Between phone calls, meetings, emails, and other distractions, staying productive at work can be a challenge. There are only so many hours in a day, and it’s crucial to make them as productive as possible. Here are 10 tips to make the most of your time at work by working smarter, not harder.
1. Set your schedule the night before
Prior to leaving the office in the evening, set your schedule for the next day by prioritizing the day’s most important tasks. That way you’ll know exactly what needs to be done when you return to the office. Try to begin your day with the most important task to get your day off to the best start possible.
2. Take regular breaks
While it might seem counterintuitive, taking regular 5- to 10-minute breaks is actually better for your productivity because it helps you maintain a high level of performance. On the other hand, working non-stop without a break will lead to burnout.
3. Avoid multi-tasking
Trying to do multiple tasks at once actually causes you to get less done. Instead, focus on just one task at a time before you move on to a new task.
4. Trim your to-do list
Oftentimes, people overestimate what they’re able to accomplish at work in one day. They create a lengthy to-do list and then get frustrated with themselves because they’re unable to complete all of the tasks they’ve scheduled. Create a shorter, more realistic to-do list to improve your focus and decrease unnecessary stress.
5. Eliminate distractions
Distractions during the workday are inevitable to a certain degree, but you can take steps to keep them at a minimum. For example, you can keep the door to your office closed or only check your emails at certain times of the day.
6. Avoid eating big lunches
Avoid eating heavy lunches with a lot of carbs and fat because they’ll make you feel sluggish. Instead, eat meals and snacks that are high in protein and fiber to stay energized and focused.
7. Keep your desk clutter-free
Stay organized and avoid clutter, so you don’t waste any time during the workday trying to find emails or misplaced papers. As the old adage goes, a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind.
8. Give yourself deadlines
While you don’t want to overextend yourself, it’s advantageous to set deadlines for yourself that put you under a little stress to help you meet your goals. You tend to be more productive when you are under pressure to meet a deadline. A little bit of stress isn’t a bad thing.
9. Stand during phone calls
As simple as it sounds, standing during phone calls actually leads you to spend less time on the phone because you tend to get straight to the point. When you’re standing during a phone call, you’re less likely to chat idly.
10. Make your workspace aesthetically pleasing
Decorating your office with aesthetically pleasing items like plants, artwork, or anything else that makes you happy can make you feel more satisfied at work and lead to an increase in productivity.
If you want to boost productivity at work, the solution isn’t to work longer hours or to try and fit more tasks into your packed calendar. The above tips will help you make the most of your workday and maximize your productivity.
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