The curse of modern working life is having a ‘to do’ list that you never reach the bottom of. The key to a successful working day is not taking on less but doing things better; fortunately, you can maximise your time at work with a few productivity hacks that will leave more time for you. Here are seven tips for becoming more productive at work.
1. Create your own deadlines
Open-ended projects are not your friend. If you have been given a task with no deadline, you should create your own; if you do not, this task could languish at the bottom of your list for months and play on your mind.
2. Give yourself a break
You will be at your most productive if you weave regular breaks into your schedule. Do not try to concentrate on difficult tasks for more than an hour at a time.
3. Analyse your working day
We are not that good at estimating how long it takes us to complete tasks, so set a stopwatch. Armed with this information, you can assess which tasks are a good use of your time and which are not.
4. Avoid as many meetings as you can
You could spend your whole day in meetings and achieve very little! Before you agree to attend a meeting, ask yourself whether you must be there in person. Could you achieve the same objective if you made a phone call or sent an email instead?
5. Change the way you meet
When you have to meet up with colleagues, try something different; for example, instead of settling down around a table, try standing up. This cuts down on unnecessary chit-chat.
6. Get the small stuff out of the way
Identify tasks that will take you less than two minutes to complete and do them straight away. You could knock 10 items off your ‘to do’ list is less than half an hour, which will give you a great psychological boost.
7. Multi-tasking is not as great as you think it is
Whilst we all like to pride ourselves on our multi-tasking skills, this is not the most productive way to tackle our schedule. If you focus entirely on one task at a time, you will get more done.
Follow these top tips and you will walk away from work feeling that you have accomplished what you set out to do.
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