Tips and Tricks to Improve Productivity at Work
In today’s world of competing priorities and distractions, it’s important to use your time wisely. Keep the following tips in mind to help you stay on track, so you feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day:
- Set a two-minute rule. Make the most of small windows of time you have. If you know a task can be done in two minutes or less, do it immediately. It may take less time to do it now than to come back to it later.
- Meetings, meetings, meetings. The average worker spends over 31 hours monthly in meetings. Before booking your next meeting, ask yourself if the goals can be accomplished via email or phone.
- Quit multi-tasking and take regular breaks. It may seem counter-intuitive, but staying focused on one task at a time and taking scheduled breaks improves concentration and helps maintain a high level of performance. Studies also show that using work time to exercise improves productivity, so don’t hesitate to take a walk during the day to clear your head.
- Turn off notifications and minimize interruptions. Block time to check email and other messages during work hours. This will help you plan how your day is spent, rather than immediately reacting to emails and phone calls. If other interruptions are a problem, consider finding a place away from the office where you can focus.
Technology can be a source of distraction too, but when used wisely, it can help improve efficiency. Here are a few apps that Fast Company recently highlighted as the best productivity apps for 2018:
- Astro: This email inbox assistant can be used to remove clutter, create follow-up reminders, and it highlights emails that may need your attention.
- Things: This app makes to-do lists more usable. It will divide tasks into multiple views such as ‘today,’ ‘this evening,’ and ‘upcoming,’ and breaks tasks into smaller parts with headings. It can also connect to-do lists with other apps.
- Forest: This app encourages you to put down your phone. Virtual trees grow when you’re not using your phone for other things. If you switch away from the app while a tree is growing, it will wither. It also offers a friend system that only grows trees when everyone is staying focused.
Try using new strategies and tools to help you find ways to work smarter, which can help you avoid using long hours and increase the number of tasks you accomplish during the day.