You’re always going to have days that are less productive than others, but with a few short changes to your daily routine, you can make yourself a more productive worker every day! Here are four steps to increasing your productivity at work.
- Plan out your day/week/month
Depending on what type of industry you’re in and what type of work you do will determine how in-depth you can plan. By planning out your days, you can eliminate all of that “limbo” time where you are trying to figure out what to do next. Planning out your weeks will help give yourself more direction and you can see how much time you can allow yourself to work on specific projects each day. Having a to-do list will help you keep yourself accountable for the things you need to get done. When making your to-do list, make sure to put the most important tasks at the time of day in which you are the most productive. After that, fill in the rest of your time with the smaller, less important tasks. Having a plan will help your day move along smoothly.
- Get rid of distractions
Even if you think you are an effective multi-tasker, you are probably not as good as you think you are. When you are multitasking, you aren’t giving either of the projects your best effort because your brain can only really focus on one thing at a time. One of the biggest distractions is your cell phone. If you’re too tempted to text your friends or family, or check you social media accounts, put it away. The less distractions you have, the more likely you are to focus on the task in front of you. Make yourself get in the zone and work for an hour, then reward yourself with a five minute break where you can check your social media, browse the internet or chat with a coworker. Rewarding yourself with a small break will prevent overloading your brain and help keep your mind fresh. This will, in turn, help you get more accomplished.
- Make your work space “work friendly”
It is hard to get anything done with a desk full of clutter and a messy office. It is distracting and can make it hard for you to really focus on one thing at a time. First step to making your office “work friendly” is to organize. Put your paperwork into files or scan them into a paperless filing system. Next, get rid of the rest of the clutter around your desk and office. Third, check your lighting. Is it making you sleepy because the lights are too dim? Are you getting a headache because the lights are too bright? Either way, this can put a serious damper on your output, so make sure to get the right lighting for you. Another idea is to turn on a little background music to avoid that dead silence and also drown out the distractions of what other people are doing around the office. Music can help set the mood and keep your creative juices flowing.
- Separation of work and home
This is absolutely much easier said than done, but it is necessary if you want to be as productive as possible at work. Sometimes life happens, meaning things will happen that you can’t control and that will affect your work and home life. The goal is to keep that from completely killing your productivity. If there has been a tragic event, take a couple days to cope with/ handle the situation the way you need to. By taking a couple days, you can allow yourself to adjust and get a lot out of your system before returning to work.
If you’re just dealing with everyday home issues, give yourself some time to think on your way to work every morning. Even if this means venting to yourself in the car on your way to work, do it! It will get what is bothering you off your chest and out into the open and will allow for a fresh start to your work day.