Do you feel like you’re spinning your wheels at work some days? There are only so many hours in a day, but you have so much to do!
With the draw of social media, online games, cyber shopping, and chatty colleagues, sometimes it’s hard to stay focused on the task at hand. It’s easy to let distractions get in the way of productivity.
While no one can eliminate all distractions at work, you can implement ways to work smarter rather than harder. There are some simple techniques you can use to increase your productivity on the job.
If you’re one of the many workers struggling to improve your on-the-job- performance, we can help. Check out these 7 tips to help you step up your game and work efficiently.
1. Streamline Your Workspace
Before you begin your workday, take a few minutes to streamline your space. Get rid of yesterday’s mess and anything you don’t need.
Clutter is distracting and depressing. Decluttering your workspace will help you think clearly about what you need to accomplish.
Try to develop your own organization system. This will help you know what to do as unnecessary clutter starts to pile up. In an organized workspace, you won’t waste time trying to locate missing items or documents.
There’s a real psychological benefit of an uncluttered environment. Take advantage of it and watch your productivity flow.
2. Start with Your Most Dreaded Task
We all have tasks that we must do but absolutely hate. We procrastinate and put them off as long as possible.
The problem with this approach is that you worry about those tasks all day. Rather than push these tasks to the bottom of the list, tackle them first.
Once the dreaded task is off your plate, everything else will seem much easier to accomplish. Any technique you can adopt that lowers your stress level will make you more productive at work.
So, next time you get to work, don’t worry about your least favorite task. Tackle it instead and enjoy the rest of the day.
3. Turn off Your Email Notifications
When your phone and computer keep alerting you to incoming emails, it’s tempting to stop what you’re doing and take a look.
This is distracting and takes you away from what you need to do. Checking and sending emails may be an important part of your workday, but you don’t have to do it every 5 minutes.
Turn off your email notifications so they don’t distract you. Make a point to check your emails less frequently.
Or better yet, set aside specific times to read and return emails. When you’re not looking at emails on your phone or computer, you can focus on getting more accomplished at work.
4. Avoid Multitasking
Some of us are born multitaskers, and breaking this habit doesn’t come easy. Multitasking can make you think you are accomplishing many things at once. But the opposite is true.
Doing too much at once and shifting your focus back and forth between tasks takes a lot of energy. It keeps your focus moving from one thing to another, and nothing gets your full attention.
You have many things you need to do over the course of the day. Rather than doing too many things at once, try prioritizing your time.
Determine your top priorities and work on those one-by-one. It’s amazing how much more you can accomplish when your mind focuses on one priority at a time.
5. Take a Break
While you may want to work harder and skip breaks, this won’t help your physical or mental health. Everyone needs a break to relax and regroup.
You need to give yourself time to clear your head. This will help you return to work with more energy and purpose.
Try heading outside and getting some fresh air. Taking a short walk or a run is a great way to get some exercise in during the day.
Be sure to hydrate, grab a snack, or eat some lunch. Don’t work while you eat or skip meals. This may save some time but will not increase your productivity.
Using a moveable workstation or shipping workstation can help you stretch your legs and release tension as you work.
It’s all about working smarter. Taking good care of yourself is always important no matter how much work is on your plate.
6. Minimize Interruptions
How many times a day do colleagues pop their heads in to chat? You may not realize how many times this distracts you in a given day.
Constant interruptions change your work pattern and disrupt your focus. If this is a problem for you, work on minimizing these interruptions.
Although you can’t eliminate all distractions, you can try a few things that may help.
Try keeping your door closed, setting office hours, or even posting a friendly reminder on your door. If you are working on a time-sensitive project, try working from home or changing your work location for a short time.
A change of scenery offers you a break from constant interruptions and may increase your productivity.
7. Write Down Daily Goals
Writing down your daily goals only takes a few moments, and it may help you get things done. Start the day by writing down your top priorities for that particular workday.
When you lose your focus or start procrastinating, you can refer to your list and get back on track. There are tons of online apps and programs to help you with this, or you can keep it simple.
Use a colorful Post-it or something visible from your desk. Rather than trying to work on multiple tasks at once, focus on your goals for the day.
Try tackling them one-by-one and you’ll be surprised by how much you accomplish.
Ways to Work Efficiently
To be productive, you must develop habits that focus on working smarter, not harder. Remember you can’t work efficiently if you don’t take care of yourself.
Resist the urge to work more hours and take on more than you can handle. Organize your day, and instead of multi-tasking, focus on one task at a time.
Hard work is the key to success, but be sure to give yourself a break to refresh and reenergize. Before you know it, you’ll be killing it at work and feeling good in the process.
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