Do you find that your performance plummets as the work day drags on and on? We’ve got the key to productivity in the form of simple tips you can include in your work day, every day.
Start tomorrow today
Productive Leadership Expert Sally Foley-Lewis suggests getting off to a good start by preparing the day before:
“Decision fatigue, or cognitive depletion, affects us all. Basically, the more decisions we make in a day the more fatigued we become.
Minimising your own decision fatigue means you have more energy and focus to get on with your work, faster and better, get home on time and have more energy for fun, family and friends.
Help reduce decision fatigue is to start tomorrow today. Close out your day by writing your ToDo List for the next day. Even if you need to make calls consider writing out the phone numbers having them ready to go.”
Time is of the essence
Zaheer Dodhia, founder of DesignMantic, suggests breaking down your time:
“Use a Pomodoro timer to focus on a specific task for a certain amount of time. Aim to complete 7 hours worth of productivity throughout your day. Time yourself for the tasks that you do. You can use an app like Harvest App, which will tell you exactly how much time you spend on a given task.”
This will give you an idea of whether a particular task is taking you longer than it should, and how best to optimise your time using the Pomodoro technique.
By carefully managing your time, you can also schedule in strategic breaks. Plowing through your work and refusing to take a break is a sure fire way of getting sick from stress and making errors in your work. Every hour, get up and walk around, get some fresh air, take a tea break or do whatever else relaxes you to have a breather and get back into your work feeling re-energised.
Only check your email at certain times
Ever reflected on a long work day only to realise you spent all of it answering emails? Mark Lavercombe from the Productive Physician suggests to close your email client:
“If we calculated the amount of lost productivity related to managing our email inboxes, the costs would be staggering. Yet, so many of us spend our days with our email clients open, pinging us every time someone sends another little missive to demand our attention and ruin our focus.
Set an autoresponder that explains that you check your email only at certain times each day. Provide a contact phone number for truly urgent matters. Then, close your email. Do it, do it now!”
Learn to say no
Similar to the tip above, you need to set up boundaries at work. If people keep piling tasks onto you that is causing you to fall behind on the tasks that really matter, learn to start telling your coworkers that while you’d love to help them out, you just can’t at the moment.
There is a common misconception that juggling multiple tasks at once is synonymous with being productive. In reality, your focus is split, resulting in lower quality work across the board. Instead, use the to-do list you made the day before to work through each task one by one.
With the above tips, you can perform consistently well at work without burning out.