Do you ever wonder what it would feel like to leave the workplace each day feeling happy and accomplished? There’s nothing quite like the comfort that comes with knowing you’ve finished your to-do list, and you’re ready to start afresh in the morning.
If you struggle to stay on top of your schedule, then there are ways to make a positive change. High achievers are often successful because they know how to eliminate the bad habits sapping their productivity.
If you can replace distraction and procrastination with good habits, then you can become the kind of employee your manager’s just itching to promote. The following tips will show you how to boost your get-up-and-go and become the team-member you’ve always wanted to be.
1. Do the Tough Tasks When You’re at Your Best
While there’s plenty of advice out there telling team members to do their most demanding tasks in the morning, this tip only works if you happen to be a morning person. While some people will thrive best during their first few hours in the office, others spring to life in the afternoon and unlock next-level creativity after lunch.
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the perfect work schedule. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why many employees are reviewing their career plan with a focus on remote positions and flexible hours.
Instead of pushing yourself to do the hard things first if you’re still exhausted in the morning, plan your day around the times you know you’re most likely to feel productive.
2. Take Regular Breaks
It’s easy to labour under the misconception that the harder you push yourself, the more productive you’ll become. Although it’s important to challenge yourself in your career, remember that the mind needs regular breaks and moments of rest to perform at its best.
To keep energy levels high, and open the door for creativity, incorporate mini-breaks into your day. Experts suggest that working in 90-minute intervals can be the key to maximising productivity, as it helps you to avoid unwanted overwhelm.
Work for a period of 90 minutes, then move away from your desk and go for a cup of coffee, a chat with your colleague, or even a walk around the office. Your efficiency boost will make up for your moments away from your post.
3. Stop Multitasking
Multi-tasking is one of the biggest productivity killers in the professional world. Research shows us that professional output dwindles by around 40% because of multi-tasking. This is because when you switch from one task to another, you create mental blocks that make it harder to focus on any single project.
High-performing teams accomplish their goals by concentrating on one task at a time. They give the issue their full attention and continue to work at it until it’s finished before they move on to something else. If you’re having trouble deciding which task to address first, cut down your to-do-list by asking yourself:
- What are the most crucial things you need to do today?
- Can you delegate anything to another member of staff?
- What can you shift to another day?
4. Avoid or Manage Meetings
Many organisations are starting to see meetings as productivity killers – but it doesn’t have to be this way. Depending on your employment level, you might not have much control over the meetings you attend. However, you can offer suggestions to your boss on how to run a more engaging meeting. For instance:
- Put a time limit on each topic: This will push people to get the important messages out quickly and spend less time on tangents.
- Conduct meetings standing up: This encourages people to speak quickly and finish meetings faster.
- Set an agenda for the meeting: Ask your boss to let you know what you can expect from the meeting in advance, so you have an opportunity to organise your thoughts and questions before it begins.
5. Maintain a Positive Attitude
Finally, attitude counts in any career. Studies find that people who are happier are generally more productive than their peers. With that in mind, it’s important to maintain a positive outlook.
Rather than beating yourself up every time you fall victim to a distraction, learn from your procrastination mistakes, and avoid them in future. Give yourself a small pat on the back every time you complete a full project and tackle each task knowing you can accomplish your goals.
At the same time, remember that being happy in the workplace also means knowing your limits. If you simply can’t handle another request from your boss, then make sure you’re ready to say no. Productivity doesn’t mean pushing yourself to the point of burnout. It’s about creating an environment in which you can be your best self.