When it comes to managing your productivity, there are things that you should add to your routine. Life is a balancing act and it isn't easy to stay productive when there are so many other things you would rather be doing.
Here are seven tips to help with that.
- Make a List. Creating a list for yourself will help you plan out what needs done. The list should prioritize what really, really needs done to things that you can give a little more time. Your list could be hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly dependent on your life and how you prefer to organize yourself. Plan around the hours you know you have the most focus even though it may change the way you work.
- Avoid Social Media. Social media gives us an excuse to waste time. Facebook alone has given cause for 24% of people to waste time and 78%-91% of people are wasting time on a daily basis, according to a study done in 2014. You can't get your best work done if you catch yourself trying to find out what Jenny, from high school, is doing with her life now or going through your ex's vacation photos.
- Set Goals. If you're trying to tackle that 10-page report, set some realistic stopping points. Knocking it out in one go will exhaust you and strain your motivation. While short pauses can help reduce burn outs, don't let yourself take too much time out of focus. Don't set a goal that is unreasonable but don't make excuses for taking breaks too often. Alternate between timed intervals of productivity and relaxation and maintain the pattern.
- Stay Focused. Don't let things distract you. If you're trying to finish that fiscal report for work but your friend, Sandy, keeps popping in to your cubical or office to interrupt you every five minutes, set boundaries. Your friends should know when it is and is not okay to talk to you. Again, don't let these unplanned distractions take away from your workflow.
- Stay Positive. The task you're on may seem daunting. If it gets too much for you, ask for help, seek a motivator, or walk away from your desk for a minute but don't become discouraged. Focusing on a negative, like "I'll never finish this in time," can add unnecessary pressure. You may even need to watch a few cat videos on YouTube, just to get out of that slump.
- Set Aside Time. Time management is very tough to master. Make sure you have the time for the task at hand before you try to take care of it. If you have an hour of time but a project that you know will take at least three hours to complete, you need to plan the time to do it. Don't try to fit something big into a small section of time.
- Organize. Whether you're working with documents, electronic interfaces, or items, your work space needs to be tidy. A cluttered work space interferes with your focus and limits how productive you are. Everyone has their own version of 'tidy' so don't try to copy the way Steven has his desk set up if that just isn't you.
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