Resources at work seem to be more limited each year. There are many tips you can use to increase your productivity and make the best use of your limited time and energy. Your boss will appreciate that fact that your work is done quickly and efficiently. You might even get a raise.
Productivity hacks can help you perform at a higher level:
1. Become a Pomodoro fan. No, it’s not a type of hat. It’s a work-break strategy. You work on one thing for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break. It’s easy to focus for 25 minutes, especially with a timer pushing you.
- You might find you do better with a 50-minute work period and a 10-minute break. Experiment and see what works for you.
2. Only handle things once. This is an oldie, but goodie. Once you have your hands on a piece of paper, email, or phone call, deal with it right then and there.
- There’s nothing less productive than moving papers back and forth from one side of your desk to the other.
- Discover when you’re most productive. You might be at your best in the morning and a zombie in the afternoon. If that’s the case, do your more challenging work earlier in the day. Save the routine work, like answering email, for the afternoon.
- Experiment with different schedules and see what works for you.
3. Impose your own deadlines. Your boss probably gives you deadlines. It’s even more effective to set your own. Most of us have a habit of waiting until something has to be done before we get serious. Decide for yourself when you’re going to get things done. Just be sure it’s before your boss wants them done!
4. Set a limit on frivolous social media and internet time. It’s easy to get sucked into the pictures of your high school friend’s vacation to Maui or spend too much time watching cute puppy videos.
- Set a timer and stick to your time limit. It’s never wise to surf the web or engage in social media activities at work. Use them at home, but set a limit.
5. Avoid multi-tasking. Studies have shown that no one is more effective when doing multiple tasks versus doing a single task. You lose too much recalibrating each time you switch. Stick with a single task until it’s complete. You can then move on to the next task.
- If you don’t believe this tip, do a little experiment. See how much more you can get done by focusing on single task at a time.
6. Create a to-do list at the end of the day for the following day. Before you leave work, make a to-do list and leave it out where you can see it the following morning. You can start the day running instead of wandering aimlessly while you try to get a handle on your obligations.
7. Turn your phone notifications off. How will you get anything done if your phone is flashing and beeping at you every 15 seconds? It can all wait until your next break. If you’re following the Pomodoro schedule, you won’t have to wait long.
Applying just one of these productivity tips to your life right now will result in smoother days at work. Avoid the stress that would result from applying all the tips at once. Apply one at a time and you’ll be known as the most productive employee at your company.