Staying productive at work isn’t easy. Ploughing through so much work is very tiring, ain’t fun and uninspiring. There is always a deluge of interesting things passing by that distract your attention. A funny video on youtube, a whatsapp message or an interesting tweet. In this battle of focus you wage everyday, how to make sure that we get most out of your day without getting tired? How can we boost your productivity at work? Luckily, you don’t need to worry any longer. You can stay energetic and fresh all day long while you can drastically improve your productivity at work and get more work done on time.
So, what follows is every tip, trick, and hack that you can use to stay prolific, get shit done and win the battle for focus. Read on the 37 exclusive tips to stay productive and get shit done. Trust us. You’ll feel better afterwards.
- 1 KNOW YOUR ENERGY
- 2 BE AN EARLY BIRD
- 3 CHOOSE A BAD JOB
- 4 DON’T PROCRASTINATE
- 5 GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
- 6 MAKE A LIST
- 7 BE REALISTIC
- 8 A GOOD POSITION
- 9 CLEAN IT UP
- 10 TELL THE TIME
- 11 GET ELECTRONIC ORGANISER
- 12 CREATE A SYSTEM
- 13 COMMUNICATE WITH STAFF
- 14 GET MOBILE
- 15 TELEPHONE TENNIS
- 16 EAT LIGHT
- 17 MULTITASK
- 18 KEEP IT BRIEF
- 19 SET A STANDARD
- 20 GET OUT AND ABOUT
- 21 BE PREPARED
- 22 SOUND OF SILENCE
- 23 FILE IT AWAY
- 24 PAIN BEFORE PLEASURE
- 25 GET COMPETITIVE
- 26 CLEAN OUT
- 27 ASK FOR QUIET
- 28 CLUB THINGS TOGETHER
- 29 GIVE PRAISE
- 30 STAY UP-TO-DATE
- 31 DON’T MEET UP
- 32 KEEP WORK SEPARATE
- 33 BE AN ENERGIZER
- 34 TRACK YOUR TIME
- 35 THINK ABOUT IT
- 36 GET CALLER DISPLAY
- 37 IGNORE THE PHONE
KNOW YOUR ENERGY
Take a few days thinking about what is your most productive time of day and try to organize your time around them. For instance, if you have a natural dip at 4 pm, may be that’s a good time to do tasks that require a little less brainpower.
BE AN EARLY BIRD
If you often find yourself rushed and flustered when you get to the office, start getting up 15 minutes earlier. The extra time will give you a chance to read through your work notes for the day so that you can start the day feeling well prepared.
CHOOSE A BAD JOB
Work through your to-do-list sensibly. Don’t choose all the jobs you like first and leave the bad jobs till last. Instead, try to alternate an enjoyable job with one you don’t feel like doing.
Open your post immediately rather than leaving it in unopened piles. Throw away or recycle anything you don’t need to keep and try to file everything else straight away. Keeping out only what you need to deal with. Aim to look at each piece of paper only once and don’t pile it up.
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
Did you know that 91 million working days a year are lost due to mental ill-health in the UK? Working till you drop isn’t going to do anyone favors in the long run, so make sure you give yourself regular breaks to stay on top of things.
MAKE A LIST
Before you leave work at night, make a fresh list for the next day and stick it on our screen or desktop or leave it open on your desk. It will stop wasting time the next day and help your head stay clear in the evening.
If you’re commuting anytime, make sure you allow more time as many accidents are caused by people rushing to their destinations. Planning journeys in advance will make you less stressed.
A GOOD POSITION
Make sure your chair is comfortable and your lower back is supported, and that you’re not too far from your keyboard. Nothing should feel strained or stretched, especially if you stay in the same position for a while.
CLEAN IT UP
Invest 5 minutes of time in cleaning up your desk before you leave the office – arriving to a clutter-free desk in the morning will help you start the day on the right note.
TELL THE TIME
Make sure you have a clock on your desk or prominently displayed on your computer. That way, you’ll be able to monitor how long it takes you to do things so time doesn’t run away with you.
GET ELECTRONIC ORGANISER
Buy an electronic organizer, or use your phone or blackberry, to serve as your diary, address book and calendar. Using it to remember things like birthdays as well as meetings will free up brain space for more efficient working.
CREATE A SYSTEM
Spend a few hours making sure your filing system is clear and concise and that it works for you. It’s stressful not to be able to find essential items when you need them.
