Being productive is an important part of any job, no matter what career you are in. But we all know, going to work every day and striving to be consistently productive is no easy feat. Between long meetings, chatty co-workers, and never-ending email chains, some days just seem to slip away and when it is over, you feel like you haven’t accomplished anything. Use these tips to get more out of your workday and head home without your to-do list hanging over your head.
1. Focus on One Task at a Time
Multitasking may seem like a smart way to accomplish multiple things at once, but it actually has the opposite effect. Research has shown that our brains are not nearly as good at handling several tasks at a time as we like to think we are. In fact, some researchers suggest that multitasking can reduce productivity by 40%. When you focus and commit to one task instead, it allows your mind to be clear and not be clouded by other thoughts, allowing you to work more efficiently. Take one task at a time, cross it off your to-do list, and start feeling more accomplished.
2. Be Strategic
While we can’t create more hours in the day, we can be strategic about how we use the hours we’re given. Think about how and why you are not getting as much work done as you’d like. Is it because you didn’t get enough sleep? Are you distracted by social media temptations? Or do you sit next to a chatty coworker? Spend some time identifying the causes and then be strategic about finding the solutions that address those issues.
3. Be Alert
There will always be large tasks that take more brain power and energy then others. Prioritize the time of day that you are most alert for these types of tasks. For some people, their peak time of day is first thing in the morning after a big cup of coffee. For others, it might be during the afternoon (after that 2nd cup). Find the perfect time of day for you and tackle your biggest tasks then. That way, you can get through the small stuff when your energy tank hits empty.
4. Snacks on snacks on snacks
It can be hard to get your work accomplished when your stomach is grumbling. Keep snacks close by for those moments when you need to curb your hunger. If you can, make sure they are healthier snack options. Snacks filled with sugar and empty calories can often make you feel like you’re going to crash and have an adverse effect on your productivity. Reach instead for a healthy snack that will have you feeling energized and fuel you through the rest of your stressful day.
5. Use the Right Tools
You’ve heard the phrase “dress for success” before, but while it’s a good motto for professional work attire, it’s also a good sticking point to consider your work tools. Equipping yourself with tools you’re excited to use, like the sleek and smooth Sarasa Grand, can not only get you motivated to work, but can actually increase your productivity. For a less permanent option, try out the DelGuard Mechanical Pencil, which features an unbreakable lead tip and textured grip. Or, check out other options from the STEEL collection to help you Choose Different and power through your day.
6. Put a Stop to Interruptions
Interruptions are everywhere, but one of the biggest sources of distractions come from your cell phone. Emails, text messages, and social media notifications can throw a wrench in your flow. Even if it is for a couple hours while at work, take some time and silence your phone. With the lack of interruptions, it will be easier to focus and cross items off of your to-do list faster.
7. Declutter that Desk
Too many things on your desk can be distracting or just make you feel downright anxious and uneasy. Take a few minutes and find a place for all the random clutter and papers that are scattered about. A clean, well-organized desk will make it easier to find things you need quickly and keep your mind sharp and focused on what you are working on.
Don’t let yourself go home at the end of the day feeling like you accomplished nothing. Start implementing these tips to put a stop to distractions and refocus on your priorities.