How productive you are often defines how successful you are at work. Managers and executives all aim to get the best performance out of their workforce, and it is individual productivity that sets one apart in the eyes of their superiors. While facing competition from your colleagues when it comes to that next promotion, if you’re lagging behind in productivity in comparison, your job prospects could be in jeopardy.
Here are 7 simple yet effective ways to help you make the best out of your time and deliver more than before:
- Pre-plan Your Tasks
List your tasks in terms of priority of completion the night before and you will know exactly what needs to be done when you return to your desk. Not only will a schedule help you stay organized, focused and on track, you will get the satisfaction of crossing items off your “to do” list once you complete them.
- Reduce Multi-Tasking
Attempting to accomplish more than one task at a time can actually be of more harm than help. Studies show that people who try to do two or more activities at once end up becoming distracted, and the quality of their work suffers. Focus on one task at a time, complete it properly and move on to the next project.
- Unclutter Your Workstation
As the old saying goes, “a cluttered desk is a symptom of a cluttered mind.” The time you spend looking for misplaced papers each day is extra time you could be using to complete your work. Use sticky notes to label file cabinets and drawers to increase convenience while searching for required documents.
- Take Small Breaks to Relieve Stress
Take short walks down the office corridor, or even across the street for a cup of coffee. Brief interludes from work can help to increase your productivity by rejuvenating you and allowing you to return to your work with fresh eyes.
- Get Rid of Distractions
Although interruptions during the workday are often unavoidable, minimize them to as less as possible. If you have an office with a door, keep it closed. When an office friend comes around for a chat while you’re working, let them know that you’re occupied, but would love to converse later. (Just be sure not to brush off any of your superiors.)
- Avoid Heavy Lunches
Snack on foods that are high in protein, fiber and antioxidants throughout the day. Seasonal fruits will keep you refreshed, full and focused. Sugary intakes and drinks keep you going only for a short time, and the inevitable “crash” may hamper your productivity and ruin your ability to work for the rest of the day.
- Impose Deadlines on Yourself, and Stick to Them
As you would with a financial budget, coordinate and monitor your time to meet deadlines faster. Some people who thrive under deadlines even deliberately shorten their workday by 15 minutes to ensure optimum efficiency.