Time, we never seem to have enough in our day to get our work done. Unfortunately, there is not an endless supply of time; to have more of it we need to change our work habits. Making small changes in our day can yield higher productivity in a shorter period, give us more down time and reduce stress.
Here are 10 Tips to Increase your Personal Productivity:
According to the Harvard Business Review, research has shown that a messy work space can undermine persistence. That being said, how are you working? Are there established work flows for your desk? A place for everything? When is the last time you did a desk clean out? Start with the space in front of you and organize. Take a trip to Staples if needed and get your paperwork in order. Your brain can’t think with clutter all around.
Know Your Best Work Times
Every person has a “best time” to work, some are night owls others morning birds. You probably know your most clear headed times to work and the best thing you can do is to go with that flow. According to another Harvard Business Review blog post, The Ideal Work Schedule determined by Circadian Rythms, our energy is directly tied to our circadian rhythm and there is a reason why we are tired at 3pm.
Don’t Jump Around
Keep like tasks together to keep you efficient. When you pair unrelated tasks together it takes more time. Don’t pair payroll with ordering products, they are two different things. Be sure to take a break to clear your head before switching gears.
Write it Down
Yes, make a list. With today’s technology, there is no reason not to keep your tasks in front of you. If you like pen and paper, keep a visual running list of tasks that you check off as you go, or create lists in your phone and email them to yourself. Simple sticky notes are always a great way to remember your to-dos. Try not to clog your mind with keeping track of a list.
Procrastinate, it can be your friend
Sounds counter intuitive, but sometimes procrastination is a good thing. Ask yourself why you can’t get something done. Do you need more details and information? Do you not have the skill set? Or maybe there is a better way to accomplish what you want and you haven’t figured it out yet? Ask yourself pointed questions and get to the bottom of it. Maybe it should be delegated to someone more suited to the task.
Break up your work by doing something you like. Maybe it’s playing a game on your computer, taking a walk around the block, doing some stretches or talking with a co-worker about something in common. Mini brain breaks refresh your energy and keep your mind energized. Keep sitting to a minimum, no longer than 30 minutes at a time.
Create Achievable Goals
Once you have written down your to-do list, prioritize by importance. Don’t save the hardest tasks for last. Color code your tasks and tackle priority ones first. Set specific times to read emails and respond, as well as meeting times with staff. We can lose a whole day taking care of items that could really be left alone. Carly Stec wrote a post 7 Quick ways to Free Up More Time and states that 41% of a worker’s time was spent on tasks and activities that could be handled more proficiently by others.
Use Your Time Wisely
Multitasking can have its pitfalls, however there are a few other ways to squeeze some more productivity into our day. Your commute is a great time to make calls to family and friends and listen to podcasts or audio books. Take a look at your day and see where you can find more time. It might mean that you go to bed 30 minutes earlier, so you can wake up earlier and do yoga or a load of laundry. How you decide to use your time is up to you.