Do you ever start your workday with a goal, plan, or list, but feel like nothing ever gets done? Even worse, do you feel like your to-do list actually increases as the day goes on?
Managing your time at work can be tricky, and being productive can feel like a bit of a battle. It can feel overwhelming when thinking where to start with managing your time in a way that helps you stay productive, but these 5 tips should help you get to grips with the basics of healthy productivity at work.
Make sure you have breaks
Burning out is a sure-fire way to decrease your productivity. Spending long hours working may make you feel like you are getting a lot done, but the opposite is actually true. Studies have found that having a regular break improves your mood and boosts your concentration levels. You could take time to have a quick coffee, or go for a short walk – anything that will give you a 5 to 15-minute reprieve.
Set yourself goals that are small and manageable
Creating long lists of goals can be overwhelming and stressful. You will instantly feel more in control of your work and be more productive if you assess the list and chunk up the tasks into small groups. For example, a large, vague task like “complete project” could be broken down into all the steps it will take to get it done. Not only will this help you feel less overwhelmed and daunted by the task, it will also help you better keep track of your progress day-to-day. Never multi-task
When looking at simple or small work tasks, it can be hard to resist the urge to take a few things on at once. This is a pitfall to avoid, as it actually does not work. Taking on tasks individually actually means you will complete them faster than if you try to tackle all of them simultaneously.
Build in a two-minute rule
Use small windows of time in your day to complete easy-win, small tasks. You can actually save time in your wider work day by sourcing and completing jobs that take two minutes or less. Another element to the rule to consider is that it takes two minutes or less to start any habit or goal.
Make sure you take on your biggest tasks when you feel most alert
It is best to tackle large or complex tasks when you feel at your sharpest. If you keep putting off tasks like this, the chances are you will feel too burned out to take them on by the time it comes round to tackling them. This means the task or project will take multiple days to complete and you will start to feel deflated. There is no right or wrong answer as to when to take on the big tasks – some people work better in the afternoons, while others feel more alert and sharp in the mornings. Work out what works best for you and use it to your advantage.