery, so take a short walk outside the building, grab a cup of coffee or simply stretch your muscles every time you feel tired;
- Limit possible distractions. You are not working in a bubble, so it is impossible to eliminate all distractions that can arise, but you need to try to minimize them the best you can. For example, close the office door or ask your friend to chat later;
- Set deadlines and stick to them. It will be much easier to understand how many tasks and the time you have when you plan everything beforehand. However, set realistic deadlines, not trying to always be in a hurry to just provide a result as fast as you can.
Don’t hesitate to apply all these methods in practice and you will see how much simpler and brighter your life will become!
About the Author: Brandon Grondwrint is a co-founder at ResumesArea and personal coach at Effective Employee and Broader Horizons.