Nov 19, 2020
Productivity is something we all struggle with, especially in 2020. It’s easy to get distracted with the news when the country is in the middle of a pandemic, among other things. It’s hard to get anything done when your phone keeps vibrating with notification after notification, news alerts, weather alerts, and so on.
Many of us are working remotely, and working from home presents its own challenges. On the other hand, how many times have you gotten distracted with a co-worker at the water cooler in the office? Whether you are working from home or in the office, it’s important to maximize your productivity in the time you have.
No one wants to work late every night, but sometimes there are deadlines that have to be met. Instead of increasing your working hours, though, why not try doing more with less? Being more productive during your working hours means that you get more time to spend with your family and friends. You also get to spend more time on things you enjoy doing outside of work like gardening, music, or sports.
Here are a few tips on how to improve productivity in the workplace:
1. Work When You’re at Your Best
Some people work best in the mornings when their brains are fresh. Some people need to have that cup of coffee and wake up before they can get into productive mode. Some people are night owls.
You need to discover what works for you and how you can optimize your schedule around that. If you work best in the morning, get your hardest tasks done first. If you need to warm up first, start with easier tasks to get into the day.
2. Stop Multitasking
We check our phones while we’re watching TV. We send emails while we’re in meetings. We carry on several conversations at one time. Doing something else makes you pay less attention to whatever you’re supposed to be doing. Your IQ can even drop if you are engaged in a different activity.
The more time you take to switch from one task to another, the more time you spend shifting gears. So how do you stop multitasking? Try checking your email periodically throughout the day as opposed to leaving it open. Turn notifications off on your phone so you won’t be constantly interrupted by likes, comments, and alerts.
Whatever activity you are engaged in, devote yourself fully to that activity. You’ll pay better attention, and produce higher quality work because of it.
3. Prepare a To-Do List
It’s easier to be productive when you have a good idea of everything you need to get done in a day. Some people like to prepare to-do lists the night before, whereas some people like to start each day reviewing their overall plan for the day. Some people do really well with to-do list apps on their phones. Some people do better with a physical list where they can cross off tasks with a pen. Find out what works best for you so to-do lists become an excellent tool for your productivity.
4. Remove Distractions
This one is hard, especially now. There is so much to distract us at any given moment. It is possible to remove distractions, though, even if just temporarily.
Maybe you need to turn the internet off for 30 minutes to work on that spreadsheet. Maybe you need to put your phone on airplane mode. Maybe you need to put classical music in your headphones, so your co-workers don’t chat with you all day.
Find what distracts you the most, and figure out a way to step away, at least temporarily. Devote work time to working, and schedule in break time throughout the day where you can stretch, take a walk, look at your social media, or read the news.
All in all, distractions can wreak havoc on your productivity, but you don’t have to let them. Utilize these four tips to optimize your workday, and you’ll be feeling more productive in no time.