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Tips and Tricks for Increasing Your Productivity at Work
With so much stimulation every time we sit down to work, being productive, efficient, and effective can be a challenge. There always seems to be some distraction whether it is a phone call, the sound or notification of a new email coming in, a text message, or one of the worst culprits of all, Facebook. Luckily, there are certain steps that you can take to increase your productivity level and decrease your level of distraction, so that you can work hard and have more time to play.
1. If it is something you can do in a few minutes…get it done! There is no use in putting something off that will only take a few minutes, just because you don’t feel like tending to it. Procrastination can be your worst enemy. You are going to have to complete the task at some point, so you might as well get the little stuff over with first, so you can focus on the larger projects later.
2. Limit the times you check your email. I like to check my email once per hour, or when I have accomplished a task. Checking your email every time you hear that inbox sound is distracting, and will keep you from focusing on the current task at hand. We can only do one thing at a time successfully, so why not finish what you are doing, then check your email. This allows you to properly focus on the next task on your long list of to-do’s.
3. Do not sit at your computer/desk/wherever you do work all day. Your body cannot sit still for this long without getting antsy. Get up and move. Take a walk, surf, ski, workout for an hour. This will help clear your mind, so that when you come back your mind is rejuvenated and ready to conquer your next task. Just like your body when you workout, your mind gets tired too and needs a break. You will notice how much more creative and productive you become once you give that noggin a rest.
4. Make a list. Yes, list making is effective and keeps track of the tasks at hand. It doesn’t matter whether it is on your computer, smartphone, or kickin’ it old school like me with a notebook, but having a list creates visual organization. With so much going on every day, it is important to be able to know what you need to knock out and what you have completed. This will keep you focusing on one task at a time rather than constantly thinking and reminding yourself about all the other stuff you need to get done. Another great aspect of lists? You can easily prioritize your tasks. Try and get the most important tasks done at the beginning of your day, as this is when you mind is freshest and you will produce higher quality work.
5. Limit your social media use. Unless you are a social media manager like myself, limit yourself to a few allotted slots for Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/Internet shopping/etc. If you are on it all day, you will find yourself searching for more on Facebook than actually getting stuff done. Facebook is a great tool to promote your business, but can be distracting. Also, you will find that you are looking at a lot of the same News Feed posts if you check Facebook more than once an hour…that’s no fun. Turn off Facebook for a couple of hours and only check it when you need a break. This will keep the social distractions to a minimum allowing you to better focus on what you need to be doing, which I’m sure in most cases, isn’t Facebooking or Tweeting.
It takes discipline and self-control to be able to conquer any number of these tips, but I guarantee if you try at least a couple of these, you will find that you are more productive and the quality of your work will be higher. There is so much over stimulation these days that it takes that extra bit of self-restraint, organization, and focus to be able to shut out the distractions to get your work done!