COMMUNICATE WITH STAFF
If you’re a manager, don’t get so bogged down in trying to assign tasks that you forget to ask your workers what they want – research has shown that people work best if they enjoy their role, so keep in the loop.
Instead of being stuck in the office, buy a laptop so you can maximize flexibility – get one with a built-in fax facility.
Return a call once, leaving a message and telling the person when you are available. Make sure you’re available when you say you will be and you’ll avoid wasting time to-ing and fro-ing with answer messages.
At lunchtime, make sure you don’t overeat and try to avoid too much caffeine and alcohol which might cause a dip in energy in the afternoon. Keep lunch light and energizing with salads, frail and protein.
Jobs that aren’t too critical and don’t require 100% concentration can be joined together to save time; for instance, deleting junk emails, or organizing papers while “on hold” on the phone.
KEEP IT BRIEF
Try to keep work phone calls brief and to the point. Spend a minute deciding what you want to say beforehand and try not to be distracted.
SET A STANDARD
To save time when you’re sending emails or letters, try to create standard templates you can use so you don’t have to worry about starting afresh each time.This will help you free up more office time for other tasks.
GET OUT AND ABOUT
Your office will work more efficiently if everyone has a lunch break. Try to encourage everyone to go out for at least a 10 or 15 minute break to perk them up and keep them going for the rest of the day.
If possible, try to set out your clothes the night before so you don’t rush in the morning. If you take a packed lunch to work, make sure it’s already prepared so you can get out of the door quickly.
SOUND OF SILENCE
In laboratory experiments, it has been shown that mice who were played irritating noises found it harder to concentrate. Make sure your office is free of audible irritations.
FILE IT AWAY
Make a scheduled time to do your filing every day so papers don’t get on top of you. It’s an easy job, so right after your lunch break or later in the afternoon is usually a good time to choose.
PAIN BEFORE PLEASURE
It might be tempting to do all the enjoyable things in your life first, but studies show you’ll actually enjoy your leisure time more if you feel you’ve achieved something beforehand – so work now, play later.
To help keep you all motivated and if you have co-workers who are interested, get them involved in deadline competitions for tasks or see who delivers the best quality product or service within the time.
Make it a rule to get together every month in the office to clear it of unwanted papers and accumulated junk. Put on some music and go through everything to declutter.
ASK FOR QUIET
If certain colleagues cause disruption in the office, why not instigate a quiet period every day or ask for a “red flag” system where you can ask for calm if you’ve got important work or preparation to do.
CLUB THINGS TOGETHER
If your job can be split into different compartments like making sales calls, sending emails, creative thinking time etc, try to lump them together into separate time blocks so you can work more efficiently.
Every time someone does something on time at work or at home, make sure you show your appreciation. Workers will be prepared to go that extra mile if they feel that their efforts are noticed and appreciated.
If you work from home or have a small office, make sure you concentrate on getting up-to-date equipment like integrated faxes and scanners.
DON’T MEET UP
Avoid unnecessary meetings, which can be a big drain on your precious time. If something can be resolved without a meeting, do so, but stick strictly to agendas if you do meet up.
KEEP WORK SEPARATE
If possible, try not to take work home with you and if you must, then try to limit it to one or two pre-planned nights a week. Similarly, make it a rule if at all possible, not to take your home life into the office. Ask yourself, do you have what it takes to be trusted.
BE AN ENERGIZER
Many of us like to have a good moan, but did you know that lack of energy and motivation is contagious? If you feel energetic, you’ll help the people around you feel energetic too which makes everyone happier. Make an effort to be positive around your workmates for a week and see the difference.
TRACK YOUR TIME
Keep a diary detailing what you do for a week and at the end of the week, total up the amount of time you spent on various different tasks. Use it to plan your own time or talk to your manager about changing things if necessary.
THINK ABOUT IT
If someone asks you to take on more responsibility at work, don’t say yes immediately just because you feel flattered. Ask for time to think about it and really stop and evaluate what it would mean to your time management. Will it make your job more stressful and can you really manage to fit it in?
GET CALLER DISPLAY
Buying a caller display unit is a great way to cut down on phone interruptions because you can see who’s calling before you pick up the phone. You can then make a decision about whether to pick it up or leave it to go to answer phone.
IGNORE THE PHONE
It’s all too easy to pick up the phone the instant it rings but if you find you are constantly being interrupted by calls, try to have a time devoted to the telephone and a period during the day when you turn it off or switch it to answer phone and concentrate on your other jobs.
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