Sometimes we finish our work days unsatisfied, knowing we could have achieved more with our scheduled time. While devising a general ‘Things to do’ list in the morning is great, efficiently following through is often harder than expected.
Without proper time management and structure, it’s easy to lose half the day focusing on lower-priority or easier tasks. This can lead to unfinished work overlapping into your personal time, which should be separate to limit health problems. Thankfully, with a timely structured plan, you’ll find it’s highly conducive to increasing work productivity.
Below are the best ways to maximize work output, making missed work deadlines a thing of the past.
Concentrate On One Task At a Time
There’s the tendency to handle multiple jobs at once if they’re seen as trouble-free. However, regardless of its difficulty, you’ll be far more efficient when dropping multitasking altogether. While it’s common to witness your co-worker handling multiple tasks like a street performer juggling tennis balls, simply focusing on one ensures it gets done faster, with fewer mistakes.
Take a Break and Relax
Opting for extra hours or covering co-worker night shifts may indicate increased productivity, but it’s also a sure-fire way to get burned out. If you continuously feel drained at work and are unable to get on top of things, chances are you’re mentally exhausted.
To prevent burnout, you need to ensure you have routines and outlets in place in your daily life that help you recharge. Taking frequent breaks from your work can assist in boosting concentration and mood, so give yourself space to take a stroll around the block, or practice mindfulness with deep-breathing techniques – two awesome habits that can be incorporated into your day-to-day. If you are like many others, and you struggle to stop thinking about work once you’re off, grabbing dinner with friends at your favorite spot is a fantastic way to help you get those racing work thoughts to stop.
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Become More Efficient
Occasionally your boss will throw you a curveball, allocating a project that’s overwhelming at first glance. When employees fear or dread a task, it can quickly cause anxiety, leading to time wasted scrolling through social media or having extended coffee breaks.
Instead of delaying the inevitable, break down your extensive undertaking by setting a list of smaller tasks which can be achieved daily/monthly. Long-term goals are completed by consistently reaching smaller goals. With your list in hand, prioritize tasks in terms of importance and add a realistic time frame for completion. You’ll suddenly feel in control, and will have the confidence to competently tackle and succeed with whatever your boss throws at you. .
Handle your Most Important Tasks When You Feel Sharpest
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to maintain our peak performance and attention span for overly long periods. The time a person feels best is highly individual, as some work better in the mornings (morning people) than others who prefer later times at night (nightowls).
However, when your mind finally switches into gear, it’s essential to focus on your important tasks instead of exerting energy on those less meaningful. This ensures project completion times aren’t drawn out for days or even weeks on end, and reduces potential mishaps that come with human error. .
Lessen Distractions in Your Work Environment
While having a no-phone policy at work isn’t likely to be implemented anytime soon, it doesn’t mean you can watch cat videos during shifts. If you tend to be distracted by social media or youtube, occasionally switching your device off can do wonders in keeping you focused.
Alternatively, you can refrain from phone use entirely during your desk hours, only using it during breaks. Procrastinating isn’t only exclusive to phone usage either. If you catch yourself doing the following, it’s a good sign you’re putting things off:
- Doing low-priority tasks throughout the day
- Reading emails or instructions repeatedly, instead of taking further action
- Starting essential tasks just to take a coffee break immediately after
- Waiting until you feel in the mood to tackle tasks
Recognizing when you procrastinate is the first step in solving the puzzle. For example, if tasks feel boring or tedious, you can switch to other work areas that you find more exciting or valuable. For employees who constantly pull their hair out due to stress, telling your boss can help relieve the problem. It could also be a sign to reevaluate your career, as your job may not align with your passions.
Try the ‘two-minute rule’
One effective way of enhancing work output is by completing tasks that take two minutes or under to finish. If you find yourself not maximizing your workdays, this unusual strategy can quickly build momentum to get things done.
Aside from handily finishing quick tasks, you should opt for ones that take less than two minutes to start. Tasks requiring little to no preparation allow you to begin immediately, and like many of life’s undertakings, the challenging part is just getting started. While spending all your work time making a minor things to do list isn’t ideal, having a healthy balance ensures you make the most of your time.
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