There’s nothing more frustrating than finding yourself continuously distracted when you have a to-do list as long as your arm. The truth is, it’s incredibly easy for your productivity to slip, sometimes without you even realising, and this can seriously damage your career development. Therefore you must be aware of your level of productivity and take steps to boost it. Here are Career Savvy’s top tips when it comes to being truly productive at work.
To give yourself the best chance of having a productive day you need to prepare yourself as much as possible the day before. For instance, a good night’s sleep will leave you feeling refreshed when you wake up therefore you’ll be ready for the day ahead. It also helps to put out your outfit and anything you need for the following day the night before, so you’re not rushing around in the morning and in a dither when you reach your desk.
Plan your day.
Sitting down and checking your emails first thing, believe it or not, is not the most productive way of starting your day. It only takes one email to distract you and suddenly you’ve lost your whole morning. Instead, start with the old faithful to-do list so you have a clear idea of your end goal for each day. It’s worth creating two lists: one for short-term priorities and one for long-term tasks. This helps you to determine the urgency of each task and adjust your plan of action accordingly.
Conquer your inbox.
Once you receive an email alert it’s difficult to ignore, but how do you decide when to respond straight away and when to carry on with what you’re doing? It’s worth scan reading the email mainly to remove the notification from your desktop as this in itself can be a distraction. Next, you need to decide how important the email is and whether it requires an urgent response. If it’s something that can be dealt with quickly then by all means respond, but if the task it has interrupted is more important, then it’s worth saving it for later when you have a spare 10 minutes.
Beware of multi-tasking.
Being able to handle a number of tasks at one time is often commended, but in reality, multi-tasking often results in you taking on too much and getting in over your head. There’s no harm in getting involved in more than one project, but if you find this is causing the standard of your work to slip, then this is a clear sign that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.
Take a break.
Concentrating for too long on one thing can actually cause you to lose your focus so it’s important to take short breaks throughout the day. Take 5 minutes to clear your mind as this will enable you to look at your work with a fresh perspective. If you’re feeling particularly stressed, go for a short walk to relieve the tension. In addition, take your lunch away from your desk so you can feel more refreshed when you return.
Tidy your desk.
Clutter has an incredible ability to heighten stress levels, especially when you’ve misplaced something. Take time at the end of the day to tidy your desk, filing away important documents and getting rid of any rubbish. If you’re able to arrive at work the next day to a neat desk then you’ll be able to kickstart your day straight away, rather than being distracted by the need to tidy it or find something important.
Use time saved.
It’s all well and good achieving your goal to boost your productivity, but to truly develop in your career you need to use the time you save wisely. For example you could think about new ideas that will help you to progress in your career, improve your team or even benefit the company as a whole. If your boss sees you’re making an effort to come up with new ideas, particularly if they have the potential to generate revenue, then you could find yourself in good stead for a promotion.
So if you’re finding that your productivity has taken a slip recently, do something about it before it’s too late. By taking heed of the suggestions above, you can boost the amount of work you get done in a day, which will inevitably help you to progress in your career development.
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