Ever had that feeling when you enter the office, sit down behind your desk and don’t know where to start? Time’s flying by and in the end of the day, you feel exhausted yet dissatisfied – like you haven’t achieved anything at all. Here are seven steps to changing that and boosting your productivity.
Step 1: Organize your working space
First things first – little people can work in absolute mess and be productive. Get to decluttering your work space right now. Dispose of all papers you don’t need anymore, get rid of old pens which lack ink since two years. Clean up your PC’s desktop and archive files you don’t use anymore. Put some order into your mailbox as well. Make sure you don’t waste time looking for things that should be right under your nose at all times.
Step 2: Minimize interruptions
The less you divert your attention from your work, the better for you. Several seconds of interruption can cost you minutes spent on refocusing. To avoid that, limit all interruptions. Turn off all your notifications (no, you don’t have to answer all those emails right away). Tell your colleagues you’re not to be disturbed. And if you catch yourself browsing social media or blogs while working, block these sites in your browser. Finally, prepare in advance. If you need your gallon of coffee for work, make sure to have it ready before you proceed.
Step 3: Don’t multitask
It’s unlikely that you’re one of those people who do several things at once without any of them suffering from it. Do your best to focus on one task at a time and close one loop before opening another. Multitasking is, in most cases, one of the biggest enemies of productivity. Devote your attention to only one thing to complete it faster and better.
Step 4: Use to do lists
Preparing a to do list is a huge improvement to your working schedule. Not only it does it allow you to avoid forgetting what’s on your today’s agenda, but it also helps you prioritize your tasks. Understanding what’s most important will lead you to focusing on what really important for your company and team.
Step 5: Organise and track your time
Time management is an important aspect of being productive during your working hours. You should know how much time do you need to complete particular tasks as it helps you organize your day better.
You can either do 90-minutes blocks in between which you take a break, or you can use famous Pomodoro method. It’s based on working for 20 minutes straight with no interruptions at all. Giving yourself 20 minutes to complete a given task is also a viable way of organizing your time.
Step 6: Take breaks
While you might think it’s counterproductive, taking regular breaks helps your brain reset and refresh. Nobody can work long hours without their attention dwindling. Don’t hesitate to rest! Take a short walk to a coffee shop across the street or chat up a colleague before you proceed with your next assignment.
Step 7: Don’t do everything alone
Most companies nowadays rely on teamwork. That means you shouldn’t hesitate to ask your colleagues to help you out. No, it doesn’t mean you should drop your job on them, but some tasks will be better off if someone else handles them. Discuss with the rest of the team what can do for you to lower your workload and so you can be more productive.
Spending your 9-5 work time productively is not an easy task, but it can be done if you follow these simple steps. Or maybe you’ve got your own favourite tricks?