Trying to find a way to increase productivity while staying positive and not working yourself to death? There are many ways that our jobs tend to drag us down but there are just as many ways that we can combat that added stress and still get things done. Here are 7 quick tips for maximizing productivity during your day.
1. Keep Snacks on Hand
In 2015, hangry was officially added to the Oxford dictionary, with good reason. When we’re hungry, we can get distracted and irritable, which can interfere with our ability to get things done. Making sure that there are healthy snacks nearby can help stave off the dangers of being hangry. It can also buy you some time if you need to work through lunch to meet a deadline.
With all the added productivity of connected devices, they also come with added distractions. Constant interruptions from calls, notifications, and alerts can stop you from getting things done. Almost all devices and applications now come with a “Do Not Disturb” feature, which will hold all incoming emails, texts, and other notifications, clearing the way for several hours of uninterrupted work. Just remember to turn it off when you’re ready to connect to the world again.
3. Plan Your Day
Spend a few minutes each morning figuring out a plan for the day and you won’t waste time wondering what to do next. Sometimes transitioning from one task to another is difficult without a clear path from point A to point B. Having a schedule will help you track your progress and figure out if you’re meeting your goals, or if you need to reevaluate your pace.
4. Set Time limits
Give yourself an allotted time to complete certain tasks, and then be done with them. Give yourself 30 minutes for email, 3 minutes for returning calls, 15 minutes to review submissions from the day before, etc. If you have a deadline, even a small one like that, it will keep you from wasting too much time on tasks that should be short and sweet.
5. Build Extra Time into Your Schedule for the Unexpected
While a schedule is important, make sure that you build some extra time in to deal with the little bumps in the road that occur. This will help prevent you from being late to important meetings and may also help you get ahead of your schedule once in a while. If you allotted 45 minutes for a task, and then a 15-minute break before your next agenda item, you may finish early and find you have 30 minutes. You can then knock out a 30-minute task from later in the day and head home a bit early.
6. Keep a List
Keeping a list is one of the things that serves most people well. Whether it’s on a sticky note, a pad of legal paper, or a new mobile app, keeping a list will help you stay focused throughout the day, and you’ll be able to check off items and track your productivity. Just make sure that you keep it all in one document, and don’t let it turn into 4 or 5 scattered lists around your office.
7. Don’t Forget Self-Care
One of the biggest things that people will overlook is the importance of self-care for maintaining productivity. When we get stressed, or when we don’t sleep or eat, it interferes with our cognitive functioning in a way that is anything but productive. While grabbing a satisfying treat or taking a 20-minute break to get a walk outside may seem like wasted time, the benefits of doing something for yourself should never be discounted.
These 7 hacks might not always seem like they will increase your productivity, but after giving them a try, you might find yourself praising the value of turning off your mobile device or even taking a nap. Remember that part of staying productive is keeping yourself energized and motivated.