Do you ever leave the office after working tirelessly all day and wonder what you really accomplished? You're not alone in that feeling. Most people are constantly searching for ways to be more productive at work. That search might lead them to work longer hours or cram additional tasks into their already packed schedule. What they're not realizing, however, is that productivity has a lot more to do with the strategies you use at the office than checking items off a lengthy to-do list.
To increase your productivity level at work, consider implementing the following tips:
- Less is more. While an enormous stack of paperwork on your desk might give the illusion of productiveness, productive people understand that you must focus on accomplishing what truly matters during your workday. Take that stress inducing to-do list, decide what's most important, and eliminate the rest.
- Take a break. Wait-- isn't a break exactly what you should avoid if you're trying to be productive? Absolutely not. Taking a short break to eat a snack, take a walk, or just relax serves to recharge your brain, which leads to greater production when you get back to work.
- Break free from your inbox. Email leads to more distractions than anything else during a workday. Make a conscious choice to only check your email during designated times-- once an hour at most.
- Be accountable. It's easy to put things off or let tasks slide through the cracks when no one else is holding you accountable. To ensure productiveness, tell someone else about what you're working on-- then get the job done.
- Order your to-do list strategically. To start your day with a sense of accomplishment and momentum, begin by checking an easy task off your to-do list. From there, move on to a more difficult or time consuming task. Once that's accomplished, give your brain a break by following up with another small task.
- Stop the multi-tasking. You might feel productive if you're simultaneously taking a phone call, responding to an email, and making notes for your upcoming project, but chances are you're not doing any of those tasks efficiently. Focus on one thing at a time.
- Lay off the perfectionism. There's nothing wrong with being a perfectionist; in fact, it probably makes you a highly conscientious employee. However, there's a time and a place for perfectionism and it's not while completing every single task on your to-do list. Channel that perfectionism into the important tasks that really matter.
- Create a system. Consider some of your habits that are ruining your productiveness and come up with a system to manage them.
- Stop focusing on productivity. That might sound counterintuitive when you're working hard, but obsessing about productivity isn't motivating.Instead, focus on what does motivate you to get the job done-- perhaps that's a bonus, recognition from your boss, or earning a paycheck for your family.
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