We’ve all been there before: sitting at your desk, staring at the bright screen in front of you, and struggling to find the determination and the motivation to produce just one coherent thought. Other days you may be getting things done from the moment you get to work only to hit a wall in the mid-afternoon. Regardless of what the situation may be, we’ve compiled a list of helpful tips to help you not only stay productive, but become more productive in the workplace. By increasing your productivity you’ll find that the day will go faster, you’ll feel more accomplished, and the doors to future opportunities will begin to open.
Plan Your Day According to Your Peak Energy
Everyone is different when it comes to peaks of energy in any given day. Some are more productive in the mornings, others in the afternoon. Whatever your case may be, understand when you are most productive and use that time to tackle the bigger tasks and projects you need to get done. If you put off the important tasks and spend your peak hours catching up on emails or other routine tasks, then you’ll find it more difficult when you approach the big projects later in the day, or vice versa. Plan your day so that you get the high-priority and large tasks done when you are working at your best.
We are creatures of habit, and our bodies recognize this. Establish a daily routine that will allow you to be more productive. Know when your body needs lunch, when it needs to stand up and walk around the office, or when your mind simply needs to have a reset with a short break that may include a walk outside or a friendly activity with other co-workers should your office have entertaining break rooms. Prioritize your routine tasks and give them a designated time to get done in your day. Stick to whichever routine you establish as much as you can.
If your office often gets cluttered and messy try to find a way to keep it consistently clean and organized. Messy environments can promote stress and idleness. Keeping your work area clean and organized will help you to stay on task and get things done in an orderly fashion.
Your body still needs water even if you’re just sitting at a desk for eight hours a day. If you are not properly hydrating yourself, then you will likely have less energy which will produce a dip in your productivity. Give your body what it needs so you don’t lose any energy when you need to get things done. Be sure to drink plenty of water.
You may think multitasking is a great way to get many things done at once, but the truth is that when you multitask no single task gets your full and complete attention. You’re also more likely to forget things, meaning that those multiple tasks will be incomplete. Tackle one project and one task at a time. Give it all of your dedication through to the end. Then move on to the next.
This can be hard to do if you work in an open office, but the more distractions around you the less you will get done. Set times to turn off your phone, close your email, and just work. If you work in an open office consider getting headphones and listen to music while you work. You’ll be surprised how much you can get done when you get lost and work in solitary.
Turn Procrastination Into a Positive
If you’re procrastinating a project or task there must be a reason. Perhaps it’s not high priority, but still needs to get done. Maybe it is high priority, yet overwhelming. When you find yourself procrastinating, discover the reason behind it and use that time to prioritize your tasks. Which need to get done and when? How could you make a task more fun, if necessary? Once you’ve got this list down, then it’s time to get back to work.
Discover your own patterns and habits. What makes you the most productive? Is it your work environment? Lack of distractions? Or maybe taking needed breaks when you’re supposed to? Pay attention to what makes you effective and do what you can to ensure that you take advantage of your productive habits and make them routine.