Here are the best ways to be productive at work
What we do as professionals is what defines us, and our work, as a consequence, becomes an integral part of our identity. Needless to say, being productive at work not only benefits us professionally but adds to our self-esteem and embellishes our self-image. A productive work life, then, translates into a self-belief which is grounded in reality.
Given such an effect it can have on our personalities, it becomes pertinent that we look at ways to increase our productivity at work and here we present five practical ways of doing the same.
Prioritise, Schedule, execute
While your work may not be routine in nature and you may have various tasks to handle on a regular basis, a structured approach to dealing with them is always helpful. In a given day, start by prioritising your work. The priority can be best decided by you as it varies from job to job and during the day as well. Once you have prioritised them, create a schedule and execute it within that time-frame. It sounds easier said than done but with some discipline, the process can effectively amplify your efficiency.
Tackle the tough, early on
One of the worst habits a lot of us display at work is that of procrastination of the difficult task. We push the toughest one to be dealt at a later period in the day and spend our time dealing with the easier and trivial ones. By the time we do come to the tough task, not only we find ourselves short of time, but also tired, distracted, and at low alertness levels. Tackle the tough one as early as possible and it would allow you the mental space to tackle the easier ones quite easily.
One task at a time
There is only so much of cognitive load our minds can take at a given moment and in given day. Overburdening it reduces both your efficiency and the quality of work. Multitasking may seem like valuable quality but it divides your attention, takes up energy as you switch between tasks, and unnecessarily burdens your mind. One task at a time should be your aim and with a little practice, you can observe its benefits in no time.
Breaks help a lot
Take any machine at work and observe. You would realise that even a machine needs to be turned off after a while and requires maintenance for it to keep working efficiently. If a machine, then, needs a break, so do you. Taking regular breaks between tasks like taking a short walk, having coffee, stretching a bit etc. can rejuvenate your mind and bring it back to optimal work levels. A 90-minute stretch of work, for example, should be followed by at least a 15-minute break. Do not worry, when you return from the break, you would easily be able to make up for lost time.
Refuse unwarranted interruptions
If you keep a track you would be surprised by how much time you lose due to unwanted interruptions like mobile notifications, unimportant calls, diversionary talks in a meeting and so on. Do not let that distract you and eat away your precious time. While in a meeting, stick to the topic. Set aside a block for responding to emails and notifications. These simple practices can have a profound effect on your productivity levels.
To conclude, one should keep in mind that all it takes is a little will and if you have it, you’re good to go. A productive work life, then, translates into a self-belief which is grounded in reality.
Originally published at www.medium.com on July 13, 2018