We all know that one person at work who is always highly efficient and seems to breeze through the day. Somehow, they manage to respond to all emails and chats in a timely manner while getting their tasks done while staying motivated and energized. They may seem like mystical wizards, but their secret lies in how they manage their time. In order to be highly productive, we have to adopt a few new habits – and forget others.
1. Focus on The Most Important Tasks First
It may seem obvious, but making yourself a visual to-do list can help you organize your assignments from most urgent to least. Take a few minutes at the start of the day to list all of the things you must get done today then add the less pressing tasks after. Checking them off as you go also can give a sense of accomplishment—a boost to help stay motivated!
2. Break bigger tasks up into smaller ones
We often procrastinate because our responsibilities seem too challenging and we don’t know where to start. By setting priorities and breaking the bigger project into smaller tasks, the work is more manageable and less intimidating. This will make a to-do list longer, but getting through it will be faster and help avoid stress and procrastination.
3. Hold Yourself Accountable
Managing time at work is already hard enough- with most of us working at home now it’s way too easy to get distracted. Even if you are back in the office make it a habit to schedule time for yourself to reflect on your performance for that week. Are you getting all of your tasks done on time? Have you noticed yourself getting off task? Is it around the same time every day? What can you improve on for the following week? With awareness comes action- when you’re more aware of your work habits, you can see where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
4. Forget Multitasking
Many of us would like to take the title of a multi-tasker, but the reality is when we’re trying to do a few things at once, we’re actually accomplishing very little. In fact, errors are more likely to happen when we force our brain to divide its attention.
5. Limit Distractions
Resist the urge to check your personal social media accounts while you need to stay focused. If it helps, put your cell phone on silent and away from where you can see it. Set an alarm for 45 minutes, or however long you need to get a chuck of your task done. Allow yourself a quick break for a distraction then get back to business. Use this cycle going throughout the day to avoid burnouts.
- Bonus Tip: Create a distraction list on a notepad, Word, or anywhere that’s easily assessable during the day. When a distracting thought pops into your head jot it down quickly then get back to work. This allows you to keep track of important thoughts- “I have to call to see if my prescription is ready” or “The electric bill is due this week”- and give them your attention later.
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