Productivity can be a tough thing to master, especially when you're juggling multiple responsibilities. You may feel like there's not enough time in the day to get everything done. And while it's true that you probably wouldn't be able to accomplish as much if you were working alone, being part of a team doesn't guarantee productivity either.
The truth is, the only person who can make you productive is yourself. But if you're struggling to find the motivation or know-how to get things done in a timely manner, these seven real-world strategies will help.
Get your work done during work hours.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people don't do it. If you're going to lunch with your coworkers, then make sure that the task is done by noon so you can enjoy some time with them without being distracted from what you're doing otherwise. It's also important to stay focused on the task at hand during meetings, so if someone asks you a question or starts talking about something that doesn't pertain to what they were doing, politely excuse yourself and say you'll get back to them later on that subject matter.
Keep a to-do list, and prioritize your tasks.
It's easy to get distracted at work. You might find yourself watching videos, checking social media sites, or playing games on your phone. But if you have a to-do list at hand, you can keep track of what needs to be done and in what order. It also helps you stay focused on the task at hand instead of procrastinating by going online or checking other apps on your phone. With an operations management software you can digitise your paper checklists, keep your team accountable and get the best out of your employees.
Take a break when you need to.
Don't wait until you're feeling frazzled to take a break — schedule them in advance so they don't get lost amid your other responsibilities. A short break can help clear your head and reset your mind for the next task at hand.
It's also important to take a break from the computer. If you're working on a project that needs to be done, try moving away from your keyboard and monitor for a few minutes — even if it's just walking around the office or taking a quick walk outside.
Work from home when possible.
Working from home can make it easier for employees to get into a state of flow and focus on their tasks without distractions from other workers or managers walking around the office talking about weekend plans and gossiping about coworkers' outfits at last year's Christmas party. It also helps reduce stress because workers don't have to deal with rush hour traffic or overcrowded public transportation systems during their commutes home at night — or early in the morning before getting ready for work again. This can allow employers to attract top talent who aren't interested in working in an office environment full-time, but who would like to make some extra money by working remotely as needed or part-time while they pursue other interests outside of work.
The bottom line is that remote work can be a win-win for both employers and employees.
Tidy up your workspace.
A messy desk is a sign of a messy mind, and it's hard to focus on your tasks when you can't find anything. When you tidy up before starting work each day, it's easier to focus on the task at hand — whether that's writing an email or taking a call.
To make sure your workspace stays neat and organized, try these tips:
- Keep only the things you need within reach — not everything in sight. If you're going through old files or documents, put them in a separate pile so they don't get lost among all the clutter on your desk.
- Use labeled binders, folders, and containers to store paper documents. Label them clearly so you know what's inside without having to open every binder or folder to look for it. If you have more than one file cabinet or drawer, label those as well so you can easily identify which paperwork goes where when necessary.
- File paperwork by date received rather than by type (e.g., "today" vs "yesterday"). That way, you won't waste time looking for something that was filed away days ago but is still sitting out on your desk because it hasn't been added to the system yet.
Maintain good posture while working.
It's no secret that sitting down all day isn't great for your health, but most people don't realize how much of a difference it can make to simply switch from being hunched over a desk to sitting upright with your feet on the floor and shoulders back. The Mayo Clinic recommends taking a five-minute break every hour to stand up and stretch, but if you're feeling especially stiff or sore after a long day, consider investing in an ergonomic chair to help support your back and neck.
Eat healthy foods, drink lots of water, and get enough sleep each night.
This is especially important if you work long hours — if you're hungry or tired, it may be difficult to focus on work tasks. Make sure that your meals are balanced and nutritious, and don't skip breakfast if possible; eating breakfast gets your metabolism going and gives you energy throughout the day. You should also make sure that you drink enough water throughout the day, especially if you're active — dehydration can lead to headaches or fatigue which makes it harder for you to concentrate on work tasks. And getting enough sleep will help keep stress levels low so that you're able to concentrate better at work.
The workplace is often a challenging place to maintain productivity. And when you're in a job that isn't exactly thrilling, it can be difficult to stay motivated every day. But maintaining productivity doesn't have to be that way. By using one or more of these strategies in your everyday life, you'll be able to work efficiently and still enjoy your job.