Even the best of us can suffer from bouts of decreased productivity at work. After all, it is a place we go to 5 days a week, every week – a little demotivation at times is normal. However, when you let it get the better of you, your productivity suffers, along with the quality of your work and even your happiness. Here is some advice from the CA team on how to keep yourself productive in the office or whatever workspace you’re in.
We all keep a general eye on how long certain tasks are taking us, but that’s simply not good enough to really help with productivity. You need to accurately measure how long tasks take you. This not only helps you to stay on track, but it can also help you to plan your day almost to the minute, which can assure you successfully accomplish everything on that day’s agenda.
Too many people think that productivity is about always ‘doing something’. Not true. Breaks are crucial to keeping you sharp, refreshed and on task. Without giving yourself some time out regularly during the day, you will find that carrying out the tasks at hand takes you far longer than they otherwise would.
Make deadlines and stick to them
One of the biggest productivity killers can be tasks that need to be done but don’t really have a specific deadline. These are often the tasks we push down the list, further and further until they become the elephant in the room in terms of what you need to accomplish. For these tasks, make your own deadlines and stick to them. It’s a good idea to provide incentive to get these tasks done, such as going to lunch only when it is done. The tasks that bore you, or that you dread doing are some of the biggest culprits when it comes to productivity lulls, so tackle them head-on and you’ll clear the way for the tasks you do enjoy.
Not all the time, but it is important to learn to politely decline certain requests when they will encroach on your ability to do your own work. Of course, helping out a colleague is part of working harmoniously within a team but you need to recognise when too much is being asked of you. If you really don’t want to say no, then rather say ‘not right now’ and provide a more convenient time for you to be able to assist.
Focus on one task at a time
Multitasking is difficult and it’s not a good idea if you want to maintain a good quality of work. Plan your tasks in a successive fashion where possible so that you can give your undivided attention to one job at a time. Doing too many things at once might seem like a time-saver but in reality, you often end up having to re-do things because you weren’t paying enough attention.
Turn of notifications and schedule phone/email checks
Technology both aids and hinders productivity in the workplace. Learn how to use it positively by scheduling it into your day as you would other tasks. Don’t let constant pings from your phone interrupt your train of thought and don’t let emails popping up on your screen distract you from your current task.
Productivity at work is strongly linked to happiness at work. Making sure you stay productive is a good way to making sure you stay content.