Whether it is education or work, every one of us strives to be productive. It gives us a sense of accomplishment and meaning in life. It helps us achieve our goals. However, being focused on your work and staying away from the many distractions around us like the internet and social media is not always easy. There are a lot of us who feel that we could have done more than we did after leaving work. If you are looking for ways to improve your productivity and efficiency, here are a few hacks you could make use of:
Plan your Day in Advance
Write down everything you need to do in a day the night before or the morning. This helps you get a good idea of what you have to do every day, at what time, and for how long. Making a schedule of the day also prevents you from missing out on any of your tasks or appointments, making you alert enough to not waste any of your time accidentally. Start by writing down your morning routine and then move on to all the tasks you have to do in a day (meetings, submissions, working hours, doctors’ appointments, etc).
Wake Up Early
This is something a lot of us find difficult to do, but practicing waking up early and making it a routine can be very beneficial. Start the day early with a fresh, energized mind and body. You can get a lot of your work done because of the head start you get in the morning. Working early in the morning also means fewer distractions. A productive start to your day makes you feel positive and you carry that momentum for the rest of the day.
Prioritize your Tasks
When you have planned your schedule for the day in the morning, take some time to write down the three most important tasks of the day. We may have several jobs to complete, but not all of them will have the same priority. To ensure that we use our limited time and energy to complete them, note down the three tasks with the greatest outcomes or significance in detail. For example: – Instead of writing down –“Review literature source”, make it- “Review the literature sources on the topic Preserving Indian culture and submit the report before 5 pm”.
Take Regular Breaks
Just because you have a daily schedule and a prioritized to-do list does not mean you can easily work non-stop for hours. You may have noticed that you are usually able to remain fully concentrated on your work for a maximum of 90 minutes. The best way to manage time for work is by giving yourself regular breaks between tasks. There is a popular technique called the Pomodoro technique in which work is divided into time intervals of 25 minutes with a 5-minute break in between. After 4 such consecutive intervals, there is a longer break of 20 or 30 minutes. Taking breaks helps us re-focus and re-energize, improving our productivity.
Learn to Say No
Being helpful and enthusiastic with your co-workers and boss is good, but it could lead to you having to handle a large number of tasks and responsibilities. These may be more than you can handle. Do not be hesitant to say no to people who are trying to place too many responsibilities on your shoulder. If it is your boss explain to them professionally how you would have to delay some of your other work or show them your task list. Such extra work can reduce the quality of your work and cause a lot of stress.
Juggling a lot of tasks at once may look like a good idea as you get to save time doing multiple jobs done. But it is not always as efficient as you think. When you multitask, you do not get to put your full attention to anything. None of the tasks you completed will be a job well done. So, it is better to focus on one task at a time and complete it to perfection.
Manage your Work Environment
The environment in which we work can have a major effect on our productivity. Messy desks, noise and other distractions can waste a lot of our time. Make sure your tables and shelves are organized, and your desks and chairs are comfortable enough for your work. You get more time for work if you are not spending a portion of it searching for something at your table.