How To Be Productive At Work
If you’re trying to be more productive at work, you will need to eliminate distractions and ensure your focus stays on the job. Being productive doesn't necessarily mean doing 100 things at the same time, but making sure your tasks are completed timely and efficiently. The faster you can get through a task, the more you can accomplish during the day.
- Plan your day or your week. Depending on whether your responsibilities change daily or by project, create a to-do list and list detailed things that need to be accomplished. Don’t write, “Finish the X file.” Instead, list the steps needed to finish the job. Make sure the list is reasonable, so you can feel a sense of accomplishment every time you cross something off.
- Do the most important tasks first. Choose two or three must-do tasks from your list and get them done as soon as possible as you start the day. As the day progresses, chances are new things will come up that will make it more difficult to be more productive at work, so it’s important that the essential goals get done ASAP. You can also create an extra non-essential list where you can write small tasks. When you have some free time in between important tasks, simply take something from that list and do it.
- Process all emails at once. Open your inbox two or three times a day and write or respond to all emails that need attention. Avoid the temptation of checking your email every ten minutes. This wastes a lot of time and distracts you from your goal to be productive at work.
- Prepare in advance. Use your commute to get started on the reading or brainstorming for the day. Or put materials or files together before you leave the office, so they’ll be waiting for you the next morning. The more you can do in advance, the less rushed you'll feel during the workday.
- Delegate non-important tasks. If you can get somebody to deal with the mail, photocopying or filing, you can concentrate on the most urgent tasks at work. Another way to be more productive at work is to combine forces. For example, agree with a coworker that one of you will handle the printing for the day and the other will take care of the incoming mail. That way you can concentrate on a single task and spend your time more wisely
- Rest. If you’re tired or overworked, you’ll have trouble concentrating and simple tasks will take a lot longer. Sleep seven to nine hours every night if possible. At work, take five-minute breaks every hour and use it to get a cup of coffee, walk to the bathroom or simply stretch.